First Steps: Baptism

John Bible Study: Day 1

Read John 1:1-51.

When we know who Jesus is, we will begin to know who we are. No one understood this truth better than a man we call John the Baptist. In fact, at the beginning of the book of John, we learn that everything John the Baptist knew about Jesus informed him of his own identity as well.

The book of John begins by talking about Jesus, who is called “the Word” in these verses. The Word is a name for Jesus used in the book of John to teach us something about Him. The chief concern of the author of the book of John in these verses is that readers know that Jesus is God. To prove that Jesus is God, John tells us a number of things about Jesus in these verses. He has always existed (John 1:1). He was with God in the beginning (John 1:1). He is God (John 1:1). Everything was created through Him (John 1:2). Finally, in Him is life and light (John 1:4). All of the things taught in these verses are meant to help us see that Jesus is God.

After learning about Jesus and who He is, we then learn about John the Baptist. John the Baptist was Jesus’ cousin (you can read all about his birth in Luke chapter one). John 1:6 explains that John the Baptist was sent from God. His whole mission was to tell people about Jesus. Because of his mission, John the Baptist began teaching and preaching to groups of people about Jesus. As his influence grew, people began asking John the Baptist who he was. They thought there must be something special about him because of the things he had been teaching and saying. What was his consistent answer when people asked him who he was? “I am not.” He was not God. He was not the Savior of the world. He was not, and he was never afraid to admit to everyone that he was nothing special. Instead of building a name for himself, he built a name for Jesus. 

Because John the Baptist knew who Jesus was, he also knew who he was. He spent his entire life spreading the name of Jesus and making Him known. Isn’t that what happens when we come to know Christ? When we make much of His name, suddenly making much of our names becomes infinitely less important.  Has He made a difference in your life? Will you devote your life to making Him known? I’m not asking you to quit your job, go into the desert, and start preaching about Him. I am, however asking that you choose today to live a life just as dedicated to Christ as John the Baptist was, stopping at nothing to make Jesus’ name famous.

Moving Toward Action

Knowing Jesus helps us to know who we are. When people asked John the Baptist about who he was, he often answered: “I am not.” He was not Jesus, the one whom everyone had been looking for.

In the same way, when we think about who we are, our mindset should be similar to John’s. Our answer is also, “I am not.” Understanding that we are not God or the center of the universe serves as a reminder for us to look to God in our weaknesses. 

Take a few moments in your notebook or journal to make a list of the areas where you need God to intervene or where you have failed. After making this list, turn to God, who often says “I AM” in the Bible. Pray to Him, asking Him to intervene and work in your life in the areas where you have failed or need God’s intervention. The great news, my friend, is that God is all-powerful and where we are weak, He is strong.