The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”
// John 1:29-34
While it may seem odd that we have jumped from the Nativity scene to Jesus’ baptism, the narrative we’ve been exploring wasn’t only about Jesus’ birth, but also John the Baptist’s. What’s more, this is the first time in Scripture that John knows for certain his second cousin is the Christ, the Lamb of God. Imagine the humility John had to look at his own cousin, with whom he’d probably grown up and spent Passover, Sukkoth and family gatherings, and see Him as the Lamb of God. That kind of vision only comes from true humility, which involves being teachable and possessing the excitable eyes of a child.
So why, this Christmas Eve, would we focus on this passage, of all passages? Because we all are called to see Him as the Lamb of God. Like John, we’re to see and bear witness that “this is the Son of God,” remembering that when we see Him, we become more like Him. The Apostle John also said, “…We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:2-3). So if we will see Him as the Lamb, we too will become like lambs before Him. If we open our eyes to behold the Innocent Christ Child, we too will become as innocent children. To see Him is to be purified by Him, to become just as pure as He is.
This Christmas Eve, as we turn our attention to feasting and celebrating with loved ones, we add another thought into the mix: how do I most want to see Jesus right now? Who do I most want to be in this upcoming year? Where we feel things lacking in ourselves, or in our experience of Him, that’s what we should ask for. That’s what we should look for Him to be. Jesus is the greatest gift the Father could give us: He made Jesus a Present to us, so that His Presence would always be with us and He’d become our Immanuel.
If we show up before Him in worship, look for Him by revelation of all that He is, the Spirit of God promises to transform us into a mirrored reflection of what we see in Jesus. So let’s go to Him and kneel down and cry out to see Him as the Lamb, so that we might become His lambs; let’s see Him as an Everlasting Father, so that we might become His own everlasting children; in Him let’s see the Prince of Peace so that we, ourselves, become peacemakers.
Come, let us welcome Him into our lives, and let Him be all He wants to be for and in us. Come, let us bring to Him all that we have, as we recognize that in Him the Father has given us all that He had. Come, let us regain our innocence and our childlike wonder, as we kneel to worship in awe of all the Father esteems, wrapped up in the flesh of an Innocent Son. Come, let us adore Him.