Sunday, January 16, 2011

John 1:29–42, 1 Corinthians 1:1–9, Isaiah 49:1­­–7

He saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, "Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29)

The event cited in the Gospel lesson has often been celebrated in art, notably in Matthias Grünewald's depiction of the gaunt John the Baptist pointing a bony finger at Jesus with the words: "Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" The evangelist's description of the setting is spare. On a certain day John the Baptist is baptizing in Bethany beyond the Jordan. On the next day he sees Jesus coming, and out of the blue he blurts out the exalted title. All seems scripted, stilted and without a preaching handle.

 

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