John 1:29-42

Commentary Excerpt by Tom Boomershine

John's story of John the Baptist and Jesus is a story of John's testimony about Jesus to his disciples. While it is not clear whom John is addressing in the first two episodes, it is in effect a declaration spoken directly to the audience of the Gospel. In the third episode he is talking to his two disciples when he climactically sees Jesus and says, "Look, here isthe Lamb of God."

These first three episodes are dense with verbal threads. "The next day" is the first verbal thread. It links the first and third episodes. That's how they both begin.

There is also a verbal thread in the second sentence of the first episode "After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me" that links this story with the prologue (1.15). Another verbal thread that connects the first two episodes is, "I myself did not know him," (1.31, 33) followed by a statement about baptizing with water.

A verbal thread in the second episode is "I saw the Spirit descending" followed in the second sentence by: "he on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain." And then there is the motif of testifying that again links the first and the third sentence in that second episode: "John testified" (1.32) and then says, "I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God." (1.34) Another verbal thread that links the first and third episodes is the Lamb of God: "Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world."(1.29) "Look, here is the Lamb of God."(1.35) John's speeches here are dense with verbal connections and the development of themes.

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