John speaks quickly and boldly: “Look! The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” Jesus was being identified as the famous Guilt Offering of Lev. 5.14-6.7; 7.1-6. That offering was just a shadow of the reality that Jesus was: the sacrificial lamb whose death brought forgiveness for sin and cleansed the people. Whoa. That’s quite a claim, but that’s what John, the recognized prophet of God, says. This man, coming down the path, is the one who will make it possible for anyone to be forgiven of his or her sins. Anyone. That’s a big deal.
John makes sure you know which guy he’s talking about: The one I spoke about before, when I assured you I’m not the Messiah, but Jesus is, because he has always been God.” Again, that’s a big deal.
How does he know this stuff? It has been revealed to him by none other than God. “With my own eyes I saw the Spirit come down from heaven and remain on him.” What he saw was permanent, reliable proof to him of a oneness of Jesus with God. But it wasn’t just an interpretation of what he saw. He was told, When you see this, that’s the man who is God. He is the one who will forgive sins. He is the one who will give new life.”
As I have mentioned, John, the author, is building a case, bringing witnesses to the witness stand. So he ends with a very legal, proper sounding pronouncement: “I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.” That’s a big deal. That’s what is being claimed. It’s up to you to weigh the evidence.
But we are FAR from done.