1:29-34 THE TESTIMONY OF JOHN
In some sense, John the Baptist did not know who Jesus was. This was revealed to him at the baptism of Jesus, when the Holy Spirit descended as a dove upon Jesus. This prompted John the Baptist’s testi- mony that Jesus was the long-foretold “lamb,” which God would send to take away the world’s sin. This was the lamb that God promised Abraham he would provide (Gen. 22:8), which was symbolized at Passover ( John 19:36), and was prophesied of Jesus (Is 53:7). Jesus was the lamb that God said he would provide.
This testimony culminated at the baptism of Jesus, when John beheld the descent of the Spirit, which confirmed a prophecy that he had been given as a key part of his own ministry. This was indeed the Son of God. John doesn’t describe the actual baptism of Jesus, but he does provide us with the place where this happened.
35-49 CALLING THE DISCIPLES
Two of John’s disciples, Andrew and probably John, leave John the Baptist to follow Jesus. It is said of Andrew that every time he shows up he is bringing someone to Jesus. Here, Andrew recruits his brother, Simon, whom Jesus renames Cephas (or Peter). Next, Jesus calls Phillip and Nathanael, and demonstrates his power to Nathanael by revealing to Nathanael his vision of him from afar.
50-51 JACOB’S LADDER
Throughout this section there is a constant testimony that Jesus is being recognized as the “Son of God” – 1:34 and 49. This is a declaration the Jesus Christ was the eternal Son of God (1:18). But now Jesus introduces himself as something new. He says that he is the “Son of Man” – 1:51. With this he points back to the prophecy of Dan. 7:13-14. This refers to the pre-ordained earthly ministry that the Son of God came to perform. We should note that this launches the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy. And from here, Jesus adds the reference to Jacob’s ladder (Gen. 28:12), the upcoming union of heaven and earth.