John 1:26-30
John 1:26 (KJB)
John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;
Know - Know fully or recognize
John had answered them in a way they did not ask. They had asked him why does he baptize? Instead he answered them that he baptizes with water and stops there without answering their question. He answers their question the next day when Jesus comes to the Jordan River to be baptized. Then John quickly changes the subject and tells these emissaries that there is one who stands among them which they do not know. This was the problem for the entire time Jesus was on earth. The religious leaders of Israel did not know Him nor did they recognize Him except for a very small few which included Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathaea. Instead of the leaders going back to the Hebrew Scriptures and searching out the matter, they just rejected Jesus outright. (1 Cor 2:8 KJV) Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. The Apostle Paul even stated that if they knew who He was, they would not have crucified Him. Then the situation arises that if Jesus was not crucified, then there could be no salvation because then salvation through grace would not exist. So the fact that Israel was blind, except for a few, was God’s plan to bring about the salvation of many as Christ became their substitute.
John 1:27 (KJB)
He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.
Preferred - Before or ahead of
Latchet - Thong of a sandal
John the Baptist is speaking to the delegation sent by the Pharisees to inquire as to whether John was the prophesied Messiah or not. John, being a very strong and true prophet, did not point the men to himself. He stated that he came before the Lord Jesus Christ and his ministry had started before the ministry of Jesus but the Lord Jesus Christ was the one that he was the forerunner for. This is why under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit he made the statement that Christ was preferred before him. This pointed the representatives of the Pharisees toward Christ and away from John. The Bible keeps our spiritual eyes focused on the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and not John. John was being a humble man because he stated that he was not even worthy to untie the shoes of the Lord Jesus which would have been the job of a servant in a household. John was showing that even though he was a prophet, the one who was coming after him was greater than him and the one they needed to pay attention to.
John 1:28 (KJB)
These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.
The name “Bethabara” means “House of passage or House of the ford.” The place where John had baptized was probably the ford of Abarah and the approximate location is about 12 miles south of the Sea of Galilee which was about 20 miles from Cana where Jesus had gone next. It may be the same place as mentioned in Judges 7:24: (Judg 7:24 KJV) And Gideon sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim, saying, Come down against the Midianites, and take before them the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan. Then all the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and took the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan.
John 1:29 (KJB)
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
The very next day John saw Jesus coming down to the river and declared that Jesus was the Lamb of God who will take away the sins of the world. The Jews would have instantly known that a lamb would be used for sacrifice since the lamb was used in the Mosaic system for over 1400 years. This would have been a fulfillment of the statement which Abraham made back in Genesis 22. (Gen 22:8 KJV) And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. When Abraham was told by God to sacrifice Isaac, he made the statement that God would supply a lamb for the offering. This declaration by John was indicating to those present that Jesus was a suffering Messiah and not one who was going to take up the sword against Rome. The lamb is the most vulnerable animal since it has no defenses. This the Jews would have known instantly when John announced it.
The next part of this verse states that He came to take away the sin of the world. The words “the sin” are quite interesting because they are not plural but singular. What is in view here is that Jesus was not only going to deal with the symptoms of sin which are manifested sins but He was going to deal with the root cause of sin. (1 John 3:8 KJV) He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Jesus was going to destroy the works of the devil because he is the root cause of sin. What Jesus will do for His people is to remove their sins and indwell the believer with the Holy Spirit, making them a clean vessel. Once the root of sin, which was a dead soul toward God, is resurrected through salvation, Satan will no longer have a foothold on the true believer. He has been expunged from the believer’s life but that does not mean he will not continue to harass us or try and get us to fall. Now this is not speaking of universal removal of sin but that only happens in those whom the Lord came to save. (Mat 1:21 KJV) And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. If it was universal, then everyone would be saved.
John 1:30 (KJB)
This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.
In the previous verse John was explaining the ministry of Jesus and now he specifically points to Jesus and states that He is the one that he has been previously pointing the attention of the people to. His word has now become sight as they now know who John was the forerunner for.