|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:29-36 John saw Jesus coming to him, and pointed him out as the Lamb of God. The paschal lamb, in the shedding and sprinkling of its blood, the roasting and eating of its flesh, and all the other circumstances of the ordinance, represented the salvation of sinners by faith in Christ. And the lambs sacrificed every morning and evening, can only refer to Christ slain as a sacrifice to redeem us to God by his blood. John came as a preacher of repentance, yet he told his followers that they were to look for the pardon of their sins to Jesus only, and to his death. It agrees with God's glory to pardon all who depend on the atoning sacrifice of Christ. He takes away the sin of the world; purchases pardon for all that repent and believe the gospel. This encourages our faith; if Christ takes away the sin of the world, then why not my sin? He bore sin for us, and so bears it from us. God could have taken away sin, by taking away the sinner, as he took away the sin of the old world; but here is a way of doing away sin, yet sparing the sinner, by making his Son sin, that is, a sin-offering, for us. See Jesus taking away sin, and let that cause hatred of sin, and resolutions against it. Let us not hold that fast, which the Lamb of God came to take away. To confirm his testimony concerning Christ, John declares the appearance at his baptism, in which God himself bore witness to him. He saw and bare record that he is the Son of God. This is the end and object of John's testimony, that Jesus was the promised Messiah. John took every opportunity that offered to lead people to Christ.
Verse 30. - This is he on behalf of whom I said, After me cometh a man (ἀνήρ is used as a term of higher dignity than ἄνθρωπος, and is made more explicit by the positive appearance of the Holy One whom he had just recognized and pointed out to his disciples) who became before me - in human and other activities under the Old Testament covenant - because he was before me; in the deepest sense, having an eternal self-consciousness, a Divine pre-existence, apart from all his dealings and doings with man (see notes on vers. 15, 26, 27). If the shorter reading of vers. 26, 27 be correct, then the occasion on which this great utterance was first made is not described. If it be not expunged from vers. 26, 27, we may imagine that John is now referring to what he said on the previous day to the Sanhedrim. If internal reasons may help to decide a reading, I should be inclined, with Godet as against Meyer, to say that this is the obvious reference. Here, too, the ὅτι πρῶτός μου η΅ν is added as explanation of what was enigmatical in ver. 26. The whole saying has already found place in the prologue. The threefold citation reveals the profound impression which the words of the Baptist had made upon his most susceptible disciple.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
This is he, of whom it is said,.... Either the day before, as in John 1:27, or some time before that, John 1:15, when he first began to baptize, even before Christ came to be baptized by him, and before he personally knew him; see Matthew 3:11.
After me cometh a man; not a mere man, but the man God's fellow: and this is said, not because he was now a grown man, or to show the truth of his human nature; but seems to be a common Hebraism, and is all one as if it had been said, "after me cometh one", or a certain person: for the sense of this phrase, and what follows; see Gill on John 1:15.
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