How can John know that Jesus is the messiah in John 1:29, then not know him in 33? Did he see a sign before he baptized Jesus?

"The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." John 1:29 kgv

"And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost." John 1:33 kjv

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1 Answer 1


John gave his witness in John 1:32-34

32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.” (NIV)

John recognized Jesus as the Lamb of God when he witnessed Jesus baptizing with the Holy Spirit. ALthough the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11 and Luke 3:21-22) all document Jesus' baptism, John deliberately emphasized Jesus' true identity as the Lamb of God.

As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. (Matthew 3:16 NIV)

Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. (Mark 1:10 NIV)

and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:22 NIV)

John 1:29 records the day he saw Jesus after the baptism of Jesus. Chronologically, John 1:33 occurs before 1:29.

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