CCC 608 After agreeing to baptize him along with the sinners, John the Baptist looked at Jesus and pointed him out as the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world”.1 By doing so, he reveals that Jesus is at the same time the suffering Servant who silently allows himself to be led to the slaughter and who bears the sin of the multitudes, and also the Paschal Lamb, the symbol of Israel’s redemption at the first Passover.2 Christ’s whole life expresses his mission: “to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”3
CCC 719 John the Baptist is “more than a prophet.”4 In him, the Holy Spirit concludes his speaking through the prophets. John completes the cycle of prophets begun by Elijah.5 He proclaims the imminence of the consolation of Israel; he is the “voice” of the Consoler who is coming.6 As the Spirit of truth will also do, John “came to bear witness to the light.”7 In John’s sight, the Spirit thus brings to completion the careful search of the prophets and fulfills the longing of the angels.8 “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God. .. Behold, the Lamb of God.”9
1 Jn 1:29; cf. Lk 3:21; Mt 3:14-15; Jn 1:36.
2 Is 53:7,12; cf. Jer 11:19; Ex 12:3-14; Jn 19:36; 1 Cor 5:7.
3 Mk 10:45.
4 Lk 7:26.
5 Cf. Mt 11:13-14.
6 Jn 1:23; cf. Isa 40:1-3.
7 Jn 1:7; cf. Jn 15:26; 5:35.
8 Cf. 1 Pet 1:10-12.
9 Jn 1:33-36.