On Tuesday morning the pastors of Lutheran Saints in Ministry gather in Fairborn Ohio to discuss the texts for Sunday.

These are the contributions that are brought to the table.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Readings for January 29th, the 4th Sunday after Epiphany, 2017

First Reading: Micah 6:1-8

1Hear what the Lord says:
  Rise, plead your case before the mountains,
  and let the hills hear your voice.
2Hear, you mountains, the controversy of the Lord,
  and you enduring foundations of the earth;
 for the Lord has a controversy with his people,
  and he will contend with Israel.

3“O my people, what have I done to you?
  In what have I wearied you? Answer me!
4For I brought you up from the land of Egypt,
  and redeemed you from the house of slavery;
 and I sent before you Moses,
  Aaron, and Miriam.
5O my people, remember now what King Balak of Moab devised,
  what Balaam son of Beor answered him,
 and what happened from Shittim to Gilgal,
  that you may know the saving acts of the Lord.”

6“With what shall I come before the Lord,
  and bow myself before God on high?
 Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
  with calves a year old?
7Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
  with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
 Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
  the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
8He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
  and what does the Lord require of you
 but to do justice, and to love kindness,
  and to walk humbly with your God?

Psalm: Psalm 15

1 LORD, who may dwell in your tabernacle? 
    who may abide upon your holy hill?

2 Whoever leads a blameless life and does what is right, 
    who speaks the truth from his heart.

3 There is no guile upon his tongue;
he does no evil to his friend; 
    he does not heap contempt upon his neighbor.

4 In his sight the wicked is rejected, 
    but he honors those who fear the LORD.

5 He has sworn to do no wrong 
    and does not take back his word.

6 He does not give his money in hope of gain, 
    nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.

7 Whoever does these things 
    shall never be overthrown.

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

18The message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written, 
 “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
  and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
20Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. 22For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, 23but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.
26Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, 29so that no one might boast in the presence of God. 30He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31in order that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
Gospel: Matthew 5:1-12

1When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

The Greek Text of Matthew 5:1-12

Greek Study Matthew 5:1-10

v1 ιδων (ειδον) "when he saw [the crowds]" - adverbial, a causal clause; "Jesus went up the mountain because he saw the crowds.
το ορος "a mountainside" - the definite article may indicate a particular hill.
καθισαντος (καθιζω) aor. part. "sat down" - a teacher sits down to teach.
οι μαθηται "the disciples" - Given the context, the beatitudes are for the disciples, but the question is, are the disciples the "poor in spirit"? Some scholars take the view that the beatitudes are statements of grace directed to the disciples, "blessed are you" but the Greek is not that specific (although v11-12 does mean "you disciples".) 

v2 ανοιξας το στομα aor. part. “opening [the mouth] participle expressing action.
εδιδασκεν (διδασκω) imperf. "to teach" the imperfect is used to make the point that the sermon on the mount is a summary of Jesus' teachings, "this is what Jesus used to teach".

v3 μακαριοι adj. "blessed" - not the best translation, "fortunate" or "well off", possibly "happy". Jesus is telling his disciples that they are fortunate to be this way, fortunate to possess these qualities, because in possessing them they inherit God's kingdom. The beatitudes are not earned – they are gifts. 
οι πτωχοι adj. "the poor ones" –the “powerless” i.e. those without influnce or status.
τω πνευματι (α ατος) dat. "in spirit" - dative is local, defines the poverty. To be poor in spirit is to recognize the need for total dependence on God. As Matthew uses this phrase it has nothing to do with actual poverty.
οτι "for" - a causal clause explaining why – note repeated use of this conjunction throughout the beatitudes.
των ουρανων (ος) gen. "[the kingdom] of heaven" - the eschatological reign of God.

v4 οι πενθουντες (πενθεω) part. "the mourning ones - the mourning is likely over sin, so "fortunate are those who are broken before God."
παρακληθησονται (παρακαλεω) fut. pas. "will be comforted" - a divine passive.

v5 οι πραεις (πραυς) adj. "the gentle ones” in the sense of not demanding of God, so "submissive to the will of God" and willing to trust him for their vindication.

κληρονομησουσιν την γην "[for they] will inherit the earth" - lit. receive by lot, so "possess" - the consequence of covenant inclusion through submission to the divine will (cf. Psalm 37:11, inheriting the promised land.)

v6 οι πεινωντες (πειναω) pres. part. "the hungering ones" substantive.
την δικαιοσυνην (η) "righteousness" - righteousness, justice. Jesus is not speaking of social justice nor those who desire social justice, but the desire to be set right before God, being "judged in the right" in the sense of justification as expounded by Paul. 
χορτασθησονται (χορταζω) fut. pas. "they will be satisfied ".

v7 οι ελεημονες (ων ονος) "the merciful ones" – the reciprocal nature of forgiveness is stressed in both Testaments. The Lord's Prayer gives the classic example, "forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us." This beatitude is not saying that those who show mercy will have mercy shown, ie. salvation by works, rather that they who show mercy will know mercy shown.  

v8 τη καρδια (α) dat. "[the pure] in heart" - dative of locality, the regenerate nature of forgiveness, not some moral or sexual purity. Those who possess righteousness will "be like him" and …
οψονται (οραω) fut. "will see" – i.e.  find themselves in God's presence.

v9 οι ειρηνοποιοι (ος) "the ones who make peace" – a hapax legomenon Jesus is not thinking of conflict resolution, referring to those who are no longer at war with God.
θεου (ος) gen. "[sons] of God" - genitive is relational; so “members of God's family”, i.e. for Matthew the baptized.

v10 οι δεδιωγμενοι (διωκω) perf. pas. part. "the persecuted ones" - the perfect tense indicates persecution that began in the past, the consequences of which continue into the present, with participles duration is also intended so “those who endure persecution anytime”. The meaning of the word in the NT means "to put to flight" or "drive away", but carries the positive sense "to follow with intensity and purpose in order to catch up with - to run after, chase after, pursue. hasten, press forward, press on, follow without hostile intent". It fits with the other beatitudes; "blessed are you who pursue the living God." The trouble is v10 and 11 indicate the sense is "blessed are you when people pursue you because of your standing with God." So maybe Jesus is warning his disciples that if they persecute the master they will persecute the servant.
η βασιλεια των ουρανων "the kingdom of heaven" - Matthew ends with a typical inclusio, rounding out the beatitudes by ending where he started.
v11 εστε "are you" - change from the 3rd person to the 2nd is important, as noted. This application of the final beatitude guides us in the application of the others.
ονειδισωσιν (ονειδιζω) aor. subj. "people insult (reproach, upbraid)
ψευδομενοι (ψευδομαι) part. "falsely" - the act of being publically attacked alone does not carry any persuecution, it is when in telling the truth you are maligned falsely, i.e. when the 8th commandment is ignored, God blesses the truth teller.  

v12 αγαλλιασθε (αγαλλιαω) imp. "be glad" -  exceeding glad.

ο μισθος "reward" - divine approval. "payment/wage" is another possible translation but seems crass, this serves to highlight the transitory nature of suffering.

A Journey - Recycled from 3 years ago

People are often unreasonable and self centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. 
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.  - Teresa of Calcutta

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for God will give them the kingdom of heaven.
"Blessed are those who mourn, for God will comfort them.
"Blessed are the meek, for God has made them inheritors of the earth.
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for God will 
  show it to them.
"Blessed are the merciful, for God will show them mercy.
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for God will call them HIS children.
"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for God builds the kingdom of heaven through the work of the likes of them as was done in times past through the prophets.

Yes, I left one out - I conflated it into the last one - and, yes, I resolved the passive voice into an active voice and I identify the actor: God who through Jesus is mending creation. 

The Beatitudes are merely an introduction to the sermon on the mount. What is that sermon for? Based on where it is preached, right after the call of the disciples, it would seem that the point of it is to introduce to the newly formed group around Jesus how they will work and “be the light” that will accomplish Jesus’ and the Father’s purpose so they will cause glory to be given to the Father by their work. ( Matt 5:16)
Maybe calling them “merely” an introduction is not fair, but they are a summary of the Jesus way of doing the church’s work, and, yes, in Matthew, Jesus did come to establish a church to carry on for him. (Mark Powell) As such, along with the sermon they introduce, they are glimpse into doing church, or at least they ought to be. 
So what is the church to be? “Poor in Spirit” meaning not of high rank in clout or as one who has lost honorable status. She must not have clout of her own. Why? Because she must be dependent on the one who is her benefactor. She never argues her own case. She always argues Heaven’s case with God standing by her as guarantor of her words. His honor carries the argument and day, not the church’s. Prophets do the same thing It is not their words but the Lord’s that they speak for which they are persecuted. Of and for these two, the kingdom of Heaven is forged. 
In her work, which will bring her sufficient hardship to “mourn” her existence,the church is to have only one consolation or comfort: God. She shall, as the sermon later says, seek the kingdom of God and in doing that she shall have all. (Matt 6:33)
Mother Church must be obedient, pliable, and unresisting to the will of her master. She has no power or influence inherent in herself. She cannot conquer the earth. She has no standing todo that. Unless the Lord works this in here. The spread of the Faith is not the church’s source of pride. It is the Father’s glory, not hers. (Matt 5:16) She will see the conquest of the world by the Faith when she does the will of her master.
The church has seen the sin of the world and longs for the day that something be done about it. She hungers for a resolution. That resolution can only be found in one place and can only have one source: God and Heaven. Only there will it be seen and only from there will come the display of it: Jesus.
She will also be changed, this church. Powerless, beset by peril, surrendered to the Father’s will, and longing for better, she will see change, but first in herself. The result of her discipleship to Jesus, God with us, is that she will become merciful. God is showing her mercy and she will learn it from the life of Jesus, echoed in her own travels. She knows the sins of the world and her own. (Matt 7:3-5) She knows that God’s will is mercy because she has seen Jesus who came not to condemn or destroy but to show mercy and save.
She will also find that her heart will, in daily living, be purified. How will she see God? Maybe in a number of ways: First, she will come to see God in Jesus. She becomes church in seeing him for what he is: Surely, this is the Son of God. (Matt 27:54) But she will also come to see that very Jesus in the world after he ascends. She will expect him in the poor, the sick, and the persecuted or she will prove herself un-leadable by her own master. (Matt 25:33ff)  Having learned mercy, by showing mercy without reservation, she will find her Lord in unexpected places, without knowing that she has seen. Yet her longing will keep her going and she will, finally, see Heaven. 
She will find herself standing in apocalyptic circumstances holding nothing but a cross, her feet planted on a pavement strewn with stones thrown in anger, Molotov Cocktails at the ready in front of her, riot guns pointed at her back holding warring parties apart in hope of fostering peace. She will and can do that because she is on no side but God’s, expects no mercy or consolation but from God should things go badly, and she will be recognized as God’s true representative, God’s children. 
She also expects no reward but from God and neither is her peacemaking limited to worldly matter. She will contend for peace on earth but her call is to baptize and teach and ear the world to peace with God by showing it Jesus and by giving glory to God. (Matt 28:18)

They are prayed at Lent, these Beatitudes, as part of Morning prayer. How fitting, for it is in being drawn into the heart of God that we find ourselves. It is in this journey that we realize our place in the universe, that we gather what actually has value, over what we actually have sway. Lent is to be that journey into the Heart of God. Regrettable, many would take that trip and stay. But that is not  choice for a disciple, like the ones who sit at Jesus’ feet as he speaks the sermon on the mound. Contemplatives and Mystics know the danger of longing for union. Luther knew it. The happy exchange Luther speaks of in Freedom of a Christian is not a goal in itself. The last part of “Freedom” is what the result of the indwelling of the Holy Ghost should be. Luther concludes that once the Holy Spirt has brought the exchange of sin for righteousness, Christians will naturally be drawn to serve the neighbor. God has been their salvation and God will be their cause. He already is their Lord. They do not labour to become his subjects. Now, meek as they are, they labour. 

This is the point of the flow of the Beatitudes as well. We are drawn in so we might be sent. In that way maybe they deserve to be prayed and contemplated. They are a Christian’s journey. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Readings the of Second Sunday after Epiphany, 2017, January 15th

First Reading: Isaiah 49:1-7

1Listen to me, O coastlands,
  pay attention, you peoples from far away!
 The Lord called me before I was born,
  while I was in my mother’s womb he named me.
2He made my mouth like a sharp sword,
  in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
 he made me a polished arrow,
  in his quiver he hid me away.
3And he said to me, “You are my servant,
  Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”
4But I said, “I have labored in vain,
  I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
 yet surely my cause is with the Lord,
  and my reward with my God.”

5And now the Lord says,
  who formed me in the womb to be his servant,
 to bring Jacob back to him,
  and that Israel might be gathered to him,
 for I am honored in the sight of the Lord,
  and my God has become my strength—
6he says,
 “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
  to raise up the tribes of Jacob
  and to restore the survivors of Israel;
 I will give you as a light to the nations,
  that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

7Thus says the Lord,
  the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,
 to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations,
  the slave of rulers,
 “Kings shall see and stand up,
  princes, and they shall prostrate themselves,
 because of the Lord, who is faithful,
  the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”

Psalm: Psalm 40:1-11

I waited patiently upon the LORD; 
    he stooped to me and heard my cry.

He lifted me out of the desolate pit, out of the mire and clay; 
    he set my feet upon a high cliff and made my footing sure.

He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God; 
    many shall see, and stand in awe,
    and put their trust in the LORD.

Happy are they who trust in the LORD! 
    they do not resort to evil spirits or turn to false gods.

Great things are they that you have done, O LORD my God!
how great your wonders and your plans for us! 
    there is none who can be compared with you.

Oh, that I could make them known and tell them! 
    but they are more than I can count.

In sacrifice and offering you take no pleasure 
    (you have given me ears to hear you);

Burnt-offering and sin-offering you have not required, 
    and so I said, "Behold, I come.

In the roll of the book it is written concerning me: 
    'I love to do your will, O my God;
    your law is deep in my heart.'"

I proclaimed righteousness in the great congregation; 
    behold, I did not restrain my lips;
    and that, O LORD, you know.

Your righteousness have I not hidden in my heart;
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your deliverance; 
    I have not concealed your love and faithfulness from the
                             great congregation.

You are the LORD;
do not withhold your compassion from me; 
    let your love and your faithfulness keep me safe for ever,

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:1-9

1Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,
2To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:
3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

4I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, 5for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind—6just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you—7so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Gospel: John 1:29-42

29[John the Baptist] saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!30This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ 31I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”

35The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, 36and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” 37The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon. 40One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Anointed). 42He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).

Greek Study John 1:29-34

Greek Study John 1:29-34

v29 ερχομενον (ερχομαι) pres. part. "coming"  serves to introduce a dependent statement of perception expressing what John saw.
ιδε "look" – an interjection used to focus attention, "take note."
ο αμνος (ος) "the lamb" του θεου (ος) gen. "of God"– a title given great weight in Christian theology, even though "lamb" appears only four times in the entire New Testament (first here and v36, also in Acts 8:32 (as a quote) and finally in 1 Peter 1:19. The last two quotes refer to the expiatory lamb of Passover. If "lamb" in this verse is a sacrificial lamb, what does it represent? It may represent the Passover lamb but the problem is the Passover offering did not have to be a lamb, nor was the victim called a lamb, rather the paschal victim was called "Passover". There are other possibilities (e.g. lamb led to the slaughter of Isa. 53:7, the lamb of the daily sacrifice, or scapegoat/guilt-offering of Lev.14:12f, or even the apocalyptic “warrior lamb” of Rev. 5:6, 7:17). 
ο αιρων (αιρω) pres. part. "who takes away" - participle functions as a substantive so either "to take up and carry" or "to carry off" referring to the removal of evil from the earth. Most likely referring to Christ's coming sacrifice as the sacrificial lamb.
του κοσμου (ος) gen. "[the sin] of the world" – this lamb not only removes Israel's sin, but the sin of του κοσμου, i.e. "all creation without distinction or exception".
υπερ + gen. "with reference to/concerning".
οπισω + gen. "after [me]" - in time rather than space so “my successor.”
εμπροσθεν + gen. "[has] surpassed [me]" who takes rank above me.
πτωτος adj. + gen. "[he was] first [before me]" – i.e. prior, prominent, foremost. 
καγω "I myself" emphatic.
ουκ η δειν (οιδα) pluperf. "did not know him" - this doesn't mean the Baptist didn't know Jesus but rather not one of his disciples; know here in the sense of “study under”.
βαπτιζων (βαπτιζω) pres. part. "[I came] baptizing" - expressing the manner of his coming.
εν + dat. "with [water]" - instrumental, "by means of", the Baptist's role is depreciated in that he cleanses Israel with a symbol of water but Jesus will cleanse with the actual Spirit.
φανερωθη/ (φανεροω) aor. pas. subj. "might be manifested" i.e. made known to τω Ισραηλ dat. "Israel" i.e. it will be an epiphany/theophany.
εμαρτυρησεν (μαρτυρεω) aor. "[John] gave this testimony" he describes what he saw.
λεγων (λεγω) pres. part. saying (redundant for emphasis, John was known for his preaching as much as his baptizing!)
τεθεαμαι (θεαομαι) perf. "I have seen” - a dramatic historical present perfect where the perfect is used to recall a past event that underlines the fact the Baptist eye witnessed it.
καταβαινον (καταβαινω) pres. part. "come down" - a dependent statement of perception expressing what John saw, namely, "the Spirit descend from heaven." It is unclear whether "come down" should be attached to "heaven" or to "dove".
περιστεραν (α) "a dove" – pigeon actually – a symbolic intention of the dove is unclear but it seems best to take the line that the divine Spirit is represented as a bird-like creature resting on Jesus to authorize him as the Spirit-imbued messenger to Israel.
εμεινεν (μενω) aor. "remain" - abide, continued - a constative aorist expressing the beginning of a permanent abiding of the Holy Spirit with Jesus.

v33 ουκ η/δειν (οιδα) pluperfect "I would not have known / [I myself] did not know [him]" – the pluperfect is usually used for extreme emphasis, but here it is best translated as a simple past tense; "I myself saw [but], did not recognize him".
αλλ (αλλα) "except" - Adversative; "but".
ο πεμψας (πεμπω) aor. part. "the one who sent [me]" βαπτιζειν (βαπτιζω) inf. "to baptizeεν "with [water]
ειπεν (ειπον) aor. "said” here John reveals he has had a direct revelation from God, which underscored the claim he is a prophet in the classical vein.
ον αν + subj. "the one" εφ (επι) + acc. "upon [whom]" αταβαινον (καταβαινω) pres. part. "comes down" as with "abiding/remaining" forms a dependent statement of perception expressing what was seen.
ο βαπτιζων (βαπτιζω) pres. part."[is] he who will baptize" -the image is of the promised outpouring of the Spirit of God, (Ezk.36:25-26). The question is, in what sense is the Spirit poured out? While Brown argues for "cleansing" others argue for "empowering", but without doubt, the story affirms the absolute superiority of Jesus over the Baptist and of the Spirit's redemptive function.  One thing is clear, the theophany at Jesus’ baptism is meant for John!
πνευματι αγιω "the Holy Spirit" (Translators handle this differently. Most reject "a holy Spirit" which is the most literal, some have "the holy Spirit", (not capitalized) to avoid any Trinitarian referent, but most use "the Holy Spirit" to assert the full nature of the Spirit's personhood and Trinitarian Doctrine.
καγω "I" emphatic.
εωρακα (οραω) perf. "have seen" an extensive perfect, i.e. John has witnessed a past event, the descent of the Spirit upon Jesus, that has ongoing consequence.
μεμαρτυρηκα (μαρτυρεω) perf. "testify" an intensive perfect, ie. John's past testimony is ongoing into the present.
ουτος adj. "this one” (the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit and takes away the sin of the world) whom the Baptist sees coming toward him, is the Messiah and the,

ο υιος του θεου "the Son of God" –a messianic title rather than being indicative of any filial relationship. "Son of God" serves as a variant reading, other possibilities are "chosen one of God" or "the chosen one"- all of which are also messianic titles of lesser stature.