The Gospel of John… John 1:35-51
Now that Jesus has been revealed as the Messiah, the Lamb of God on John will begin to take a back seat… we won’t hear much of John the Baptist again until Chap. 3.
John the Baptist points his Disciples to Jesus.
John 1:35-51 NLT – 35 The following day John was again standing with two of his disciples.36 As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!”
37 When John’s two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus. 38 Jesus looked around and saw them following. “What do you want?” he asked them. They replied, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” 39 “Come and see” he said. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon when they went with him to the place where he was staying, and they remained with him the rest of the day.
If we’ve discovered Jesus… the Answer… the Savior… Why are we pointing people to anything else but Him?!
- The Church… Bible… Ministry… Service… Fellowship… Good deeds? Those are all great things but is that really what people need the most?! Don’t point people to things that won’t give them eternal life!
Vs. 38 – 38 Jesus looked around and saw them following. “What do you want?” he asked them. They replied, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”
What’s your motive for following me? IF we follow Jesus for any other reason than to KNOW Him than to be His Disciple and Become like Him… our motive is wrong.
To KNOW Him is eternal life. Eternal life isn’t about Heaven. Eternal life isn’t about being saved from hell. Those are “by-products” of KNOWING JESUS and having eternal life in Him!
John 17:3 – And this is eternal life, that they KNOW you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
Matthew 7:23 – I never KNEW you, get away from me, depart from me.
They just wanted to go deeper. And the only way to go deeper, to get to know Jesus is by spending time with Him. (Reading, studying God’s Word / Prayer / Worship / Obedience )
Education of these “Disciples.”
Rabbi – Rabbi was a name given to teachers by their students. It literally means “my Master.” It was used to show honor and respect to the teacher.
Education in Jesus day…
- At birth you would begin to learn the language, and reading and writing at home.
- Age 5 one is ready for the scriptures. They’re taught in local synagogues by the Rabbis. They read, study, memorize, and learn the Torah (First 5 books of the Bible).
- Age 10, the best students would enter a secondary school and study the Oral Torah and Greek. (Greek was the language of business and politics.)
- Age 13, Fulfilling of the Commandments. Bar Mitzvah. The age of accountability when a young person would reach the age of fulfilling the commands of the Torah.
- Age 13-15 the best students would search for a Teacher (Rabbi) to “” Most Rabbi’s would select their followers who were called “Talmidim” which means “Disciple.” One who leaves home to study, follow the ways of their teacher or to “become like their teacher – what the teacher is.”
- Age 15 – Those continuing to study and follow a Rabbi would begin to make their own interpretations of the Scriptures.
- Age 30 – Authority given for teaching others and making Disciples. Most Rabbi’s were Torah Teachers (teachers of the law).
- Very few Rabbi’s reached the level of Authority. (One who could make new interpretations and qualified to pass legal judgments)
What we read about Jesus fits the description of a Rabbi at the “advanced level of authority.” NO one had the authority Jesus had!
Luke 2:47. All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. Vs. 52 NLT – Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.
Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 5-7 Jesus teaching with incredible authority.
Matt. 7:24-29 NLT – 24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” 28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 for he taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law.
Luke 12, Jesus was teaching on hypocrisy… Vs. 13, Someone called from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.” People viewed Jesus as a Rabbi with Authority who could settle legal arguments/judgments.
Even the leading teacher of Israel (Nicodemus) comes to Jesus in John 3. “Rabbi, we all know that God has sent you to teach us.”
Jesus, Himself in Matthew 28:18-20 – 18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Jesus answers Andrew, John and James… request.
39 “Come and see” he said. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon when they went with him to the place where he was staying, and they remained with him the rest of the day.
How many of us have gone beyond the “introduction to Jesus” and are really seeking Him… to get to KNOW Him! If we don’t WANT to know more of God and Jesus Christ and go deeper, spend time getting to know Him… then we don’t really KNOW Him at all.
A lot of people have been introduced to Jesus and that’s it! That’s where they stop. They aren’t following at all. We ARE NOT Disciples of Jesus unless we’ve moved beyond the introduction and are “FOLLOWING!”
- 40 – 40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus.41 Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”).
42 Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, “Your name is Simon, son of John—but you will be called Cephas” (which means “Peter”).
One of the first signs of a Disciple… a Follower of Jesus is they want to bring people to meet Jesus!
When Jesus sees Peter, He doesn’t see a rough, crude, abrasive, impulsive, unstable, insecure, fouled mouth fisherman. Jesus sees a Rock! “Your name is Simon, son of John—but you will be called Cephas” (which means “Peter”).
The Lord knows what Peter is but he also sees what he will become. Through the power of the Holy Spirit and Peter’s Surrender, Sacrifice, Service and Sharing of His Faith Peter would become one of the foundational stones (rocks) of the early Church and Christianity.
Praise God, Jesus doesn’t focus on what we are… and doesn’t leave us there. He sees us for what we can be… with HIS POWER as we Acknowledge Him, Confess our Sins, Trust in Him thru Faith and Repentance and then strive to Become like Him!
- 43 – 43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Come, follow me.”44 Philip was from Bethsaida, Andrew and Peter’s hometown.
Sometimes it’s not Disciples who introduce us to Jesus. Sometimes it’s Christ himself who seeks us out. John doesn’t say how Jesus knew Philip but Jesus found him and wanted Him to be one of His Disciples.
Vs. 45 – 45 Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.”
Just like Andrew… Philip wants to bring someone else to meet Jesus.
We have found the very person Moses and the Prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus the son of Joseph from Nazareth. Again, these guys were not uneducated, ignorant men. They had studied God’s word they knew the Law and the Prophets.
Vs. 46. – 46 “Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” “Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied.
Nazareth was a small town on the wrong side of the tracks. It was also home to a garrison of Roman Soldiers. (10 – 20K depending on how many units were there.)
Jews thought contact with gentiles (especially Roman soldiers, of who they were under control) made them “unclean.”
Nathanael could have let his prejudice of Nazareth or his way of thinking keep him from meeting Jesus and becoming one of His Disciples! Nathanael would have missed out!
Vs. 47 – 47 As they approached, Jesus said, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.” 48 “How do you know about me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.” 49 Then Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God—the King of Israel!”
50 Jesus asked him, “Do you believe this just because I told you I had seen you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” 51 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.
Jesus makes a reference to Gen 28:12. Jacob’s dream of a stairway between the earth and heaven and the Lord’s promise to be with him to watch over him and fulfill His promises through his family.
Jesus reveals to Nathanael and the others that HE is that Stairway. Adam and Eve created a gap between man and God with their sin. Jesus is the stairway that allows all men to be restored to God.
Understanding what a Disciple really is helps us understand that there’s more to following Jesus than simply being “introduced” to Him!
There’s more to being a Disciple than knowing ABOUT Him. Knowing about His life… knowing about his death and resurrection and even Believing all that is written in God’s word about Him.
Real Disciples “Seek” Jesus to get to KNOW Him… they “Follow” to “become as He is” and they bring others to meet Him.
The word “Christian” means = Little Christ!
– Is that who we’re seeking?
– Are we getting to know Him?
– Is that who we’re following?
– Is that what we’re becoming?
– Are we bringing people to meet Jesus!
Or have we made this thing called Christianity something other than that?