Read John 1:35-51
35The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God!" 37When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, "What do you want?" They said, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "where are you staying?" 39"Come," he replied, "and you will see." So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him. It was about the tenth hour.
40Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, "We have found the Messiah" (that is, the Christ). 42And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas" (which, when translated, is Peter).
43The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, "Follow me." 44Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45Philip found Nathanael and told him, "We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote — Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."
46"Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" Nathanael asked. "Come and see," said Philip. 47When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, "Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false." 48"How do you know me?" Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, "I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you." 49Then Nathanael declared, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel."
50 Jesus said, "You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that." 51He then added, "I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man." (NIV)
This is John’s account of the calling of the disciples. John’s Gospel gives us a little more insight into some of the disciples than the other three gospels do. What we see in John’s account is the transition from following John the Baptist, to following Jesus Christ. In the calling of the first few disciples John mentions, we see a wonderful trait of coming to Jesus. The two disciples of John were pointed in the direction of Jesus as he is the one. They then followed after Jesus. Then we see the wonder of Christ, Christ turned and met them before they could approach them. Jesus will always come to us but we must make a step toward him at the same time.
Be we also see that Jesus asks a question. This is a trademark of Christ. When you approach him, you will get a question. Sometimes is as simply as this question which Jesus asked many times, “What do you want?” It is a question that I think we are not always prepared to answer. Often, we need to dwell on this question to understand what it is we really want in life.
We see the answer that Jesus gives is “Come and See.” This was a Rabbinical phrase often used to mean, come, lets sit and talk this through together and figure it out. This is what Jesus offers us when we are in need and are struggling. He promises to be there with us as we work through the issues of life.
As we go through the Gospel, we see that John has a way of writing himself into the Gospel without naming himself. Many theologians have come to believe that John was the other disciple of John the Baptist alongside Andrew who went to follow Jesus. They believe this because in the 39th verse, the time is given as to this moment. Many believe that you remember the day and time you came into the presence of Jesus Christ and your life forever was changed. You may have a moment of time you remember.
The next disciples mentioned is Andrew’s brother, Simon who would be called Peter. In these short verse as well as other verses about Andrew, we see that he was humble and always seeking to introduce people to Jesus. I tend to think that John listed him first because this is one of the characteristics all of us are to encompassed.
The final two disciples mentioned are Philip and Nathanael. Philip is seen as readily embracing the call and immediately telling someone else about Jesus. We get the story of Nathanael which describes many of a person’s initial reaction to Jesus. There is disbelief in all of us. But notice that Philip does not try to convince Nathanael. This is a lesson we need to learn. It is our duty to introduce people to Christ. It is Christ who then takes over. It is Christ who makes the case. I think we don’t invite as many to Christ, because we are too concerned about defending Christ. We need to let Christ defend himself through the Holy Spirit. Ours it to keep telling people to come and see. That doesn’t mean we don’t have a role in encouraging people and helping them with the questions. But we don’t have to be able to answer every question. Sometimes it is simply lets walk together on it.
Do you see yourself in any of these disciples John talks about? Where are you are your call to follow Jesus? Do you remember when Jesus became real to you?
Other questions? Comments?
Blessings and Peace