Friday, November 19, 2021

John 1:35-42, Follow, Seek, Abide, New Name


John 1:35-423 (ESV) 5 The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples,

     The next day. JTB had many disciples but for some reason (God’s plan), only two were with him the next day when Jesus walks by again. This must have been after Jesus’ baptism recorded previously. Even after Jesus’ ministry took off, these are the only two disciples that apparently left JTB and followed Jesus. Since JTB came to prepare the way, it is apparent that not many of the less dedicate disciple were able to switch allegiance than those closer to him. It is something to ponder for ourselves. How often do we get so dedicated to one teacher that we miss what God is doing elsewhere? It is how cults arise. For us, we have the Bible to check what teachers are saying but they had the Pharisees and scribes who had butchered the OT and added their traditions to it.

36 and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God!"

     One thing we do not want to miss about the Lamb of God, Jesus was also the scapegoat. The one to whom the sins are transferred. Jesus fulfills both the sacrificial lamb and the scapegoat. He was taken outside of Jerusalem and crucified just as the scapegoat was taken outside of the camp and turned loose.

37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38 Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, "What are you seeking?" And they said to him, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "where are you staying?"

     The disciples following Jesus and calling him Rabbi, established their desire to be his disciples. So I’ve heard, the Rabbi would walk ahead of his disciples and they would then listen to him as he taught. To follow behind would then signal their intent to learn. When Jesus spoke to them, it was what are you seeking, not why are you following me. He wanted to know if they were looking to be taught or were just curious. We can have the same preoccupation with learning from the Bible. We can be curious but not looking to learn and obey or have a closer relationship with Jesus.

     Where are you staying? That was an open door for them. It was their way of asking to spend time with him. They were using the custom of the time to ask permission to come and learn from Jesus. That is what we need to do if we want to be disciples. We should be coming to the Word of God (Jesus) to learn. We ask the Lord to learn from him.

39 He said to them, "Come and you will see." So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. 

    Come and you will see. Jesus grants their request. And they spend the rest of that day with Jesus. We can’t learn and grow is we don’t abide with Jesus. They learned by spending time with the one who is God incarnate. We learn by abiding in the Bible. We spend time with Jesus through his word. It is the only way to learn directly from him. Yes, there are other ways to learn, but the best way is directly from the Word of God. We remember that Jesus is the Word.

40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which means Christ).

     Andrew then gets Peter and tells him he found the Messiah. How simple of a message. It is similar to what the woman at the well told her town. Could this be the Christ? Remember how the times were weighted in expectancy of the Messiah. We can’t run up to someone and say we found the Messiah and get the same kind of response. This is the beginning of Jesus’ ministry; it is not nearly 2,000 years after his death and resurrection. We need to look at the end to see how to witness, though it would be interesting to see how this approach would work since God knows who is to come to him.

42 He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas" (which means Peter).

     Jesus immediately renames him. I think this shows that Jesus was well aware of the nature of his disciples. This will be seen more clearly in the next passage. We need to remember that Jesus knows us as well. He calls us by name and renames us from “Dead in Sin,” “Child of Wrath,” to “Alive in Christ,” “God’s Masterpiece,”  Christian (Eph 2:1-10).

     A side note about the way Jesus called the disciples. Each of the Gospels tell it in a different way. What I get from this is that there was a period of time when Jesus was meeting with the different disciples. When he walked past the fishing boats and told the disciples to follow him or Levi at the tax booth, He was not a stranger to them. They had already stayed with him for some time. When the call was given it the other Gospels, it was time for them to go full-time rather than part-time. It is something for us to remember also, not everyone is called to full-time ministry. Depending on how much time we spend with the Lord, it will become clear to us if that is what the Lord wants.

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