COME AND SEE John 1:35-51
John 1:9-13 (CEB) The true light that shines on all people was coming into the world. The light was in the world, and the world came into being through the light, but the world didn’t recognize the light. The light came to his own people, and his own people didn’t welcome him. But those who did welcome him, those who believed in his name, he authorized to become God’s children, born not from blood nor from human desire or passion, but born from God. Jesus stepped into a world that both believed and disbelieved. But it’s not as easy as just those two options. WHAT we believe about Jesus is important.
Jami Amerine is the author of “Stolen Jesus an Unconventional Search for the Real Savior.” She identified ten false ideas about Jesus. Here are a few…
Mean Jesus – mean and angry, full of wrath and ranting about about how sin would destroy you.
Political Jesus – How would Jesus vote? Since there were no Democrats or Republicans in His day, we don’t know.
Genie in a Bottle Jesus – Your wish is not necessarily His command.
I’ll Teach You Jesus – How many of us believe in this works-based and punishment-loving Jesus?
If/Then Jesus – If I do such and such, then Christ will do what I expect.
Will you pray this prayer with me? “Jesus, I said yes to you. I want only you. The real you. All of you. You promised that if I seek I will find. Help me seek the truth and keep my eyes wholly fixated on the true you. Amen.”
The first disciples were getting their first look at Jesus the Messiah. They had to overcome their own impressions of who he was… who they expected.
1. FOUR WHO SAW JESUS
A man who lived in his brother’s shadow
John 1:35-40 The next day John was standing again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus walking along he said, “Look! The Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard what he said, and they followed Jesus. 38 When Jesus turned and saw them following, he asked, “What are you looking for?” They said, “Rabbi (which is translated Teacher), where are you staying?” 39 He replied, “Come and see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon. 40 One of the two disciples who heard what John said and followed Jesus was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter.
Two of John the baptist’s disciples follow Jesus. Andrew is one of them. The other? John? Andrew is always bringing someone to Jesus (6:8;12:22). This is his great example to us. We know much more about his brother.
An unpredictable and unreliable man
John 1:41-42 He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Christ[c] ). 42 He led him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon, son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).
Jesus took one look at Simon and gave him a new name. Simon is now Cephas (Rock). Peter appears as anything but a rock. He is impulsive, volatile, and unreliable. That is not God’s last word for Peter.
An indecisive man
John 1:43-44 The next day Jesus wanted to go into Galilee, and he found Philip. Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Philip was from Bethsaida, the hometown of Andrew and Peter.
Phillip is the only disciple said in this Gospel to have been called by Jesus. He seems out of his element, and perhaps was of limited ability. When faced with feeding 5000, his only thought is that even with a lot of money they could not feed the multitude. When the Greeks came to him asking to see Jesus he did not know what to do and consulted with Andrew before bringing them to Jesus (12:21-22). It was Philip in the upper room asking to be shown the Father – and that is all we ask! (14:8-9) Jesus went out of his way to find this rather limited man and to enlist him in the apostolic band. He was a perfectly ordinary man.
Philip, Andrew and Peter were from Bethsaida. Not much is told us in the Gospels about the city. Jesus denounced it as one of the cities where he did most of his miracles (Mt 11:20-24; Lk 10:13).
A man who is initially skeptical
John 1:45-51 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law and the Prophets: Jesus, Joseph’s son, from Nazareth.” Nathanael responded, “Can anything from Nazareth be good?” Philip said, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said about him, “Here is a genuine Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” Nathanael asked him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.” Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are God’s Son. You are the king of Israel.” Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these! I assure you that you will see heaven open and God’s angels going up to heaven and down to earth on the Human One.”
Nothing is recorded of Nathanael other than this incident and his presence among the fishermen in 21:2. Some suggest that Nathanael is to be identified with Bartholomew, an apostle who is never mentioned by name in John, just as Nathanael is not mentioned by name in the Synoptics. Jesus offered a high regard for him. Jesus salutes him as a straightforward person. Nathanael’s response:
“Rabbi” – which he did not use at first.
“King of Israel” – Nathanael is speaking in the highest terms available to him. He has just been called an Israelite. He is acknowledging Jesus as his king.
2. WHAT DO WE SEE IN JESUS?
One who gives us a New Start (Lamb of God who takes away sins of the world)
One who gives us a new hope (New name)God can capitalize on our strengths (Peter) God finds every person valuable (Phillip).
One who gives us new mission. Keep reading the Gospels to be ‘marinated’ in the story of Jesus.
3. BRINGING OTHERS TO SEE JESUS
Andrew sets the tone for the rest of the Gospel story by going to get his brother to see Jesus. Jesus ends his mission by telling us to go out and tell everyone about Him.
How are we bringing others to see Him?
Living lives devoted to Jesus Christ.
Being a church devoted to Jesus Christ and His ways. Honor His presence, wear His name, Driven by His heart.
Constantly entering into the lives of strangers to the Kingdom as representatives of Jesus.
This year begins with a focus on Jesus … seeing in Him one who gives us a new start, a new hope, and a new mission. Seeing Jesus must move us to bringing Jesus to the world…in our life, in our church, in our hearts.
Psalm 66:1-5 Shout joyfully to God, all the earth! Sing praises to the glory of God’s name! Make glorious his praise! Say to God: “How awesome are your works! Because of your great strength, your enemies cringe before you. All the earth worships you, sings praises to you, sings praises to your name!” Come and see God’s deeds; his works for human beings are awesome…
1. When Jesus meets Simon he immediately gives him a new name. Did you have a nickname when you were younger? What was it Did it stick through the years? Did you like it?
2. The text today talks about four disciples, three of whom we know very little about. With which one do you identify most? Which one reminds you of you … and which one would you like to be more like?
Andrew – always introducing others to Jesus
Philip – always seems out of his element, unsure
Peter – loud and impulsive, not always dependable
Nathaniel – honest to a fault, cynical about Jesus’ hometown
3. Barclay wrote, “Of course, we have to know Christ ourselves before we can invite others to come to him. The true evangelist must himself have met Christ first.” As we read about the first steps of faith in Christ these disciples experienced, who was mostly responsible for planting the seeds of faith in your heart?
4. “Come and See” is the refrain we see in this passage a few times. If you were going to invite your lost friend to see Jesus, what is it about Jesus you would like for them to see most?
5. John records more than a dozen names or descriptions of Jesus in this chapter. Scan through the chapter and pick out one or two that we can use in our worship and prayers to Him – names that are meaningful to you.
6. The earliest disciples were witnesses of the identity of Christ. What are some ways you (either as individual or group) can be a witness for Jesus in our community? What is one specific action you can take to demonstrate the love of Jesus to others who do not yet know him?
Next Sunday: John 2
Resource: Ten False Versions of Jesus