John 1:35-51

day 3

After Jesus has been baptized by JTB, He is still in the area. JTB points Him out “behold, the lamb of God!” and two of his own disciples begin to follow Jesus. JTB was apparently okay with this defection :). In fact that was his job – to prepare the way for Jesus. (It’s a problem in these days of numbers and head-counts that even churches are zealous for their own congregants instead of pointing them to Jesus and letting Him lead them wherever. John C. was a modern day JTB – He was brilliant at pastoring without holding on.)

Apparently these two guys just started literally “following Jesus around”. Jesus noticed and asked them “what are you seeking?” Their response was “Rabbi, where are you staying?” This seems to be an odd but thought provoking conversation. [The first century Jewish man held the Scriptures as authoritative in declaring the behaviors that would please God. The role of the rabbi was to interpret the Scriptures and model how they applied to everyday behavior. When someone sought to follow a rabbi, they were submitting themselves to the authority of the rabbi’s teaching and living out the Scripture. Ref. https://bible.org/article/being-first-century-disciple]. If Jesus would accept them, they were seeking an intimate, daily, submitted relationship with Him. (Religion is such a hang-up. It’s said so much it is a cliché but it’s not about religion – it’s about a relationship.)

We are told one of these men was Andrew and the first thing he did was to go find his own brother, Simon. He tells him “we have found the Messiah.” This is pretty amazing. At most they meet with Him from about 4 pm and maybe through the night but Andrew and his buddy were convinced. (Many believe John the writer was the other follower.)

When Jesus meets Simon He accepts him right away, even changing his name from Simon to Cephas or Peter. God was always changing people’s names in the Old Testament…Abram to Abraham, Sari to Sarah, Jacob to Israel…here Jesus changes Simon, a Greek form of the Hebrew name which means “he has heard” to Cephas which means “rock” in Aramaic. Once you hear, you are standing on the Rock! (The whole “rock” and “church” thing comes up later in the synoptic Gospels but not in John.)

The next day Jesus goes to Galilee and finds Phillip from Bethsaida where Andrew and Peter are from and tells him  “follow me”. He does. Then Phillip goes to find Nathanael and tells him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” These are important creds but Nathanael is cautious – “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Phillip’s response is to “come and see.” (I think this is how each of them made the decision to follow – they have had a personal encounter with Jesus. That’s the only way to God…meeting Jesus.)

Nathanael appears to be a hard sell but truthfully when he realizes Jesus knows him – that is a powerful conversion. Then the promise: “You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

About God?
He knows each of us, inside out.

About Me?
Susan told me “We have found Him – come and see” and when I met Him I knew she was right.

About the World?
“What are you seeking?”

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