Come and See!

,

Being a disciple of Jesus means we have to follow Him.

John(17) (Part of the Believe(15) series)
by Stuart Johns(73) on June 2, 2019 (Sunday Morning(97))

Salvation(18), Witnessing(4)

Believe

Come and See!

(John 1:35-51)

 

INTRODUCTION

“In my experience, signs follow decisions. The way you overcome spiritual inertia and produce spiritual momentum is by making tough decisions. And the tougher the decision, the more potential momentum it will produce. The primary reason most of us don't see God moving is simply because we aren't moving. If you want to see God move, you need to make a move!

 

I learned this lesson in dramatic fashion during the first year at National Community Church. We had been praying for a drummer to join our worship team for months, but I felt like I needed to put some feet on my faith, so I went out and bought a four-hundred-dollar drum set. It was a Field of Dreams moment: if you buy it, they will come. I bought the drum set on a Thursday. Our first drummer showed up the next Sunday. And he was good. He was actually part of the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps.

 

Rock and roll.

 

I cannot promise that signs will follow your faith in three minutes or three hours or three days. But when you take a step of faith, signs will follow. God will sanctify your expectations, and you will begin to live your life with holy anticipation. You won't be able to wait to see what God is going to do next.”

 

Mark Batterson, Wild Goose Chase (Multnomah, 2008), pp. 32-33

 

[https://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/2008/september/5091508.html].

 

BODY

  • ME

    • Following Jesus – steps of faith

        • Florida to Ohio (step of faith – moved without having a job)

        • Ohio to Missouri (said no twice to going to the headquarters of CEF, but agreed the third time)

        • Missouri to California (step of faith to move further away from family; leaned on our church family in CA)

        • California to Pennsylvania (resigned from EGM without having another job lined up and left CA, eventually accepted pastoral position in PA)

 

  • WE

    • Following Jesus – steps of faith

        • Individuals

          • Every one of us can probably look back over our lives and see the steps of faith we taken to follow Jesus

          • It may not have been moving all over the country like Judy and I did

          • Perhaps it was being obedient to the Lord’s prompting to begin teaching a Sunday school class or leading a small group

          • Maybe it was committing to attending church on a regular basis and not just on holidays

          • For some of us it was taking the step of faith to begin giving something in the offering every week and then moving to tithing 10% of our income

          • For others of us it was taking the step of faith to follow God’s leading into full-time pastoral ministry or full-time missionary work

          • An important step of faith for all of us is overcoming the fear of rejection and sharing our faith with family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers

          • We have all taken steps of faith to follow Jesus as His disciples

        • Idaville Church

          • The members of Idaville Church have taken many steps of faith

          • Purchasing the old school property on April 30, 1963 and moving the church from Idaville-York Springs Road to its current location

          • Voting in October 1991 to add on the multipurpose building

          • Currently taking the step of faith through the capital campaign to add-on to the main building (larger sanctuary and secure children’s area)

As John the evangelist continues to share the week-long events leading up to Jesus’ first miracle, we’ll see a transition take place from talking about John the Baptist to talking about Jesus. ​​ This transition happens during day three. ​​ What John the evangelist wants us to understand from this final part of chapter 1 is that . . .

 

BIG IDEA – Being a disciple of Jesus means we have to follow Him.

 

Let’s pray

 

  • GOD (John 1:35-51)

    • Follow Him – John says (vv. 35-42)

        • The next day – day 3 (v. 35-36)

          • John the evangelist has been walking us through the week leading up to Jesus’ first miracle

            • The transitional phrase he has been using is “the next day . . .”

            • This provides a natural break as John the evangelist shares what he saw and experienced with Jesus

          • John the Baptist was still on the other side of the Jordan on day 3

            • He is there with two of his disciples

            • We know that one of the disciples is Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, because it is mentioned in verse 40

            • The other disciple is unknown, because his identity is not revealed by John the evangelist

              • While it would be nice to say definitively who the unnamed disciple is, we cannot

              • We can only speculate that it is either Philip, whom we’ll be introduced to in verse 43, or John the evangelist

              • Philip is mentioned together with Andrew throughout John’s Gospel, and it seems as though Jesus finds Philip on the fourth day (v. 43)

              • I personally lean toward John the evangelist, because he never mentions himself in the Gospel

              • We know from the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) that John brings his brother James to Jesus, just like Andrew brings his brother Simon to Jesus

              • But we’re getting ahead of the text

          • What is more important is that two men, who were disciples of John the Baptist, are about the transition to a new “Teacher”

          • John the Baptist sees Jesus once again

            • Jesus is still hanging out on the other side of the Jordan where John has been baptizing

            • He was passing by John the Baptist and not coming toward him as He had done the day before

            • John had already identified Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, on day 2

            • Perhaps the two disciples who were with John on day 3 had been gone and did not hear his declaration the day before, or maybe John wanted to make the declaration, to these two disciples, personal and direct

            • John again directs the attention of these two disciples to Jesus by saying, “Look, the Lamb of God!”

            • What an incredible thing for John the Baptist to do – pointing his own disciples to someone greater

              • This takes incredible humility on John’s part, especially when culture encourages us to build ourselves up

              • “Therefore he [John] provides a genuine model of what it means to be a minister or servant of God. ​​ The human tendency is to make a name for ourselves and to attach our names to other people, institutions, and things so that people will remember us. ​​ To minimize oneself (“to decrease”) in order for Jesus to become the focus of attention (“to increase”) is the designated function of an ideal witness in this Gospel (cf. John 3:30).” ​​ [Borchert, The New American Commentary, John 1-11, 141]

              • “‘To recommend disciples to a greater teacher was rare, required great humility and denoted confidence in the other teacher’s superiority’ (Keener 1993: ​​ 266). ​​ The present shift in allegiance from the Baptist to Jesus also illustrates John’s humility and submission to the divine will: ​​ ‘It is the mark of a truly great man that he can gently, but firmly, detach them [his followers], so that they may go after a greater’” [Köstenberger, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, John, 73]

              • That needs to be our focus when sharing our testimony with others

          • We see that the two disciples take John’s declaration seriously

        • Transition of disciples (vv. 37-39)

          • Andrew and the other disciple heard what John the Baptist said about Jesus and began to follow Him

            • PRINCIPLE #1 – God’s desire is that everyone follow Jesus.

              • Perhaps you’ve never started following Jesus

                • It’s not too late to begin following Him

                • 2 Peter 3:8-10, But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: ​​ With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. ​​ The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. ​​ He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

                  • God’s Word tells us that if we die in rebellion against Him, we will be separated from Him for all of eternity (Rom. 6:23)

                  • We’re all born sinners (Rom. 3:23)

                  • God’s desire is that no one perishes, so out of His great love He made a way for us to be in a right relationship with Him – He made a way to redeem us from our sin of rebellion (Rom. 5:8)

                  • Jesus came as the Lamb of God, died on a cross, was buried, and came alive again on the third day to take our punishment for sin (1 Cor. 15:3-4)

                  • We now have a way to not be separated from God for eternity

                  • It requires us to turn from our sin and follow Jesus

                  • John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

                • My Next Step Today Is To: ​​ Repent of my sin and begin to follow Jesus so I will not perish, but have eternal life.

              • Maybe you’ve followed Jesus in the past, but you’ve gotten away from that close relationship with Him

                • That close relationship can be restored

                  • Lamentations 3:40, Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.

                  • Hosea 12:6, But you must return to God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always.

                  • Zechariah 1:3, Therefore tell the people: ​​ This is what the Lord Almighty says: ​​ ‘Return to me,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the Lord Almighty.

                  • 1 John 1:9, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

                • My Next Step Today Is To: ​​ Begin to follow Jesus again by examining my ways, returning to the Lord, and confessing my sins.

              • Being a disciple of Jesus means we have to follow Him.

            • Remember, Jesus was not coming towards John the Baptist like He had done the day before

            • Jesus was passing by – He was just walking along, but I’m certain it wasn’t by chance

            • Andrew and the other disciple begin to follow Jesus

            • “Disciples in that day literally ‘followed’ or walked behind the one they had chosen as their teacher.” ​​ [Köstenberger, 73]

            • The transition had taken place – they were now Jesus’ disciples

          • Jesus question of the two disciples

            • When Jesus realizes He’s being followed, He turns around and asks the two disciples a question

            • “What do you want?”

              • These are the first words of Jesus in John’s Gospel

              • He wants these two to articulate what their desire is in following Him – what’s their purpose

                • We know from reading the other Gospels and reading further in John’s Gospel that not everyone’s purpose in following Jesus was genuine

                • Some people followed Him, because of what He could do for them (feed them, heal them, etc.)

                • We also know that when Jesus began to share hard sayings (cf. John 6:53-65) that many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed him (John 6:66)

              • “But the Evangelist wants his readers to reflect on a deeper question: ​​ the Logos-Messiah confronts those who make any show of beginning to follow him and demands that they articulate what they really want in life.” ​​ [Carson, The Pillar New Testament Commentary, The Gospel According to John, 155]

                • That deeper question is for us today as readers of John’s Gospel

                • What do we really want from following Jesus?

                • Make it personal for yourself today, what do I really want from following Jesus?

                  • You have to be completely honest with yourself and with the Lord

                  • He already knows your heart, so don’t try to trick Him with Sunday school answers

                  • If your purpose in following Jesus is because of what He can “do” for you, then tell Him that

                  • But don’t stop there, recognize that your relationship with Jesus isn’t really genuine – it isn’t about having the punishment for your sins taken away, salvation, eternal life, or being in a right relationship with God

                  • Begin today to follow Jesus with the purpose of having your punishment for sin taken away and receiving eternal life

            • These two disciples were genuinely following Jesus, and we see that through their response to His question

          • The disciples’ response

            • First, they address Him as Rabbi, which John defines for his Greek readers – Rabbi means Teacher

            • Then, they ask Jesus a question

              • They aren’t asking a question to avoid answering Jesus’ question

              • They are asking a question to show that they are truly interested in being His followers

              • “Where are you staying?”

              • This would be important information for them, because they would be returning every day to sit under His teaching as His disciples

            • Jesus invites them to continue to follow Him and find out where He’s staying

          • Come and see

            • They did just that

            • They went with Jesus and saw where He was staying

            • In fact, they also spent the rest of that day with Him

            • “To ‘follow’ is to embark with Jesus on a journey, while to ‘stay’ or ‘remain’ is to maintain a lasting personal relationship with him. ​​ That the disciples ‘stayed’ with Jesus (presumably in Bethany) for the rest of the day testifies to their commitment as disciples.” ​​ [Michaels, The New International Commentary on the New Testament, The Gospel of John, 120]

            • John the evangelist gives us a time stamp

              • It was about the tenth hour

              • The Jews started the day at sunrise (6 am) unlike Roman law that started the day at midnight (12 am)

              • So, the tenth hour would be 4 pm

          • John the evangelist begins a section where he shares about two disciples telling family and friends about Jesus

        • First things, first (vv. 40-42)

          • Andrew is identified

            • It’s from verse 40 that we can look back to verse 37 and realize that Andrew was one of the two disciples that followed Jesus after John the Baptist pointed Him out

            • He is also identified as Simon Peter’s brother

              • Interestingly enough, John the evangelist uses Simon’s new name here before he tells us that Jesus changed his name

              • John the evangelist is obviously writing after these events took place

              • He’s using Simon’s new name, Simon Peter, because he would have been pretty well known by his readers, perhaps more so than Andrew

            • After Andrew spends the rest of the day with Jesus, he is compelled to tell someone about Jesus

          • Andrew tells his brother

            • I like the fact that the first thing Andrew does is find his brother and tell him

              • Perhaps he was returning to their house for the night and sought out Simon

              • We don’t know exactly where he went to find Simon

              • PRINCIPLE #2 – God wants His people to tell others about Jesus.

                • “[Andrew] became the first in a long line of successors who have discovered that the most common and effective Christian testimony is the private witness of friend to friend, brother to brother.” ​​ [Carson, 155]

                • That should be our Christian practice as well

                • We should be sharing with our family members about Jesus and how He has transformed our lives

                • I know that many of us have done just that, even to the point of being told not to mention it again

                • There are probably others of us who have not shared the Gospel with our family members

                • My Next Step Today Is To: ​​ Share my salvation testimony with a family member or friend this week.

              • That is what Andrew did with his brother

            • The Messiah

              • Andrew tells Simon that they, he and the unnamed disciple, have found the Messiah

              • Again, John the evangelist explains for his Greek readers that Messiah meant – “the Christ”)

              • This is the anointed One, the promised One who would save them, redeem them, and set them free!

              • Andrew didn’t stop with just telling Simon about Jesus, he brings him to Jesus

            • Andrew brings Simon to Jesus

              • This isn’t the last time Andrew brings someone to Jesus

                • In fact, every time that Andrew is mentioned in John’s Gospel, he is bringing someone to Jesus

                • John 6:8, Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

                • John 12:20-22, Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Feast. ​​ They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. ​​ “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” ​​ Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus.

              • Andrew is again our model for what we should be doing with friends and family

                • It is always important to share our personal testimony of what Jesus has done for us

                • It is also important to bring our friends and family to a place where they can learn more about Jesus and grow in their faith

                • There are many places where they can go to hear God’s Word (church, Sunday school, small group, one-on-one discipleship, etc.)

                • I want to challenge us today to begin inviting family and friends to church on a regular basis

                • Perhaps they’ve already heard the Gospel, but haven’t believe in Jesus yet – they need to continue to hear the Good News

                • Maybe they have believed in Jesus and need to grow in their relationship with Him – church is a great place for that to happen

                • Both groups need the fellowship of other believers in their lives

            • Simon comes face-to-face with Jesus and immediately Jesus changes his name

          • Jesus changes Simon’s name

            • Jesus looked at Simon and identified him as the son of John

              • This was a common practice, because last names were not used in the 1st Century

              • A person could be identified by their father’s name or by their place of origin (e.g., Jesus of Nazareth or Simon of Cyrene)

            • Cephas or Peter

              • Cephas was an Aramaic word meaning “rock”

              • Peter was a Greek word meaning “rock”

              • Jesus wasn’t necessarily changing Simon’s name, but rather giving him a nickname

              • This nickname was really identifying a characteristic that Jesus saw in Simon Peter that had not yet been manifested (in fact it really wouldn’t be evident until after the day of Pentecost when Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit)

              • Jason tells the story of an RA at Messiah College that gave everyone on his floor a nickname at the beginning of the year – he was not as discerning as Jesus was with Simon

              • While at Huntington College there was a foreign exchange student whose name was, Jingwei

              • The other guys on the wing of his floor thought it sounded like John Wayne, so they nicknamed him “Duke”

        • Andrew and the unnamed disciple have followed Jesus, Andrew has introduced his brother to Jesus, and Jesus has changed Simon’s name to Peter

        • This ends day 3

    • Follow Me – Jesus says (vv. 43-50)

        • The next day – day 4 (v. 43a)

          • This again is the phrase that John the evangelist uses to transition from one scene to the next

          • On the fourth day, Jesus decides to leave Bethany on the other side of the Jordan and head to Galilee [show map]

        • Philip’s calling (vv. 43b-44)

          • We don’t know exactly where Jesus is on his journey to Galilee when he finds Philip

            • Most scholars believe it would have been a two day walk for Jesus to get to Galilee

            • Is He just beginning his journey and is still in Bethany?

            • Is He part of the way to Galilee?

            • It seems to me that he is just starting out from Bethany and finds Philip, perhaps as part of the crowd

          • Follow me

            • While it’s not stated directly, we know that Philip does follow Jesus, because of what he does in verse 44

            • This takes us back to our first principle

            • PRINCIPLE #1 – God’s desire is that everyone follow Jesus.

            • Being a disciple of Jesus means we have to follow Him.

            • That’s what Philip did

          • John the evangelist gives us a little geographical note at this point

            • Philip, Andrew, and Peter are all from the same town of Bethsaida in Galilee [show map]

            • The trip to Galilee would be a homecoming for these three disciples

          • Jesus is gaining disciples by the day as Philip began to follow Him

        • Nathanael’s calling (vv. 45-50)

          • Philip does the same thing that Andrew did

            • He found someone to tell about Jesus

            • It was his friend Nathanael

            • This brings us back to our second principle

            • PRINCIPLE #2 – God wants His people to tell others about Jesus.

            • For Philip, it wasn’t a family member, but rather a friend

            • We learn from Philip’s example that we should be sharing our personal salvation testimony with friends also

          • Philip’s testimony

            • Philip shares that we (Andrew, Peter, unnamed disciple, and he) have found the One that . . .

              • Moses wrote about in the Law

              • The prophets also wrote about

              • “. . . it anchors the notion of ‘the Messiah’ in the entire Hebrew Bible, both the law and the prophets. ​​ This suggests that the whole Bible testifies to a single ‘Coming One,’ as John thought (vv. 15, 26-27), in contrast to the delegation from Jerusalem, with their pedantic alternatives of ‘the Christ,’ ‘Elias,’ and ‘the Prophet’ (v. 25).” ​​ [Michaels, 127-28]

            • Philip then uses the two identifying factors of any man in the 1st Century – “the name of his village, and the name of his (reputed) father” [Carson, 159]

              • While Jesus wasn’t born in Nazareth, he definitely grew up there and called it His hometown

              • As Jesus was growing up, those in Nazareth probably didn’t know about His miraculous birth story, they only knew that He was the son of Joseph and Mary

            • While Philip is excited about sharing Jesus with Nathanael, Nathanael’s reaction could have burst his bubble

          • Nathanael’s reaction

            • “Nazareth! ​​ Can anything good come from there?”

            • Ohio State and the University of Michigan are huge rivals

              • It’s always amazing to see and hear the various verbal slams about the two schools

              • Since Ohio State has been more successful than Michigan, there are more memes that run down Michigan than Ohio State

              • [Show the two memes]

              • Ohio State fans would echo Nathanael’s reaction, “Michigan! ​​ Can anything good come from there?”

              • I’m not a football fanatic, so I’m simply sharing what I’ve heard and seen

            • We may experience this when we invite people to church or share the Gospel with them

              • They may respond the same way Nathanael did

              • “Church! ​​ Can anything good come from there?”

              • Many times they react that way because of something that happened in the past

            • Philip doesn’t let Nathanael’s skepticism get him down, instead he challenges him

          • Philip’s challenge

            • “Come and see”

            • I worked for a direct mail marketing company when we lived in Florida and a lot of the employees had attended the Catholic Church in the past

              • Most of them didn’t attend at the time and one of them told me that they didn’t attend because it was the same thing every Sunday – it was rote

              • I had the opportunity to share about Jesus with them and about the church where Judy and I attended

              • I was basically saying, Come and see!

              • I never had any of them come to church with us, but I had, at least, planted the seed

            • We need to remain positive in the midst of other’s negativity, because we have the most life-changing message for them

            • That’s what Philip did, he didn’t let Nathanael’s skepticism deter him

          • Jesus’ response to Nathanael

            • We know that Nathanael took Philip up on his challenge, to come and see, because when Jesus saw him coming, he had an encouraging word to say about him

              • He called Nathanael a true Israelite

              • He was saying that there was nothing false in him

              • He spoke his mind concerning how he felt about Nazareth

              • Story of Jacob

                • Jacob used falsehood to steal his brothers blessing and his birthright

                • Jacob used falsehood to trick his father

                • Jacob also use falsehood in dealing with his father-in-law Laban

                • After Jacob wrestled with God, God changed his name to Israel (struggles with God)

                • Jacob had overcome, his character had changed

              • Nathanael didn’t put on a mask or try to hide his true feelings

              • Nathanael wants to know how Jesus, whom he had never met, could say that he was a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false

            • PRINCIPLE #3 – Jesus is all-knowing (omniscient).

              • Jesus told Nathanael that He had seen him while he was still under the fig tree before Philip called him

              • This was supernatural knowledge that God had given to Jesus to help Nathanael overcome his skepticism

              • It worked!

            • What we see next is Nathanael’s testimony

          • Nathanael’s testimony

            • Nathanael uses three titles for Jesus

              • Rabbi meaning Teacher, which showed that he believed in Jesus as the Messiah

              • Son of God, which revealed that Nathanael understood that Jesus was deity

              • King of Israel, which displayed his allegiance to Jesus

            • Jesus explains that Nathanael believed because He had shared some supernatural knowledge with him

          • Jesus’ promise

            • Jesus then promises Nathanael that he will see greater things than that

            • This is probably a reference to the upcoming miracle at Cana in Galilee, but I don’t want to steal Pastor Marc’s thunder for next week

        • Jesus now turns His attention away from Nathanael, personally and addresses the disciples as a group

    • Divine revelation (v. 51)

        • We know that Jesus is addressing the group of disciples, because of the use of the plural “you” in verse 51

        • This divine revelation is a reminder of the story of Jacob when he laid his head on a stone as he traveled from Beersheba to Haran

          • He had a dream that a stairway was resting on the earth and reached to heaven

          • Angels were ascending and descending on this stairway

          • Jacob called the place Bethel (house of God)

        • Jesus was letting His disciples know that He was the way to heaven

        • The Son of Man was Jesus favorite way of referring to Himself while on earth

 

  • YOU

    • Being a disciple of Jesus means we have to follow Him.

        • Perhaps you’ve never followed Him before, but today can be that day

        • Perhaps you’ve fallen away from following Him and today you can begin again

  • WE

    • We all have a responsibility to follow Jesus wholeheartedly

    • We also have a responsibility to tell others about Jesus

 

CONCLUSION

“Christ says, ‘Give me all. I don't want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want you. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don't want to cut off a branch here and a branch there. I want to have the whole tree down. I don't want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think are innocent as well as the ones you think are wicked—the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you myself: my own will shall become yours.’”

 

—C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

 

C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (HarperOne, 2001), p. 196-197; submitted by Bill White, Paramount, California

 

[https://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/2007/september/9091007.html].

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