Jesus Calls His Disciples
Scripture: John 1:37-51
Last time we looked at John 1:1-9 and discovered Jesus is the Word of God. He was in the beginning, He was at Creation, He is our Light today and tomorrow. Now we move on to learn about the gathering of the disciples. As believers we too are called to be DISCIPLES – our callings are unique but our Lord is the same. There are 3 ways disciples are called, and are important for us to understand.
I. Some Disciples called to Christ Because of Family & Friends
They followed Jesus. By their physically following him down the path, they expressed the intent to follow Him in a spiritual sense.
41. FIRST = Priority / Ran to tell his brother.
Found. This narrative is alive with the joy of discovery. Messiah, the Hebrew term for “anointed one,” has its counterpart in the Greek word Christos.
42. Andrew’s personal witnessing began early and with his own family. The change of name from Simon to Cephas, the Aramaic for Peter, meaning stone, illustrates the promised change from weakness to stability and strength.
It has been said that there is an old recipe for rabbit stew that begins like this: “Step 1: Catch the Rabbit” - I think this cook knew well how to order priorities. There is a certain order to things and the first things must come first.
Andrew being our example, he knew what must come first, and that is an excited witness of the Messiah, Jesus Christ to his closest family. Andrew ran to tell his brother. And his brother, upon hearing became a disciple of Christ. It holds true today for us as well, when we are excited about our faith and share it with loved ones, they too can be excited about what Christ has done for us. Fellowship is important.
II. Some disciples called to Christ because of Christ (vv. 43)
Jesus gives a simple command to Philip: follow me.
APPLY: Very simple, basic, effective. Sometimes people need to hear: follow!
III. Some Disciples called to Christ because of Miracles (vv. 44-51)
Nathanael (NU Than EE UL) asks the question: “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Which helps us to understand the questioning mind people have when first introduced to Christ.
Some people need proof – or more objective evidence than a personal testimony. To this end, Philip says, “Come and see.”
Nathanael believes because Jesus tells him he saw him under the fig tree before Philip came for him. Yet, Christ says, this is a minor miracle. Christ calls himself the Son of Man, apparently a title more appropriate than Messiah, for Christ came to die for man and had no political aspirations in the temporal kingdom as Messiah might imply.
In relating the loss of his wife, C.S. Lewis in A Grief Observed noted:
You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death. It is easy to say you believe a rope to be strong as long as you are merely using it to cord a box. But suppose you had to hang by that rope over a precipice. Wouldn’t you then first discover how much you really trusted it?