Summary: What if you got to spend an entire night with Jesus? How would you respond the next day?
Tonight, we are going to do something a little different than normal. Instead of the whole teaching time being interactive, as we have done in the past, this week I am going to share some thoughts, then you are going to take some time to think and process – kind of like we did a few weeks back when we watched the video called Crazy Love – and then after that we’re going to break down into small groups and take some time to share your thoughts.
We’re going to start with a little activity so I want everyone to close their eyes and imagine the scene I am about to describe.
It’s a Friday afternoon and you and two of your friends are down in the center of town just hanging out. You are all laughing and having a great time; eating candy and popping in and out of different stores. After about an hour or so of this, it’s about 4:00pm, one of your friends jumps up and points out your favorite celebrity walking around downtown.
You and your two friends immediately start watching them with excitement and you convince one of your friends with you into going over to them. The two of you start following this celebrity around – going into the same stores, taking pictures of them with your cell phone and trying at the same time not to be too obvious. Eventually though, this celebrity realizes they’re being followed and they turn and ask you and your friend, “What do you want?”
Shyly, you explain you really like them and were curious about where in town they were staying – you knew they didn’t live here but were just visiting. To your surprise and delight, rather than just telling you and your friend where they were staying they actually invite you to come and see and they ask if you want to hang out all night with them.
Absolutely ecstatic, you say yes and run off, you and your friend with your favorite celebrity have an amazing night hanging out, eating junk food, playing video games, talking and telling secretes. In the morning, it’s time to leave but before you go your favorite celebrity lets you know they are going to be in town for a few more days and that you and your friend are welcome to come back and bring others too.
The question I want you to think about is what do you do once you walk out the door?
I think the vast majority, would run home telling anyone you knew what had just happened. When you got home, you’d tell your parents and siblings as you ran up to your bedroom to log on to Facebook and update your status (if you hadn’t done it already) and tell everyone what you just experienced. You would then text a bunch of your closer friends the exciting news and probably make a couple of calls as well trying to invite others to come back with you later that day.
Now, what would you say if your other friend who was with you didn’t respond that way but instead they just kind of shrugged their shoulders and said, “Ehhh that was an ok night. I’m gunna go do my own thing today; I don’t want to go back.” Wouldn’t you think they were crazy? You would be like, “Are you kidding me?!?! You’re not going back? Wasn’t that awesome!?!? You really thought it was an ‘ehhh’ night?”
What if I told you that this was a true story? Except it didn’t just happen to some random celebrity but instead it happened to Jesus after two guys spent an entire night with Him and then each responded differently – one excited and the other “ehhh.”
Let’s open our Bibles to John 1:35-42a and check out exactly what happened.
35 The following day John [the Baptist] was again standing with two of his disciples. [A good way to understand what disciples are is that they are people who follow around a person who they want to learn from.] 36 As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” [There is God in the flesh and blood!] 37 When John’s two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus.
38 Jesus looked around and saw them following. “What do you want?” he asked them. They replied, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”
39 “Come and see,” he said. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon when they went with him to the place where he was staying, and they remained with him the rest of the day. [Now in Jewish times, days were marked by sunrise so when the passage says they stayed with Jesus the rest of the day it means they were with him from 4:00pm until sunrise in the morning].