Sermons

Summary: Andrew’s witness to Peter and Philip’s witness to Nathanael provide rich lessons for effective evangelism.

Coming to Jesus

Fortifying the Foundations #4

John 1:35-52

3-21-03

Intro:

We come to a passage this morning that is full of instruction on coming to Jesus and leading others to Christ. How do we interact with people so that they can come to the Lord? How does the Lord deal with us and with others in bringing us to Himself?

What can we learn about the process of evangelism in this text?

Follow as we read: John 1:35-2:1

35The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God!"

37When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus.

38Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, "What do you want?"

They said, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "where are you staying?"

39"Come," he replied, "and you will see."

So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him. It was about the tenth hour.

40Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, "We have found the Messiah" (that is, the Christ). 42And he brought him to Jesus.

Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas" (which, when translated, is Peter).

43The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, "Follow me."

44Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45Philip found Nathanael and told him, "We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote-Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."

46"Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" Nathanael asked.

"Come and see," said Philip.

47When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, "Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false."

48"How do you know me?" Nathanael asked.

Jesus answered, "I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you."

49Then Nathanael declared, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel."

50Jesus said, "You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that." 51He then added, "I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."

NIV

There in verse 35 is John the Baptist with two of his disciples. They are probably discussing the monumental events that have occurred in the last two days. John has been preaching to huge crowds. His ministry has hit an all time high. The common people hear him gladly. The religious have been coming to see what’s going on. Two days earlier a phenomenal thing happened: Jesus showed up! John saw him in the crowd and told the people, “He is here with us today. Messiah is right here!” He did not point Jesus out that day. He left them in suspense as to Who He was. But the introduction of Jesus for His public ministry had begun. Yesterday, Jesus showed up again. This time, as Jesus approached him, John knew it was time to point Him out. Verse 29-“Look, the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.” That day every eye turned toward Jesus.

Our text tells us how five disciples came to Jesus. Do not confuse these events with those recorded in Matthew 4:18-22. Those events in Matthew occur later. Here John is telling us about how these men first came to know Jesus. This is their call to salvation, to follow Jesus as disciples. Matthew records their call to ministry, to leave their fishing occupation and serve with Jesus.[1]

First we see coming to Jesus,

I. Andrew and the Other Disciple (verses 35-40)

Here is John talking with these two disciples about Jesus, about the exciting events that had just occurred—it’s all on his mind, it’s the subject of their conversation, the Lamb of God has come. Then John glanced out of the corner of his eye, and low and behold, there is Jesus walking right past them. Verse 36 John says, “Look, the Lamb of God—there He is, right there!”

John had already taught his disciples that Jesus is the One to follow, not him. “He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie." [2]

These disciples knew exactly what to do. They seized the moment and went after Jesus. Immediately they walked away from John and followed Jesus.

There stands John all alone. He has essentially fulfilled his mission. He has prepared the way. He has pointed others to Christ. He has persuaded these followers to follow Jesus. Is this solitude of defeat? Does John stand there alone because he has in someway failed? No! This is majestic solitude. And John stands there as a majestic figure having done the will of the Father.

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