Summary: Jesus simply says, "Follow me."
Title: It’s Not That Complicated!
Text: John 1:43-51
The Big Idea: Jesus simply says, “Follow me.”
Sometimes I think we make much more of what it means to be a Christian than is necessary or even intended.
Perhaps you’ve been following the hiring of Josh McDaniels to replace Mike Shanahan as the head coach of the Broncos. Despite his youthfulness, McDaniels has quite a resume. He was the third member of New England Patriots’ coach Belichick’s staff. He moved up the ladder quickly from being a personnel assistant in the scouting department, to assistant on the defensive coaching staff, to quarterback coach, to offensive coordinator and quarterback coach. He is a skillful and proven coach at the age of 32.
Generally, when we look to fill a position we are immediately inclined to look for a strong resume, proven performance, and potential.
However, Jesus is not an NFL franchise owner on the look for a new head coach. Jesus is not the chairman of GM, Ford, or Chrysler, in a hunt for a new CEO who can remake the American auto industry into a viable competitor in the automobile market. Jesus is not even one of two boys on a playground choosing sides for a game of softball or soccer… if he were, who among us would be early picks, and who among us would be the left-overs neither picker wants to pick for his team?
It isn’t anything like that with Jesus… it is true that in our story today, Jesus seems to happen upon or discover those whom he invited to follow him. It is true that we have a sense of being picked or chosen or elected to be followers of Jesus. However, it is also true that those of us who choose to follow Christ, do so because we have discovered who Christ is.
Jesus is for many of us, a discovery.
1. Jesus is an unfolding discovery.
Those who initially became followers of Christ, discovered who he was and is. They discovered, as we discover:
Jesus is the Word
• In the beginning the Word already existed. He was with God, and he was God. He was in the beginning with God… So the Word became human and lived here on earth among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father. John 1:1 – 2 and 14
Jesus is the Lamb of God
• The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! There is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29 (Repeated in 1:35-36)
Jesus in the Messiah
• Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, had heard what John said and then followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah (which means the Christ).” John 1:40-41
Jesus is the One Spoken of by the Prophets
• Philip went off to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, son of Joseph from Nazareth.” John 1:45
Jesus is the Son of God
• And Nathanael replied, “Teacher, you are the Son of God – the King of Israel!” John 1:49
Do you see how the identity of Jesus unfolded to those who followed him? He was the Word of God; the Son of God; the Lamb of God; the Messiah; the one spoken of by the prophets; Jesus; and King of Israel.
On Wednesday, Bonnie and I took a little day trip and while in Colorado Springs we stopped by Living Hope Covenant Church and there displayed on four banner poles along the walk that led to the entrance of the church were banners celebrating Jesus as: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.
In the Christmas story Jesus is identified as “Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” In the same context he is called “Immanuel” which means God is with us in Matthew 1:21-23.
The memory of those powerful lines from Handel’s Messiah ring still in our ears, “King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and he shall reign for ever and ever.” And then there is the more contemporary expression of loving devotion in the reflective singing of Jesus Christ as, “Redeemer, Savior, Friend.”
The gamut of discovery defies our imaginations, but within the gamut from “King of Kings and Lord or Lord and Redeemer, Savior, Friend,” we discover and are drawn to Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior of the world.
But who could possibly rise to meet the criteria necessary to be identified by over 100 descriptive names in the bible? Certainly not Jesus of Nazareth.