Summary: Jesus Christ is our Leader. He said to Philip “follow Me.” He expects all who believe to give up their lives and follow Him into service and ministry to others. Jesus Christ is Lord. He is Deity and Majesty. He reigns on high. He is the sovereign Ruler
Let’s open our Bibles this morning to John chapter 1, where we have been studying for the past 3 months now. We have come to the end of the chapter today.
As you are turning, let me tell you about a rock band that came on the scene in the early 1970’s, a band by the name of Led Zeppelin. They became one of the most popular rock bands in history. One song in particular grabbed the heart and soul of world, it was called “Stairway to Heaven.” This song talks about a woman who thinks her happiness lies in money, and she’s convinced that money and material possessions are a path to true happiness. She thinks money will buy her a stairway to heaven.
The desire she had to escape into a fantasy world up above all the problems is a universal desire. We all share this desire to be rid of problems, to be free from heartache and sadness, to live in eternal happiness. What the lady did not understand is that money buys a phony happiness, a fake heaven.
But you know what I want to say to you this morning? There really is a pathway to eternal happiness. There really is a stairway to heaven. And His Name is Jesus. Let’s read our next section in John chapter 1 and I think we will see this truth:
43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, "Follow me." 44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 Philip 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. 47 When 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." 49 Then Nathanael declared, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel." 50 Jesus said, "You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that." 51 He 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." John 1:43-51 (NIV)
And in that last verse Jesus declares Himself to be the real Stairway to Heaven, the One Who opened heaven for us. He is our Ladder whereby we might get to God, and enjoy the real Paradise throughout all eternity. Let’s pray together as we consider this passage.
This passage in John chapter 1 shows us that that Jesus Christ is 3 things:
Jesus is the Leader: He said, “Follow Me”
Jesus is the Lord: He accepts the title “Son of God and King of Israel”
Jesus is the Ladder:
Now as a reminder of where we have come from, we have just completed studying about Jesus as the Lamb. John announced Him as the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world, in verses 29-36. Then we saw the first two disciples desire to “Live with the Lamb” to find out where He way staying and spend the day with Him, verses 37-39, and out of the overflow of the time spent with Jesus they had a desire to “Lead others to the Lamb”, that’s verses 40-42, and finally we saw that Simon would be a Life transformed by the Lamb in verse 42. Simon, sinking sand, would become Peter, the solid rock, because Jesus Christ transforms hearts and lives, and makes people into new creations where the old is gone, the new has come.
But now we see this Lamb moving, He goes to Galilee on a mission; He is going to find all those whom God had given to Him, and He will not lose one of them, so He goes to Galilee and finds Philip and says, “Follow Me.” Jesus calls Philip to come after Him, to be His disciple, to walk in His steps, to follow the Leader.
And so we see that Jesus is not only a Lamb Who takes away the sin of the world, but He is also the Shepherd Who leads those He redeems. I love this about Jesus: as the Lamb He suffers and bleeds and dies to forgive us, to remove our guilt, to wipe our slate clean. But as the Shepherd He leads us beside quiet waters, He guides us in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake. Jesus Christ is both Lamb and Shepherd, Lamb and Leader all in One.