Summary: The effects of John’s sermon: “Behold the Lamb of God!”
Today we’re going to read what may be the shortest sermon ever preached and its powerful results. John the Baptist is the forerunner of Christ; picture him dressed in his camel hair cloak preaching and baptizing every day:
Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; 36And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
That’s it! “Behold the Lamb of God.” There’s no hook, no practical advice, no jokes, and no stories. There are no props, gimmicks, strategies or stats. It’s simple and straight to the point: it’s all about Christ. So many churches and preachers today try to get people interested in Jesus with some kind of carnal appeal, but it’s enough to merely point to Him.
Now, look at the effects:
37And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
There’s no discipleship program, waiting time, or new member’s class. They hear, see, and follow. The best kind of conversion is one that isn’t manufactured or manipulated. No one had to tell these two men who to follow once He’d been pointed out because leaving John for Jesus was the only thing that made sense.
38Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye?
Imagine that! They start out after Him, He stops and turns to face them, and then asks, “What are you seeking?” It’s one thing to ask “who do people say that I am,” but it’s even more penetrating to ask this: “Why are you following me?” What do you want? Healing? Glory? Entertainment? Enlightenment?
Look at their answer:
They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?
First, they call Him Master. They’re ready to submit to Him, and their request is simple: where do you live? Doesn’t this make you think of Psalm 27:4? One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.
39He saith unto them, Come and see.
What a relief His answer must have been to them. He didn’t mind being followed, and in fact, He even invited them to come see for themselves where He was staying.
They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.
The tenth hour is about 4:00 in the afternoon. Think about how amazed everyone was when Jesus spoke at the temple as a boy; how amazed do you think these two men were to have a whole afternoon with Jesus at His house? We’re not given any details, but whatever was said made an impression on one of them:
40One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.
He’s so certain from this conversation that he finds his brother to tell him, “We’ve found the Messiah.” “Messiah” means “Christ” or Χριστός (Christos) in the Greek, and this word means to rub something on someone. Specifically, it was used to describe the anointing of a king when oil was rubbed on his forehead. By calling Jesus the Χριστός Andrew is saying, “We’ve found God’s long-awaited and anointed King. So obviously this is a big deal. Since Adam fell in the Garden the whole world has been waiting on this one person. Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Samuel, David, all the prophets, and every saint up until this time have looked forward hoping for it to come soon. If Andrew is wrong he could get himself in a lot of trouble. The secular authority can crucify him as a traitor and the religious authority can make his life miserable, so to start calling someone Messiah is serious.
But apparently Simon is curious enough,
42And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.
This might seem a little strange, but “Simon” means a “confederate in evil”. And Jesus changes his name to mean “a stone.” Now, over in Matthew 16 Jesus asks His disciples who they think He is, “And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (:16-18).