The Gospel of John, The Presentation of John's Disciples, John 1:35-51, Part I - Lesson 8
Read John 1:35-51
This passage gives a good indication of the fruit of John the Baptist's ministry.
The fruit of his ministry is very similar to that which may be expected by any servant of the Lord who is used by his Master.
We see that the religious leaders of his day rejected the testimony of God.
We see that great crowds were attracted and men of all sorts came to see what was taking place.
We see that only a few were really affected by his message and stood ready to receive the Messiah when he appeared.
This is the pattern that has followed men and women throughout the ages.
The religious leaders scoff and ridicule the man of God, the crowds look for the novel and superficial, but few are really touched in their consciences and their heart.
The passage of scripture we studied last Sunday morning concerned the introduction of the Lamb of God to the official religious establishment in Israel through the delegation that was sent to inquire of John.
These verses we read this morning record the reaction of some of John's disciples to the message which he delivered and the conversion of five of Jesus disciples.
It is interesting to note that the conversion experiences of these disciples were different.
Some responded to a preacher, two were brought to Christ by a brother, and one was found directly by the Lord without the help of others.
God uses many ways to seek and to save those that are lost.
The initial pair were Andrew and probably the author himself, though no name is mentioned.
We may call them the first believers, since they were the first to follow Jesus.
Verses 1:35-37, Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
It was the next day, the third day in a series of days shortly before the Passover.
On the first day in the series we have a delegation, the representatives of the Sanhedrin, questioning and challenging John the Baptist.
On the second day, a declaration, John presents Jesus as the Lamb of God and the Son of God.
Now on this third day we have a decision.
Two of John's followers leave him in order to become followers of Jesus.
John the baptist promoted this move.
The care with which the days are listed here in this and the previous passage suggest that the passage is based upon the recollection of a participant in the events described here.
We believe, of course that these events were so imprinted on the mind of John the Apostle that he carefully set forth the detailed sequence of his first acquaintance with Jesus Christ.
This is certainly true in the life of any believer, is it not, for us to recall the first days of our introduction to the Savior.
John saw Jesus walking nearby and "looking upon Jesus as he walked".
The meaning for "looking upon" means to fix ones gaze upon or to give a penetrating look.
As far as scripture relates to us this may have been the last time John the baptist ever saw Jesus.
John's gaze was accompanied by an exclamation: Behold the Lamb of God!
No other human being had received a direct revelation from heaven as to our Lord's Messiah ship and Divinity.
The previous day John had made a public declaration but this day his exclamation was a personal direction to his disciples.
These two were the unnamed disciple, thought to be John, and Andrew, fishermen by calling.
They had already been baptized by John and were eagerly awaiting the Messiah and Savior.
The day arrived when their trusted teacher, who they knew to be God's prophet, stopped, stood and set his eyes on another and declared, Behold the Lamb of God.
Here did John the Apostle behold the One whom he wrote about with such devotion later, "That which was from the beginning, we have seen and heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the word of life." I John 1:1 Or as Job said, "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye seeth thee." Job 42:5
Notice how John the Baptist did not tell his disciples to follow Jesus but by his statement to behold the Lamb of God he gave them an opportunity to exercise their faith.
So too, our message is to point people to Christ by lifting him up so they can truly behold him.
Two of them quickly transferred their allegiance to Jesus, leaving their teacher's side and hurried after Jesus to catch up with him.
Their tutelage under John was over.
Greater things were in store for them under the new teacher.
John, when an aged Apostle, writes in Rev. 14:4, "These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth."
John had many disciples, these two became disciples of Christ, but others remained in John's company so long as he lived and some continued to regard themselves as his disciples long after he died. Some groups even today claim their group's origin to John the Baptist.
But these two, followed Jesus.
To serve him is to follow him.
To follow him is to obey him and to be disciplined in his way.
To follow his word. To do his word!
Verse 1:38,39, Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour.
Jesus knew what they wanted: his question was intended to give them an opportunity to examine their heart and to know what their heart was set on.
Every heart has its object.
Is it money, fame power, pleasure, or comfort?
Is your heart set on things or is it set on a person?
Is it increased knowledge of Christ, a more intimate acquaintance with him?
This is the same question He asks of us. What seek ye?
It wasn't a "what" they sought, it was a "thou" they sought.
They wanted to get to know him.
They took an indirect route to reach this desire so they asked him where he dwelt; where he was staying. "Where dwellest thou?"
John and Andrew asked.
What better way is there to get to know someone than by going to their dwelling place and spending some time with them.
They longed for fellowship with the One that John the Baptist pointed out as the Lamb of God.
We indeed have to go where Jesus is if we desire to get to know him.
Where is Jesus?
He is at the throne of Grace, he is in his Word.
We can go to him in prayer and we can get to know him by devotion to his Word.
The invitation that they had hoped for came at once when Jesus graciously invited them to "Come and see."
What a simple message this is.
How we complicate the gospel.
This is the simple invitation of the scripture,
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Jesus read their hearts.
He discerned that they sought his presence, his person and his fellowship.
He continues to say to a weary soul, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest."
He knows that He is the answer to every soul's need.
He made us and he, and he alone knows our needs.