may see the beginnings of much in this passage.
Joh 1:29-51 NIV
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of
God, who takes away the sin of the world! (30)
This is the one I meant when I said, 'A man who comes after me has surpassed me
because he was before me.' (31) I myself did
not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be
revealed to Israel." (32) Then John gave
this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and
remain on him. (33) I would not have known
him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on
whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the
Holy Spirit.' (34) I have seen and I testify
that this is the Son of God."
Jesus' First Disciples
(35) The next day John was there again with two of his
disciples. (36) When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God!"
(37) When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. (38)
Turning 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. (40) Andrew, Simon
Peter's brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had
followed Jesus. (41) The first thing Andrew
did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, "We have found the
Messiah" (that is, the Christ). (42) And
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).
Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael
(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."
Names of Christ
of the little gems of this passage is the list of names given to our Savior.
We must remember that names in this culture meant far more than they do in
name often set expectations. You will recall Nabal (which means “fool”)
in the Old Testament. Many names ended in –el, which is one of the names
of God. Daniel, for example, means “God is my judge.”
name might also honor a relative, though we rarely find father and son
with the same name.
most important, names and titles are more blurred together at this time.
A similar thing happened with English names when we began to use
surnames. John the butler became John Butler; Joe the iron smith became
this is by no means a complete list of the titles of Christ,
it does provide us with a clear vision of who Jesus is:
- Lamb of God – John sees our Lord as the sacrifice which will bring
redemption to mankind. From this we may know that Jesus ministry must
come through the Cross.
- Son of God – a practical title, given the incarnation, but also
one which correctly reflects the relationship between Christ and the
Father. Christ is the obedient son, who does his Father’s will.
- Rabbi –
the word here is difficult to translate correctly. It is more than
“teacher” in the English. Teachers in those days did not have students,
they made disciples. A teacher poured into his students both his
knowledge and his love for the subject.
- Messiah, or Christ – Meaning, “the anointed one,” it
carries with it the idea that this is the one selected by God. Jesus did
not appoint himself as the Christ; god the Father sent him on that
- King of Israel – It is the claim of Jesus of Nazareth that he is, by
right of inheritance as well as divine appointment, the King of Israel, in
direct line of succession from David. A man may be the rightful king without
being recognized as such.
- Son of Man – Christ’s favorite title, it contains within it a
It means not only that Christ is completely human, it also means that he
was prophesied to come and establish his eternal kingdom.
is instructive to go back through this passage again – gleaning some thoughts
on evangelism, person by person.
is a disciple of John, and it is John’s testimony which convinces him to follow
Jesus. Now, John is no miracle worker, but one who calls to repentance. We
may therefore presume that Andrew has so repented, and is being instructed by
John. His change of leadership is therefore somewhat surprising. He exchanges
John – whose ministry tells you that he is from God – for Jesus. John’s
testimony must, therefore, have been very compelling. Andrew must also have
been free of the “my guru is better than your guru” style of thought.
logically follows up on this. He goes to get Peter. Once convinced, he is in
100%. He will share the good news without hesitation. The thrust of his
message can be found in three words:
have found… it’s a group effort, not a solo flight. Christianity requires
a group, called the church.
have found … We did not create him, or anoint him – we found him.
It is not our doing but our discovery.
have found the Messiah … There is only one.
is directly called by Christ. What made him respond to such a call? His
knowledge of the Scriptures, knowing the Law and the Prophets. The virtue of
reading the Scriptures is herein proclaimed.
T. Barnum would have had no use for this man. As Barnum said, “You cannot
cheat an honest man.” That’s just what Nathanael was: a man with no element
of dishonesty, scheming or deception in him. What you saw was what you got.
does not mean, however, that the man was naïve. Indeed, his first reaction is
that this Jesus is from Nazareth, which is not a very reputable town,
evidently. (Picture a great evangelist coming out of Las Vegas.) He also
knows that the Christ is to be born in Bethlehem. So this fellow seems very
reply – “come and see” – says a great deal about Philip’s character. He is
seen as a reliable witness, so Nathanael tries it. Christ is the one who
few observations pose questions for us as disciples:
Are we students of
the Scripture, knowing that in them we find eternal life?
Do we bring others
Is our character
such that others can rely on us?
Are we honest
enough to “come and see?”
Are we honest
enough to “come and be seen?”
Joh 2:1-12 NIV Jesus
Changes Water to Wine
the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was
there, (2) and Jesus and his disciples had
also been invited to the wedding. (3) When
the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no more
wine." (4) "Dear woman, why do you
involve me?" Jesus replied, "My time has not yet come." (5) His mother said to the servants, "Do
whatever he tells you." (6) Nearby stood
six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each
holding from twenty to thirty gallons. (7) Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the
jars with water"; so they filled them to the brim. (8) Then he told them, "Now draw some out and
take it to the master of the banquet."
They did so, (9) and the master of the
banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize
where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then
he called the bridegroom aside (10) and said,
"Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after
the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till
now." (11) This, the first of his
miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed his
glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.
Jesus Clears the Temple
(12) After this he went down to Capernaum with his
mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days.
me a definition: a miracle is
contravention of natural law (think physics here),
in the divine style (water becomes wine, stones don’t become bread)
a significant religious context
the purposes of God.
first is evident, as is the second. The disciples provide the context – so we
may now ask, for what purposes?
you want to convince people, it helps to have impartial witnesses who will
testify on your behalf.
the servants. They are likely enough to be sober, and they know for a
fact how heavy those jars were when they filled them to the brim.
He’d better be sober; and it’s clear from his reaction to the wine that he
knows the good stuff from the cheap.
the bridegroom likewise. He’s plastered, of course. He also is paying
for the wedding, and it now appears he failed to be prudent about his wine
cellar. He’ll never live it down. His only defense is the miracle.
example of Mary
might just be the main purpose. Mary has provided Christ’s disciples with a
“teachable moment.” It should be clear to them that Mary knows him better than
anyone else. So he permits them to see, if you will, “how Mary does it” in the
hope that it will rub off on them.
she knows his response to obedience. When she tells the servants
to “do whatever he tells you,” she is inviting God in the flesh to honor
that obedience. She is confident of his response.
she relies on Him to decide the method. She does not order Christ to do
it in any particular way; she sets forth the problem and provides such
resources as are available. It is “faith and means,” not “means and
all this, she trusts his arrangements, not her own. She trusts him.
on the new disciples
disciples have walked with him to Cana of Galilee; now they will walk with him
to Capernaum. It has confirmed their desire to be with him. But this instance
has also “revealed his glory” to the disciples – and then they trusted him.
is an example to follow: grant him obedience, follow where he leads and see
his glory revealed.