I want to welcome you. My name is Tony. For those of you who don’t know me, for those of you who do know me, welcome back. For those of you who are online, I just want to say thanks for changing your time to be with us. Not at nine or 1115, but right here at ten.
In a moment, we’re going going to turn over to John, chapter one, verse 38. So if you have a Bible, you can make your way there. And as we’re turning there, I want to give you a brief update of where we’ve been so far. This series, we have been tracking the Ministry of Jesus. And what we’re doing is we’re looking at everything Jesus said, every interaction Jesus had, everything he did, every person he engaged with.
And we’re doing it as a reminder. We’re doing it in order to learn from him so that we can ultimately be like him. Because our goal in this Church is to elevate the calling of a disciple, and the calling of a disciple is to be a student. And the goal of our life is to be with our teacher, to become like our teacher, and to do as our teacher did. Remember, we started out this series of lessons two weeks ago at the baptism of Jesus.
We talked about his inauguration, his appointing by the Spirit for sacrifice. And we talked about the way the Father just extolled him with grandeur. This is my son and whom I am well pleased. And then we read that Jesus gets up out of that water on the banks of the Jordan River. And then he’s led away by the Spirit of God into the wilderness to be tempted.
What an interesting transition from being anointed as King to being taken into the wilderness to be tempted. And for 40 days and for 40 nights, the devil makes some insidious ploys to destroy him. But Jesus all the while is victorious. He does not fall for Satan and his lies and see it’s on the heels of that victory that we get our next story.
He comes out of the water, into the wilderness and then out of the wilderness, and we find him back on the banks of the Jordan River. Remember, we’ve been using this little map just as a transitional point for us. We find Jesus today in the Southern part of Israel as a whole. He was in the wilderness, and now he has made his way back, sort of over here, more onto the banks of the Jordan River. Jesus was in this Judean terrible, desolate place.
He conquered Satan. And then he walks back to where John the Baptist is. And it’s John the Baptist who first sees him in John chapter one, verse 35 says this. The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. This is two of John the Baptist’s disciples, not Jesus’disciples.
Jesus, at this point has no disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, look, the Lamb of God. Jesus will later call John the Baptist the greatest person who ever lived. And this is his testimony about Jesus.
He is the Lamb of God. John is right where we left him two weeks ago. Jesus comes again, back out of that wilderness, probably just passing by, passing by the place where he has just been baptized. And in verse 36, he repeats, John the Baptist repeats what he said in verse 29 when he says, look, the Lamb of God. Again, we hear this kind of sacrificial vignette is at play here.
Jesus Ministry was a Ministry. Rather, John’s Ministry was a Ministry of repentance. His baptism was a baptism of repentance. He’s down in the Jordan confronting a nation of self righteous people. People who don’t think they need a savior, people who don’t think they need anyone to help them.
They don’t need a lamb. This would have been the dominant worldview of the people around him. The view of the religious establishment. They’re not looking for a lamb. They’re not looking for a sacrifice.
They’re not looking for a savior. What they’re looking for is a King, someone who will help free them from Roman oppression. An Amber Alert goes off. There it is. But John’s message to Jesus. You know what I’m going to do?
I’m going to pray for the person who’s missing. That’s a tornado warning. Even better. I’m not going to pray for anything because Jesus is the master of the storms. God, we pray, Lord, that there is no tornado in our midst.
God, we pray that the only tornado we have is a tornado of your spirit, the Lord teaching us and driving us into your presence. We love you, dad, and praise you in Christ’s name, amen. All right, you’re with me? You’re back here? You’re back here?
All right. Religious establishment not looking for a savior. What they’re looking for is a King, someone who will free them from Roman oppression. But John’s message, John the Baptist’s message, as Jesus passes that crowd that day is, hey, this is what you should be looking for. I know you’re looking for some nobleman.
What you need is this lamb. He comes in the form of a Dove who will be slain, who takes away the sins of the Earth. So we set the scene again, right? John is standing at the banks of the Jordan River. He’s been standing there for at least a couple of months.
And the people from all over Israel are coming to him. The crowd is massive. And this is the message, you need to repent. You need to change. You need a savior.
You need forgiveness. And he’s been preaching this for so long. As long as Jesus has been tempted by the devil, certainly. And then all of a sudden, Jesus just passes by the crowd. And as he’s passing by, John stops his lesson and says, Here is your Lamb.
Here is the one I’ve been talking about that you need here is the one who will take your sins away. And maybe, perhaps John the Baptist uses the Old Testament to illustrate the need of a wounded sacrifice. Maybe he uses Isaiah 53. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering. Yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him and afflicted.
But he was pierced by our transgressions and he was crushed for our iniquities. And the punishment that brought us peace was on him. And by his wounds we are healed. Maybe John’s message is, hey, Isaiah’s prophesied to you the need that someone was going to come, he was going to be ruined for your transgressions, crushed for your iniquities. And here he is, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the Earth.
It would have registered to those who had been listening to Jesus all along, or listening to John the Baptist all along. This is why the very next verse says, when the two disciples heard him, this is John the Baptist’s disciples. When they heard him say him, say this, they followed Jesus.
So here you have these two disciples of John. They’re in the crowd, they heard Jesus say, or they hear John the Baptist say, this is the Lamb. These guys go ahead and gather their belongings and go chase down Jesus. Who are these two disciples? Well, one we’ll find out later is Andrew, the brother of Peter.
But the second one is never named. But do you know who we think it is? More than likely it’s John the Apostle John who wrote the Gospel of John. And how do we know this? Well, the Gospel of John is really precise.
The next day is that the very first verse we read. And in verse 39, he will later say it was 04:00 in the afternoon, which means that he was there, this person was in the presence. And you might remember also that the Apostle John will never mention himself in his own gospel. He would later call himself, starting in chapter 13, the one who Jesus loves, which I think is a pretty cool name. Anyway, this is a good indication that the unnamed disciple is.
So we have Andrew and the unnamed disciple is the Apostle John. Both of these disciples are with John. But at the prompting of John the Baptist and the testimony about Jesus, these two disciples, they gather their things and they chase Jesus down. He was walking by, they grabbed their stuff and they just chased him down. Verse 37, they followed Jesus.
We just read that. And then I love this verse. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, what do you want? I don’t know how he asked that. You could ask this question a lot of different ways.
What do you want? What do you want? I don’t know how he asked the question, but he’s asking, hey, why are you following me? Why are you following me? They knew that John the Baptist had identified Jesus as the Messiah.
These two men had heard that message, and so they chased him down. What do you want? Jesus says. They replied, Rabbi, which means teacher. And I want to stop for a second and talk a little bit about the word Rabbi. Rabbi was a common expression that students use to honor their teachers.
Rabbi, as the scripture says, means teacher. And it’s interesting to me because here you have another element of the character of Jesus given to us by these soon to be disciples. So John the Baptist identifies Jesus as a savior. These few soon to be disciples identify him as a teacher. You guys know this?
Jesus is a teacher. He’s a savior, but he’s also a teacher. Here’s a question, what’s the purpose of a teacher? Well, on the heels of our last story and the classification of Jesus, the classification of Jesus is really important. See, Jesus was just fighting the devil.
And what do we know about the devil? Well, John, chapter eight, verse 44, describes him as a murderer, someone that has no truth, not holding to the truth. He lies. And when he lies, he speaks his native tongue. And he is a liar and the father of lies.
So Satan is a liar, and Jesus is a teacher. The role of the devil is to lie. And also the role of a teacher is to show us the truth. Jesus as a teacher means that Jesus is a truth teller. He’s here to help you understand what is congruent with reality.
Jesus will prove himself as one of the greatest teachers throughout his Ministry. But right here, we’re given his very first look. Jesus wants to teach you and me the truth. That’s one of his roles. He wants to teach you what is true, to help you rewire your brain away from the lies and towards truth.
And Jesus is able to do this through his teaching, through his words, he helps you interpret the world, to flesh out the patterns of your life that lead you astray see, we live in an atmosphere of lies. People lie about everything, how to be happy, what brings joy. People lie about how to have a good relationship. People lie using power and using wealth. We live in the arena of lies.
And one of the great honors of being a disciple of Jesus is that we are a disciple of a truth teller. So they ask the question, hey, Rabbi, they bring on, where are you staying? Another way to say this is, can we spend some time together? He’s like, what do you want? They’re like, hey, Rabbi, you’re the truth teller.
Can I just where are you staying? I want to hang out with you. We want to learn from you. We want to go where you are. We want to sit down.
We want to have a conversation with you. These men want time. They have questions. Remember, they’ve been hanging out with John, so they’ve heard it all, but they don’t know how to put it all together. And so they want to spend time with Jesus.
So they want to examine him. They’re not permanent disciples yet. Later on, they will be disciples. So again, the conversation goes, what do you want? Hey, I want to learn from you.
I want to be with you. I want to know what it means to be like you. And Jesus answers them with immediate invitation. And I just love how approachable Jesus is. Come, he replied, and you’ll see. Hey, what do you want?
We just want to be with you. Come and you’ll see. This is like Matthew, chapter eleven, when Jesus says, Just come and learn from me. I love this. It’s so simple, but it’s discipleship.
It’s so simple, but it’s discipleship. I want to be with Jesus. I know we spent a lot of time talking about this, and certainly we will more. But I spent the majority of this lesson just meditating on those three lines. What do you want?
That’s the question, Rabbi. Where are you staying? Rabbi, can I just be with you and come and you will see. And so many amazing truths came to life that I just want to share with you.
The first thing that amazed me was again, how accessible Jesus was. And by the way, still is. Jesus, I want you just to understand and put this in your brain because it’s so critical. Colossians chapter one says that everything was created by him, for him and through him. He is the author of life.
Hebrews chapter one says he’s the exact representation of God himself. John chapter one says that he is God. He has all authority over all things in heaven and on Earth and under the Earth. Every knee will bow at his name. He is the King and conquers hell, death and the grave.
He is the Lamb of God, and yet he’s accessible.
The universe was made by him. The universe was made by him. And yet on the day after he leaves battle with Satan and his demons and he wins a victorious battle, right, that no one in the history of the Earth has ever been able to conquer since the dawn of time, Jesus is willing to spend the day with two guys who are virtually unknown. Think about it.
How available are the most powerful, influential people in our society? The most powerful celebrities in the world? Could you have a lunch appointment with Jeff Bezos if you wanted it? You certainly couldn’t. How about the President? How about even your state representative?
Could you spend the day with her? How about the random dude at the Hallmark movie? Like the Dlist celebrity? You’d have to call their agent, who would set up a time.
They are not accessible at all. They’re all totally and completely out of reach. But here you have the author of the universe willing to spend the day with these nobodies. They have no pedigree. They aren’t Noble.
They’re just regular old people. And the savior of the world, the Alpha and the Omega, is willing to just hang with them. Oh, and by the way, he’s still willing to engage with men and women just like that, who humble theirselves and see their need for their teacher. I love the song we sang. Jesus.
His arms are open wide. I really believe that. And I also believe that Jesus is always willing to make time for you. Here’s a question. Are you willing to make time for him?
That’s really the crux of the matter for most of us. It’s pretty incredible. The second thing I noted about this interaction was that the disciples answer to the question is just so different from the answers that I think I would give. Let me ask you a question. I want you to just imagine this. Jesus is in the room.
Just imagine. We don’t even know. He’s sitting right next to Tom Hathaway right there, over there. He’s actually sitting there. And I’m preaching.
And all of a sudden I lock eyes. And because he has, like a fire in his eyes or something like that, I notice it’s Jesus. And just imagine, just take yourself there for a second. I’m like the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the Earth.
And Jesus kind of waves his hand and he says, just keep going. And I’m like, he’s like, just finish from the stage. And so I’m like, okay. So I rushed through my notes because I don’t even know what to say because Jesus is here and he’s just listening and he’s smiling and no one’s listening to me. Everyone’s just looking at Jesus.
And at the end of the lesson, everyone gets up or you get up, right? And you stand over and there’s a long line that’s formed around him. And the only question he has for you is, what do you want?
He looks in your eyes and just says, hey, what do you want?
What is your response? Look, whatever it is, I’d imagine not many of us would just say, I want to spend the day with you. And look, I’m not down on the other responses. There are so many other responses in the Bible to similar questions. I’m just noticing that so much of my faith is so self focused.
Jesus asked me what I want, and I have a laundry list of things that I want him to do for me. Lord, could you do this? Could you make sure that my kids become Christians? Lord, could you heal the people who are sick in our Church? Lord, could you take care of whatever I have a laundry list of things that I would be asking him.
Many of us, I would assume, would ask the same thing. They’re good things. Hey, I want my family to be saved. I want my kids to be healed. I want my dad.
I want to be a better dad. I want to be a better spouse. I want to be a better son or daughter. I want wisdom in the decision making for the rest of my life. I want to carry the weight of the things I’m responsible for.
Those are all reasonable responses, but that’s not the answer of these first two disciples. What do you want? I just want to be with you. I just want to hang with you. Where are you staying so I can spend the day with you?
I mentioned this before, but the first principle of discipleship is a desire to be with Jesus. Here’s the question. How much do you want to be with Jesus? This is such a simple question, but your answer to this tells us a lot or tell you a lot about your faith and a lot about your discipleship. How much do you want to be with Jesus?
So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent the day with him. I love that. It was about four in the afternoon. We don’t know where Jesus is staying, but we know that those disciples spend the day traveling there. And by the time they get there, it’s about 400 in the afternoon.
And so they’re going to stay there. They’re going to spend the day with him, and no doubt they’re going to spend the night with him. I can imagine if you started a conversation with the Son of God, sleep wouldn’t be on your agenda. They must have been there all night long. These two men are not in a rush.
There are no crowds. There is kind of an interesting parallel between the start of Jesus Ministry and the very end of Jesus Ministry, because Jesus will later on call a couple of disciples and spend the day with them. Luke chapter 24 tells us the story of the road to Emmaus. Jesus spends the day with disciples traveling down the road, and then after they travel down the road, he sits with them in the house. And the Bible tells us that he uses the scriptures to talk about himself.
I would imagine this is the conversation that Jesus having with those disciples. The first conversations like the last, he opens the Scriptures, he’s like, look, Isaiah was talking about me. And look, you know where it says in Genesis, chapter three that a son will smash the head of the serpent? That’s me. And maybe he walks through, he’s like, you know what?
Moses was an archetype of me and Isaac, you know, he was being sacrificed? Well, that was God giving you a picture of what’s going to happen with me. I mean, I would give just about anything to be in the room with Jesus that day, to sit at that table, to ask him questions. The discussion obviously goes really good because verse 4 he says Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, who, by the way, Andrew is the first person who ever follows Jesus. But he will forever be known as Simon Peter’s brother because Simon Peter kind of cast a pretty big shadow.
He was one of the two who had heard what John said and who had followed Jesus. I love this next line. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and go tell him, we have found the Messiah. That is the Christ. Andrew is convinced by a night of engaging with Jesus that Jesus really is who John the Baptist said he was.
He goes to find his brother, which means that Simon is probably with John the Baptist. Maybe he was one of John the Baptist’s disciples. They go back from where Jesus is staying, back to the banks of the Jordan River, and he finds Simon. Maybe he wakes him up. Is he sleeping?
I don’t know. But he’s like we have found the Messiah. Messiah is a Hebrew word. Christ is the Greek word. Both of them mean the same thing.
Anointed one. We have found the anointed one. No equivocation, no hesitation, no doubt. This is the one we have been looking for. I’ve examined him.
I know who he is. And so what does it say? He found him in the next line and he brought him to Jesus.
This, by the way, is how the Kingdom grows. It’s you being convinced of Jesus telling someone about Jesus and bringing them to Jesus. This is how it happens. Certainly you have preachers who preach to crowds, but that’s not really how the Kingdom grows. The Kingdom grows one soul at a time, one person talking to another person about what they found in Jesus.
Are you out of practice in that Avenue? I imagine many of us are considering the Pandemic, but I want to encourage you. If you have been blessed by Christ, tell someone about it. If your life has been changed through the Ministry of Jesus, open your mouth and have a conversation with someone else. This is how the Kingdom grows.
And so here comes Andrew. He’s dragging Peter along. Jesus looks at him, at Simon and says, you are Simon, son of John or son of Jonah. You are Simon. That must have been caused for a little shock from Peter.
Hey, how do you know who I am? No worries. You will be called Cephas, which translated is Peter. You will be called Cephas. Cephas is an Aramaic word.
Peter is the Greek form of the same word. Both of the words mean the same thing. You will be called rock or stone. Jesus is predicting what Peter will become. It’s going to be a tough journey, certainly for Peter to get there.
But Peter will one day be a rock. And in Matthew chapter 16 through the confession of Peter, Jesus looks at him and says, you are a rock. You are him. You are Peter. And on the stone of your good confession.
On the rock of your confession, I will build my Church.
It’s pretty awesome. I love this and I love this so much because it reminds me of a principle of Jesus that even goes till today. Jesus is saying, I not only know you, but I know what you’re going to become.
Jesus doesn’t only know you, he knows what you’re going to become. Jesus has vision for your life in a world where not many people think of what you could be and not very many people hope for you. Jesus still has hope of you becoming something greater than you are right now. The end is in sight and it’s more glorious than you think it is. For Peter, it was becoming a rock and it’s pretty amazing.
This section concludes with that interaction. And then there’s another section and we’re not going to read it. We’re going to talk about it next week. See, this first little group is Andrew, John and Peter. Next week we’ll read about Philip and Nathaniel.
But there are more people that are in the same little group. People like James and Thomas. And altogether there will be at the end of Jesus Ministry, seven Galilean fishermen, seven absolute nobodies who start out as the core of the disciples of Jesus. Who become Apostles of Christ. Who become the first preachers of the gospel of Jesus, who become the first missionaries who take the message of Christ to the ends of the Earth.
It’s amazing to me as I look at this idea that God not only knows who you are, but who you will be. It’s amazing to me how the Lord chooses insignificant people. Because if I was building my dream team, it wouldn’t be these guys. It would be like John the Baptist. Like I would bring John the Baptist along.
Maybe there’s a couple of Pharisees who are really smart. I’d be building with Nicodemus and these guys who later on show power. Maybe I’ll call Pontius Pilate. It’d be like Pilate, Nicodemus, John the Baptist. My group would be dope.
But these guys, they’re no ones. Jesus doesn’t try to find the best of every given city. He just takes guys that are good hearted. They all live in the same area. They all make a living the same way.
They’re all fishermen, they’re all dirty. And he turns these nobodies into world changers. That’s what he does for Peter. And it’s amazing because that’s what he can do for you too. I love that he could take a nobody.
God calls the Lowlies, the nothings, the nobodies, the insignificance. And it’s them he uses to launch his gospel. The seed planted by John the Baptist becomes a tree that gives life and fruit to the whole world. There are no rabbis in this group. There are no priests, there are no Sadducees, there are no Pharisees.
There are no scribes. There are no religious establishment people just humble old people. Look, if you’re willing to be humble, God can do something really great with you. If you’re willing to humble yourself, God can do something amazing with you. So let me just kind of hit the things that I think are really important for you to remember.
First, Jesus is a Rabbi. He’s a teacher. He’s trying to take away the lies that have been ingrained in your mind and bring truth to those lies. Jesus is accessible, which means that he’s willing to spend time with you if you are willing to spend time with him. And Jesus is willing if you humble out and you come to him, he’s willing to make something great out of you.
It’s pretty amazing. Two quick practicals. Actually, really one quick practical. One quick practical.
And we’ll pray for Communion. Here’s the practical. You’re ready for it? Spend more time with Jesus.
That’s it. I want to encourage you to cancel something in your hectic schedule to spend more time with Jesus.
Some of us have filled our schedules to the brim. And so we believe that spending time with Christ is a burden to us. Oh, Lord, help us if that’s the case. Spend some more time with Jesus. Well, I already spend 15 minutes.
We’ll spend 25 minutes. I already spend an hour. We’ll spend 2 hours. Spend some time with Jesus. Cancel something.
Cancel something. Stop doing something. So you could spend a little bit more time with Jesus. And as you do it, his truth will wash over you and the lies will go away. And what will happen is that you will become a disciple or a better disciple of Jesus Christ.
Amen. Let’s pray. God. We Lord, just thinking about the picture of your son being in this room today gives me goosebumps. Lord.
I can’t even begin to express what that would do for my heart, what that would do for so many of our hearts. Got to have him physically present among us to be able to ask questions and get answers and for him to listen to us. And all of that, just that picture of that is so overwhelming to me. And then I remember that we have that same access every moment of every day. We have you accessible through prayer.
We can speak to Jesus and speak to you, Lord, whenever we want to. And we have your words accessible in your scriptures, Lord. And yet we don’t take advantage of it. God, teach us to be people that want to be with you more. Want to spend more time with you.
Want to know who you are, God, Lord. And I just want to say thank you. Thank you for showing us an example of everything that is right in life. Thank you for showing us an example of how Christ was willing to be with you as he got away from the crowds. God, I pray we can do that same thing, Lord.
And I thank you for the example that Jesus showed us through his life, Lord I also thank you for the example he showed us through his death that on the tree he hung he was nailed to it he was wounded for our trespasses he was poured out his wine was or rather his blood was poured out and today we take Communion, we remember that we remember that blood poured out and Lord, as we think about his body broken as we take the bread, Lord, we remember that body that was broken and we do this as just a reminder of everything that Christ was of the way he sacrificed so that we could live a life worthy of your calling. God, we love you so much. We thank you we thank you for this time of prayer. We thank you for these scriptures. I thank you for the disciples heart.
I pray I can be like them, Lord that I will drop everything to want to spend time with you. I love you, dad. I praise you in Christ’s name. Amen.