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Sep 16

What would it be like if you were Jesus’ first disciple?

After John’s introduction to his gospel, he began his account of events in Jesus’ life.

John the Baptist

He began with John the Baptist’s testimony to questions by representatives from the religious leaders in Jerusalem.

The testimony of witnesses was very important to John. Real people saw real things and said real words about what they saw. John would describe himself as a witness later in the Gospel and he began his first letter reminding his readers that he saw and heard Jesus. (John 21:24; 1 John 1:1-4)

Priest and Levites from Jerusalem

John the Baptist told the priests and Levites sent by the leaders in Jerusalem that he was not the Messiah. He was a witness announcing that the Messiah was coming and people needed to be prepared. Those who were sent by the leaders were educated people. They knew the traditions of the Jews. They questioned John about who he was and why he was baptizing. He answered clearly and humbly. He was a servant and was not even worthy to do filthy, humiliating service for the Messiah who would follow. (John 1:19-28)

John the Baptist’s words about Jesus

The day after he spoke to them he make another statement about Jesus. He saw Jesus coming toward him and gave a clear message:

Jesus was the Messiah

Jesus existed before John. This would be provoking for those who know the details because John was born a few months before Jesus

John saw the Holy Spirit descend on Jesus when he baptized him

John closed his statement clearly stating he had seen it and was a witness. Jesus was the Son of God. John 1:20-34)

John the Baptist moves to the background

The next day John began the process fading into the background as Jesus’ public ministry began. He pushed two of his disciples to leave him and follow Jesus.

In the next few verses John the writer of the gospel gave an account which summarizes the essence of the life of a follower of Jesus.

These disciples asked Jesus where he was staying and he gave them an invitation to come and see. When they realized who Jesus was they began to bring other people to him.

Jesus and his first disciples invite more followers

There will be more invitations from Jesus and his disciples. They will invite more and more people to come to him.

In this account John also recorded what happens when a person comes to Jesus. Jesus takes possession of them. He owns them. When Andrew told his brother Peter that he had found the Messiah, he brought Peter to Jesus. The first thing Jesus did was to change his name from Simon to Peter. There are a number of times in the Bible where God and various people change someone’s name. Each time they make it clear that they own that person. When you come to Jesus your life is changed. You are now owned by God, your Messiah. (John 1:35-42)

The next day the process continues. Jesus finds Philip and tells him to follow him. Philip found Nathaniel and told him that he had found the Messiah and brought him to Jesus. When Jesus called Nathaniel he told him that he saw him before Philip called him, Nathaniel said that Jesus was truly the Messiah. Jesus assured that he would have greater experiences as he journeyed with Jesus. (John 1:36-51)

Questions for consideration:

What are the evidences that you are owned by Jesus?

What would it be like if you were Jesus’ first disciple?

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