Sunday’s Scripture – September 19, 2021
We began our “Follow Jesus” series last week in Mark 8. The good news is that Jesus invites us to follow him. The seemingly bad news is that it’s going to mean giving up our right to ourselves. But the best news is that “those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.” (Mark 8:35) Jesus asks us to do hard things, yes. But with Jesus, death is never the end of the story.
We continue our “Follow Jesus” series in John 1:35-51 with John’s account of how Jesus called his first disciples. Andrew, who was already a disciple of John the Baptist, was the first. Notice how John the Baptist is not worried about losing followers to Jesus. He knows his role to prepare the way of the Lord, to point to the Lamb of God. Notice also that John the Baptist was standing with two disciples when Jesus walked by and John pointed out who he was. Whatever happened to the other one?
Perhaps what is most interesting about John’s account of how Jesus called the first disciples is that Jesus doesn’t do much of the calling. He seems to start gaining those first followers mostly through word of mouth. First, John tells Andrew. Andrew tells his brother Simon, who Jesus will rename Peter. Jesus does invite Philip to “follow me.” But then it’s Philip who brings a cynical Nathanael, inviting him to “come and see.”
As we answer the call to follow Jesus for ourselves, we ought to bring others with us. The example this story gives is to proclaim Jesus as Lord and Messiah. That’s what John did for Andrew. It’s what Andrew did for Simon, and it’s what Philip did for Nathanael. And, if someone is reluctant, as Nathanael was, a pretty good response is “come and see.”
Or maybe you’re the reluctant one! Don’t take someone else’s word for it! Come and see for yourself who Jesus is.
John chose to include some interesting details in the call of Jesus’s first disciples. For example, he tells us what time of day it is. And his first conversations with the disciples seem a bit obscure. It’s worth reading and contemplating for yourself. It just might be what “come and see” means for you this week.
- Have you accepted the call to follow Jesus? (Remember: It will mean death to yourself) Have you begun to invite others too?
- Who in your life can you invite to “come and see?”
- Will you spend some time with this passage of Scripture this week?