Archive for March 22nd, 2018

John 1:43-51

John 1:43-51 has the story of Jesus continuing.  Jesus had just met up with Andrew and John, who both had brought their brothers to meet the Master.  Now Jesus is moving on to Galilee, and we see the same type of interaction.  “When he got there, he ran across Philip and said, Come, follow me”.  Philip was from the same hometown as Andrew and Peter – Bethsaida – which is interesting in itself.  But Jesus runs into Philip in the course of life and says three simple words to him: ‘Come follow me’.  Sometimes we are looking for a call from the Lord that is complete with bells and whistles and bright lights.  Jesus doesn’t necessarily work that way.  He simply asks us to come and follow.

It is interesting what Philip does after he meets Jesus.  “Philip went and found Nathanael and told him, We’ve found the One Moses wrote of in the Law, the One preached by the prophets. It’s Jesus, Joseph’s son, the one from Nazareth”!  Philip doesn’t pause, or wonder, or stop at Go and collect $200 (a Monopoly illustration for those who play that game).  He meets Jesus, and just like Andrew, he went and got someone else who needed to meet the Christ.  He didn’t keep the relationship to himself.  He didn’t get what he could from Jesus before sharing him with another.  He met, learned and believed who He was and immediately, without any hesitation, got his friend and dragged him to Jesus.

Guzik says this chapter shows us four ways that people come to know Jesus:

  • Andrew came to Jesus because of the preaching of John.
  • Peter came to Jesus because of the witness of his brother.
  • Phillip came to Jesus as a result of the direct call of Jesus.
  • Nathaniel came to Jesus as he overcame personal prejudices by a personal encounter with Jesus.

When Nathanael heard Philip’s request, he had some serious doubts.  “Nathanael said, “Nazareth? You’ve got to be kidding. But Philip said, Come, see for yourself”.  Philip didn’t try to argue the point – he merely asks his friend to come and see.  Jesus can do the convincing, all we need to do is bring people to meet Him.

The rest of the process of Nathanael coming to know Jesus was all Jesus.  “When Jesus saw him coming he said, “There’s a real Israelite, not a false bone in his body.” Nathanael said, “Where did you get that idea? You don’t know me.” Jesus answered, “One day, long before Philip called you here, I saw you under the fig tree.” Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi! You are the Son of God, the King of Israel!” Jesus said, “You’ve become a believer simply because I say I saw you one day sitting under the fig tree? You haven’t seen anything yet”!  Jesus connected with Nathanael and brought him over the line through a personal encounter.  As Christ Followers, it isn’t our job to try and save people.  In fact, we can’t.  But we can do what Andrew and Philip both demonstrated – bring folks in our patch to meet Jesus.  He’ll take it from there.  All we need to do is to follow Him and then introduce others to the Savior!

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