THE DISCIPLES FOLLOW
To begin I want to take you back to verses 29. John the author of this gospel wants everyone to believe that Jesus is the Christ, and that He is the Son of God; and to get people to believe, John gives us the eye-witness testimony of John the Baptist.
So, in vs. 29 John tells us that Jesus came to John the Baptist and John the Baptist sees Him coming and he cries out, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
When John says that he is referring to a concept that every Jew would understand. They had been to the temple; they had seen the temple priests and what they do with a lamb; they may have even offered up a lamb as a sin sacrifice for themselves.
Now, we have no way of knowing if Jesus heard what John said but if He did it didn’t deter Jesus because when John says, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” he has just announced to Jesus and everyone there that would listen, “This man is going to die for the sin of the world.”
Now, what does it mean when John says, “He will take away the sin of the world”;
And when He takes away the sin of the world it is a provision that is so big, and so generous and that is so rich that He does it for the whole world.
So, John sees Jesus coming and look what he says starting in vs. 30: John says, “This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ 31 “And I did not recognize Him (John knew that there was a “Man” who ranked higher” than he did, he just didn’t know who he was.),
31 “And I did not recognize Him but in order that He might be manifested (revealed) to Israel, I came baptizing in water.”
32 And John bore witness saying, “I have beheld the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. 33 “And I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ 34 “And I have seen, and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”
Again, John says, “I did not recognize Him; John may have known Jesus, they were 2nd cousins; but when John says, “I didn’t recognize Him”, John is saying “I didn’t know that He was the Messiah, the Son of God; but when John saw the Spirit descend on Jesus and remain there, John realized who Jesus was and look at vs. 34.
We sing a song and what does it say: #176 Your only Son no sin to hide…
Now, let’s go to the verses that were read. Vs. 35: Again the next day John was standing with two of his (John’s) disciples, 36 and he looked upon Jesus as He walked, and said, “Behold (Look), the Lamb of God!”
Vs. 37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38 And Jesus turned, and beheld them following, and said to them, “What do you seek? (What do you want?)
Why did Jesus ask this question? Did He not know the answer?
Many times God will ask the questions and He doesn’t do that because He doesn’t know the answer.
In the garden after Adam sinned, God said, “Adam, where are you? God knew where Adam was. He wanted Adam to think about how far he had moved from God.
Jesus said to His disciples, “Who do men say that I am?” He knew the answer. He wanted them to answer that and consider what people were saying.
In John 5, Jesus asks the paralyzed man, “Do you wish to get well?’ IF people didn’t understand what was going on they would think that is a very cruel question to ask.
So, sometimes God will ask the question to get us to think about our motives.
So, Jesus asks the disciples, “What do you seek?” or “What do you want?”; and look at what they say, “Where are you staying?”
And look at vs. 39. Jesus doesn’t give them information. Instead He gives them an invitation: “Come and you will see.”
Vs. 39 They came therefore and saw where He was staying; and they stayed with Him that day, for it was about the tenth hour.
40 One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He found first his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which translated means Christ). 42 He brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him, and said, “You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).
43 The next day He purposed to go forth into Galilee, and He found Philip. And Jesus said to him, “Follow Me.”
44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
46 And Nathanael said to him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?”
Well, instead of arguing with Nathanael, Philip simply says, “Come and see. ”
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!”
49 Nathanael answered Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.”
50 Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these.” 51 And He said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you shall see the heavens opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
So, let me ask, “Are the testimonies of these witnesses important? Sure they are! In fact, they are vital and let me give you two reasons why their testimony is so important.
30 Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
And here is the second reason why the testimony of these three witnesses is so important.
There are a lot of people, several right here in Brady who will tell you, “You know, Jesus was a good man, a good teacher, a good example, and we will even say that he worked a few miracles. But the Son of God, he is not! The Lamb of God, he is not! God in human form, he is not!”
So, who do you say Jesus is? Is He the Lamb of God who can take away your sin? Is He the Christ, the Messiah, the anointed One sent from God; is He the Son of God who is to be followed and obeyed?
Or is He nothing more than a good man; and is all of this just a fairy tale and myth?