The Witness of Jesus' First Followers

John 1:40-51

One of the two disciples who followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.  So he found his brother and told him that they had found the Messiah, the Christ, God's anointed and chosen One.  When Andrew brought Peter to Jesus in verse 42;

...Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of John.  You will be called Cephas" (which, when translated, is Peter).

Andrew brought Peter to Jesus.  And Jesus told Peter he would be His rock.  Jesus was calling him to be the head of His Church right there, built on solid rock.  "Rock" literally means faith built on a strong foundation, the bedrock.  It becomes unmovable.   John the Baptist knew this quite well.  He said that he must decrease, so that Jesus could increase.

Look at the enthusiasm that Andrew has. This is often called the "Andrew Effect."  What is this effect?  It is wanting to witness to everyone the good news of finding Jesus in your life, and hoping they will find it in theirs.  It's the reason we talk to people about the Lord.  It's the reason we get excited.   How do we get the Andrew Effect?  We don't get it by chance, or by osmosis.  We get it by setting ourselves apart for God from the getgo.

The next day Jesus went to Galilee and found Philip.  Now Philip was from Bethsaida, where Andrew and Peter were from.

Philip called Him Jesus of Nazareth, a person.  Nathaniel called Him the Son of God.   John weaves those two ideas into the words of two different witnesses.  The Philip Effect is the same as the Andrew Effect.  When you find out who Jesus is, you tell somebody right away.  Those to whom the Son wishes to reveal the Father come to know Him right away.  Jesus has to reveal it, or you will never know.  The person has to witness.   One is sovereign, the other is of the free will.  Both are necessary. 

One little village, Bethsaida, produces six apostles.  This is a very pagan spot.  Jesus is calling true believers from the darkest places. 

Philip found Nathaniel and told him they had found the One Moses and the prophets had spoken about in the entire OldTestament, in verses 45-46; 

"...We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote--Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."  "Nazareth!  Can anything good come from there?" Nathanial asked.  "Come and see," said Philip.

Jesus and Nathaniel spoke in verses- 47-49;

When Jesus saw Nathaniel approaching, He said of him, "Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false."   "How do you know me?" Nathaniel asked.  Jesus answered, "I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you."  Then Nathaniel declared, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel."

Nathaniel, like David, was a man after God's own Heart.  Nathaniel had gone under the fig tree to pray alone, and he had a vision of heaven with God talking to him.  When Jesus said, "Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false," the voice was the same one from the vision.    

One of the two disciples who heard John the Baptist say to follow Jesus was Andrew.  The other one is the mytery disciple. 

Why didn't John ever tell us the identity of this mystery disciple?   Maybe, John wanted those who read his gospel to insert their own name.  Think about it.  He is saying that there were these people who were always seeking, always wanting to know when the Messiah came, wanting to be close to the Lord.  If you put your name in the place of the mystery disciple, you will always hear Jesus calling your name to believe in Him and follow Him.   What was Jesus trying to do?  He was trying to seek and to save those who were lost. 

I am so glad I was lost!  Are u glad you heard Jesus calling your name?  Everyone who responds in faith, even though we have never seen Him, will be given the title of the disciple who Jesus loved.  Is that encouraging or what?

I think that John purposely writes this masterful gospel so that every person will come to a living, personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  The entire gospel is written as a one-on-one personal encounter.  Everything Jesus says is personal.  "I Am the Way, and the Truth, and the Light" - (John 14:6)."   How many of you have a friend that you wish knew what you have?  It is the tendency of every new Christian to be excited about the joy, the hope that they have.   Who remembers being a new Christian?  

Andrew knows immediately, the minute he knows it's Jesus the Messiah; he immediately knows it's his mission in life to speak to everyone, but he wants his loved ones to come first.  He has found the greatest gift, he has found the pearl, the Christ.  And he must tell everyone, so he starts with his brother.  I think God is saying this to us about the Andrew Effect.  Oh, that My people would be new Christians every day.

Christianity is about being a new Christian every day, not in our growth with the Lord, but in our recommitment, our willingness to renew, our willingness to get up in the morning and start over again, and say "To you I give my life all over again, to you I commit this day."  

 

 

 

Every single apostle has made a declaration that Jesus is the Son of God and the Son of Man.  Nathaniel's testimony is synonymous with John the Baptist.  The rabbi John calls Jesus the Son of God, and the apostle Nathaniel calls Jesus "Rabbi."

At some point in our lives, we hear Jesus call us by nqme.  In that moment, we have God revealed to us by His Son, and we see what we could never see before.  Our blinded eyes are finally opened, and the Light shines in the darkness.  We now have a choice.  Will you place your faith in Him?  If you do, immediately, you become that new Christian, and immediately, the Andrew andPhilip Effect takes place.  You are so excited, you have to tell somebody.  Let's continue to witness every day of our lives.  Become His disciplel, be transformed every day of your life, and we are called His beloved.