Come and See - John #2
Come and See
JOHN, the Book, the Man – Part 2
January 21, 2007 Dr. Rick Isbell
READ – John 1:19-42a
1:19 The ministry of John the Baptist was so influential that the authorities in Jerusalem decided to send some religious leaders to investigate him.
- to ask about his baptism and what he claimed for himself.
1:20-21 It is interesting that John the Baptist’s answers got increasingly shorter, same answer, fewer words to the pressing questions:
- Who are you? v.20 - I am not the Christ
- Are you Elijah? v.21 - I am not
- Are you the prophet? v.21 - No
- He did not want to talk about himself, for his function was to point to Another – Jesus.
- John the Baptist had an Elijah-type ministry.
o He appeared on the scene suddenly
o dressed like Elijah
o sought to turn people back to God as Elijah did in his day
o Therefore many speculated that John was Elijah who had returned.
1:22-23. John replied that he was not any of the expected prophetic figures.
- He explained that he was the voice (phōnē), while Jesus is the Word (Logos).
- John’s function was one of preparation, and it was carried on in the desert / the wilderness.
1:24-25. The Pharisees were an important sect of Judaism.
- They numbered about 6,000
- were VERY influential
- held a strict interpretation of the Law
- embraced the traditions of religion
- Their question to John the Baptizer was, in essence, “Since you are non of these people (Christ, Elijah or Prophet) and have no official title, why are you baptizing?”
1:26-27 John knew that his baptizing work was only anticipatory.
- He explained that another One was coming who was unknown to them.
- That coming One is so great that John considered himself unworthy to do even the lowliest service for Him (such as untying His sandals).
1:28 All this happened in Bethany across the Jordan River
- It is not to be confused with another Bethany, home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus which we will talk about in John 11
1:29 John’s second witness started at the beginning of a series of days - The next day
- John identified Jesus as the Lamb of God
- A connection to the Old Testament sacrifices of a sin offering
- Of the worship offerings
- Of the Passover lamb from Exodus
- And Isaiah’s prophecy of the Messiah’s unto a lamb
- John the Baptist, by the revelation of God, saw Jesus as the sacrificial Lamb who takes away the sins of the world.
1:30-31. John repeated here what he had said earlier about Jesus, that John the Baptist’s fame was to be superseded by that of Jesus
- He was before me.
- But why did John say, I myself did not know Him?
- Though John the Baptist and Jesus were related, as their mothers, Mary and Elizabeth were relatives (Luke 1:36), nothing is known of any contacts between them in their years of childhood and adolescence.
- John the Baptist did not know that Jesus was the coming One until He was revealed by the Father.
- All John knew was that he was to prepare the way for Him by baptizing with water.
- God would send The Chosen One to Israel in His own time.
1:32 The baptism of Jesus itself is not recorded in John’s Gospel but because of John being one of the Synoptic Gospels, we know that John the Baptist batptized Jesus and the Spirit of God descended from heaven in the form of a dove and landed on Jesus.
- Remember that the Synoptic Gospels mean that the four Gospels, Mt, Mk, Lk, Jn fit together to tell one story from different perspectives.
o Like if you go to a doctor to find out what is wrong with you, they might do an X-ray, blood work, MRI and Cat Scan all for the purpose of one diagnosis from multiple angles for one problem.
o So it is that the four Synoptic Gospels with different angles tell the same story.
1:33 John the Baptist had been told by God that when you see the Sprit dove descend on a man, that man that you baptize with water is the One who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.
- Of course we learn later in Acts that at Pentecost, 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection, the baptism with the Holy Spirit brought in the Living Church of a Living Lord
1:34 John the Baptist’s testimony was that He is the Son of God.
- The title “Son of God” goes beyond the idea of kinship to Jesus’ essential nature as we discussed last week with the idea that the Word (Logos) WAS God.
- In the book of John, this title is not applied to believers – like you and me – They are called “children” of God while “Son” of God is reserved for Jesus alone.
1:35-36 The next day refers to the second day in this series of days
- The most likely reason for this chronological notation is that the John the author wanted to notate how quickly some of the early disciples of Jesus readily switched their allegiance from John the Baptist the VOICE, to Jesus the WORD.
- In verse 36, John the Baptist clearly pointed to Jesus as being the one to which they should direct their attention
1:37 Two of John the Baptist’s disciples heard his witness and followed Jesus.
- The word “followed” has a double meaning here
o They followed Him in the sense of literal walking and
o also as His disciples
1:38. The first words the disciples heard from Jesus were, What are you looking for?
- In one sense Jesus was asking a simple question and the disciples responded with a request for information – where are you staying?
- But John the author seemed to imply more.
- Perhaps Jesus was also asking, “What are you seeking in life?”
o The word translated staying (menō) is a favorite word of John’s.
o This Greek word occurs here in his writings for the first time.
o Of the 112 New Testament passages in which it occurs, 66 are in John’s writings—40 in the Gospel of John, 23 in 1 John, and 3 in 2 John
o Sometimes, as here, it means “to stay or dwell” in a place;
o a few times it means “to last or continue”;
o but more often it has a theological connotation: “to remain, continue, abide”
1:39 Jesus’ words of invitation were, Come . . . and you will see.
- In addition to their seeing where He stayed, these words most likely have a deeper theological implication.
- The two disciples remained with Him that day, beginning at the 10th hour
1:40 Andrew, one of the two disciples who followed Jesus, was the first proclaimer of Jesus as the Messiah.
- In Hebrew, “Messiah” means “the anointed One,”
- in Greek it is translated ‘Christos’ Christ
- Being anointed was an OT practice to set apart kings and priests… anointing them with oil.
- This new King, this highest of all Priests was anointed not with oil, but with the very essence of God Himself.
1:41 When Andrew realized who Jesus was, the first thing he did was to find his own brother and tell him, “we have found the Messiah!”
1:41 and he brought his brother Simon to Jesus.
- When Andrew brought Simon Peter to Christ, he did the church the greatest service that any man in history has ever done, which we will flesh out more later.
- Andrew appears two more times in John’s Gospel; both times, as we will see, he was bringing someone else to Jesus.
This passage states that there were two disciples (other than Simon) who gave their devotion and allegiance to Jesus:
- The unnamed disciple is commonly believed to be John the son of Zebedee, the brother of James and the author of this Gospel… the Apostle John, himself
- Without calling attention to himself, he subtly tells us that he was won over by the Lamb of God.
Let me give you four thoughts I have on what we have read and expanded on here this morning:
1. John the Baptist said: “Come and see the Promise.”
He said that I have come to baptize you with water, but there One coming, the Promise, will baptize you with the Spirit.
What is baptism?
A seal of approval
- It impresses upon our hearts that we are God’s child
- It impresses upon the hearts of OTHERS that we are God’s child
- In the story of the Prodigal Son
o the ring symbolized kinship
o the shoes symbolized wealth
o the robe symbolized rank in the Father’s domain
- All of these elements are wrapped up in the symbolism of our baptism:
o Kinship with the Father
o Wealth of blessing from the Father
o Ranking as kings and priests in the Father’s Kingdom.
- Jesus was not baptized because He had sinned, but was baptized to seal His ministry with the Father’s approval and to seal it in our hearts
o And the Spirit of God descended as a dove to state it… “This is MY SON, and I am well pleased with Him.”
2. John the Baptist said: “Come and see the Lamb.”
V.36 “Look, the Lamb of God.”
The story is told of a church tower in Germany where over halfway up the tower is carved into the stone the image of a lamb. The story goes that as the stone workers were building the tower one of the workers lost his footing falling nearly 5 stories to what most would fear to be his death. However, there happened to be a small herd of sheep passing under the scaffolding and the man landed squarely on one of the sheep… sparing his life, but crushing and killing the sheep. In honor of the miracle, the lamb’s image was carved into the stone at the height from which the man fell.
How reminiscent that story is of the story of Abraham with at God’s command he was preparing an altar to sacrifice his son, Isaac.
- Isaac ask, “But dad, where is the sacrifice.”
- Abraham just responded, “God will provide the Lamb.”
- And you know the story, as Abraham raised his knife above his own, precious son, God said, “Stop… your sacrifice is over there in the bushes.”
- And of course, a ram was caught in the bushes at just the right spot at just the right time.
John the Baptist said, “Come and see the Lamb of God” because he knew that THIS Lamb, would be the last Lamb that would spill blood for the redemption of man and the cleansing of sin.
3. Jesus said: “Come and you will see.”
Do you notice the few words in this powerful statement?
Jesus did NOT say:
- Understand all about me first
- Read all the Bible first
- Get in church more first
- Become a religious fanatic
- Stop doing that
- Start doing this
- Work at being a better person first…
He simply said, “Come and you will see.”
It is a simple invitation to enter into a partnership or relationship with the creator of the universe.
- An invitation to an abundant life
- A happy life
- A peaceful life
- A life with purpose and direction
We see this type of invitation all throughout the Scripture:
- Come all who are thirsty, come to the waters – Is 55:1
- Come to me, all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest – Matt 11:28
Come and see for yourself.
It is an open invitation to all who will simply receive it.
4. Andrew said: “Come and see Jesus.”
V. 42 “… and he brought Simon to Jesus.”
Remember when you got saved?
Remember when you first started your relationship with Jesus and the overwhelming joy it brought to your heart?
Who did you go tell first?
Who did you want to hear the news?
Andrew chose his dear brother.
I remember going home from church on that Sunday afternoon in April, 1970 and getting on the phone to my cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents…
- I wanted them all to know that I had just prayed to receive Christ in my heart
- I was not the same little relative that they had just a few hours ago
- But now I was a child of God
- Some of them did not know the Lord and I wanted them to get in on it
- Like David the Psalmist, I was saying, “Taste and see that the Lord, He is Good!”
Maybe that is precisely what the Scripture means when it says, “restore unto me the joy of my salvation!”
God burn in all of us that kind of passion that Andrew had when he ran home to find his brother Simon, out of breath… dripping with sweat from the run… “Simon, we found Him… we found the Messiah… Come and See”