October 14 I Thursday
1 Thessalonians 2
“When [John the Baptist] saw Jesus passing by, he said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God!’ When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus.” —John 1:36-37
When we read the story of Jesus’s first disciples in John 1, it begins with John the Baptist pointing to Jesus and saying, “Look, the Lamb of God!” (John 1:36). Afterwards, two of his disciples leave to follow Jesus. One of those disciples was Andrew, who runs to find his brother, Simon, to tell him, “We have found the Messiah” and brings him to Jesus (John 1:41). Later, Jesus finds Philip and tells him, “Follow Me” (John 1:43). Then Philip finds Nathanael and says, “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” (Luke 1:45). When Nathanael meets Jesus, he says, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel” (John 1:49).
Did we notice two interesting things on how these disciples became followers of Jesus? Firstly, none of them went and said, “Hey, let me give you an explanation of the theology of atonement.” Instead, they just said, “Hey, I have met someone who I think you need to know. Come and meet Him!” Some of us make personal evangelism and witnessing about Jesus something super complicated, but witnessing is simply telling someone, “I’d like you to meet Jesus.”
Secondly, although the responses of John the Baptist, Andrew, Philip and Nathanael may vary slightly, they all point to one truth. Altogether, they affirm that Jesus is the Lamb of God, the Christ. He is the One whom Moses and the prophets wrote about. He is the Son of God, the King of Israel. The conversations of these people all stop at that point, at the climax when they recognize who Jesus is.
What was Jesus’s response? To Nathanael, Jesus says, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig-tree. You will see greater things than that” (John 1:50). In other words, “Because you believe the little that you have begun to understand now, that belief will grow and you will see greater and greater things.” Jesus continues, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man” (John 1:51). In other words, “Nathanael, you are going to see the bond of union between God and humanity and you are going to see this in Jesus Christ.”
For some of us who have been a Christian for many years, we will admit that our experience and knowledge of God is a progression. May we continue to know God more personally and intimately than when we first professed our faith.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank You for being the Lamb of God, the Christ, the One whom Scripture wrote about, the Son of God and the King of Israel. You are the bond between God and humanity. Praise You!