John 1:35–51 (NKJV) [Matthew 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-20]
35 Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. 36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!”John 1:35-42
37 The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38 Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?”
They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?”
39 He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now 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 first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.
Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, A Stone).
In this passage, Jesus begins to call His disciples. He begins with two disciples of John, who are here unnamed. Later, one of them is identified as Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. Andrew brought him to Jesus, and they both followed Him. Jesus called him by name, Simon, son of Jonah, and additionally called him Cephas, which means “Rock.”
43 The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, 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.”John 1:43-51
46 And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!”
48 Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
49 Nathanael answered and said to 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, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”
The next day, Jesus purposed to go to Galilee, and calleds Philip to follow Him. Philip then found Nathanael, and identified Jesus as the one of Whom Moses and the prophets spoke. Nathanael was skeptical, and Jesus told him that He saw him under the fig tree, although He was not even there when it happened. Nathanael was convinced and followed Jesus. He told Nathanael that he would see much more than this miracle.
The call to discipleship, especially in this passage, includes some very key elements. First, a disciple should be convinced of the veracity of his master’s reputation. Jesus was affirmed by John, so two of his disciples followed Jesus. Peter was convinced by his brother’s testimony. Philip saw in Jesus the qualities and spirit of the One spoken of by prophets. Nathanael heard the miraculous vision of Jesus seeing him at a distance from which no man could do so, and believed. These men were convinced of their Master’s veracity. Second, disciples should commit wholly. Every one of these men left the comforts of their surroundings, their families, their careers, to follow Jesus. True discipleship is wholistic, sacrificial, completely committed. Finally, discipleship leads to ministry, and as we see in the gospels and Acts, these disciples followed Jesus in ministry and carried on His work after His ascension. Be a disciple today. Be convinced, committed, and dedicated to the work to which Jesus calls you!
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