Years ago, I heard my husband tell a group of students that the best place to start reading the Bible is the book of John. He explained that it was a great book to really capture who Jesus is and what He came to this earth to accomlish.
Weeks ago, I heard a prominent Christian speaker tell a group of primarily women, that if you want to really go deeper with Jesus, just take a verse or two, or three, at a time, and study it in depth.
So, I am applying both recollections to my current Jesus time.
What I am finding is so neat. I had to share.
Take a second, and read for yourself John 1:35-42.
In case you are tempted to quietly exit this blog now and find yourself on Facebook or Instagram, let me just share with you the verse….KEEP READING! DON’T GIVE UP ON ME JUST YET!
“The next day John<span class=”crossreference” data-cr=”#cen-NIV-26080B” data-link=”(B)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”They said, “Rabbi”<span class=”crossreference” data-cr=”#cen-NIV-26083D” data-link=”(D)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”“Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon. Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.”
Here is what stood out to me as I read this passage:
Two Disciples Invited Themselves Over
Now, from just reading the book of John, you only know the name of Andrew as being one of the first disciples. However, the book of John never specifically names the second. However, many scholars actually believe that the 2nd was John himself. When reading in other gospels, you read about Andrew and Simon Peter were among the first dicsiples of Jesus, which would make sense.
John baptized in the Jordan River.
Andrew and Simon Peter were fishermen in the Sea of Galilee.
The Jordan River, in two different places, at the North and the South, feed into the Sea of Galilee.
So, it would be completely plausible for John, Andrew, and Simon Peter to see eachother on a daily basis as John was baptizing in the water and Andrew and Simon Peter were coming in or going out to the Sea of Galilee via the Jordan River.
However, the point still remains, in this passage of scripture, we see that these two disciples invited themselves over to Jesus’ crib.
I’m so glad you asked.
Have you ever heard parents say, “I just pray that little Johnny (who is now 19 years old and in college) doesn’t hang on to the faith of his father and I, but that he decides for himself to follow Jesus.”
Or something like that.
Being in student minsitry, I have heard that, and I have encouraged parents to begin praying for that.
A lot. Tons. Lots. Mucho.
And……drum roll please……
(drums still rolling)
HERE IT IS.
The disciples had enough respect for John and his leadership, to pursue Jesus when He was close-by.
But, I believe they invited themselves over for a reason.
They were intrigued by the faith of John.
But, they needed some time with Jesus for themselves.
They needed to ask Him questions. Talk with Him.
Hear Him read their mail.
They needed to ask Him why bad things happen to good people.
They needed to ask Him why everyone just thinks Christianity is just a bunch of rules.
They needed to ask Him why their grandpa died when they were in second grade after they prayed and believed he would be healed.
They needed to know why following Him was worth it. Afterall, everyone hates Christians.
They needed to know that starting over is allowed in the Kingdom of God.
They needed to hear Jesus tell them that it wasn’t their fault that mom and dad split up.
They needed time in the presence of the Savior, to decide whether following Him was the real deal.
That’s just like us.
We can hear our leaders, pastors, parents, cool friends, hipster friends, whatever, talk about Jesus all day long, but until we invite ourselves into His dwelling, and spend some time one on one with Him, we will never really follow Him ourselves.
And Jesus is okay with us inviting ourselves over. When we say, “Rabbi (teacher) where are you staying?” He says, “Come, let me show you.”
The Bible doesn’t tell us what happened in Jesus hotel room that day at around 4:00 pm.
I believe, that too, was on purpose.
Jesus doesn’t publish the deepest hurts of your heart either.
He just wants to spend some time with you.
He has no agenda.
That afternoon, the disciples called Jesus Rabbi (teacher), which was their way of respecting his leadership, without honoring his Kingship.
But once they spent time with Jesus, they were recruiting left and right.
They were telling all their homies about the Messiah (Christ).
May it be so with us, too.
May we invite ourselves into a secret meeting with Jesus.
May we hear Him speak.
May we know Him as not Rabbi, but as Messiah.
And May we tell others like crazy, just as John likely did…
FOLLOW ME, AS I FOLLOW CHRIST.
Stay Tuned for Profound Thoughts.