John 1:35-51

Sunday Morning Bible Study

September 20, 2009

The Upcoming Baptism

Baptism for babies, how old, how long a believer, concerns about water


The Gospel of John was written by an uneducated Jewish fisherman who had become one of the apostles Jesus Christ.

He never refers to himself by name in this gospel.  When you see the name “John”, it will be talking about John the Baptist.  John only refers to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved”.

Why did John write his gospel?

1. He’s going to clear a few things up.

It’s been a good 20-30 years since the other gospels were written. He’s going to fill in some of the blanks left by the other gospels.

2. He’s going to correct the Gnostic heresies.

Today, the heresy of Gnosticism has once again raised its ugly head. Whether it’s in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code or a university classroom, people are hearing about the “secret” (and incorrect) writings of the Gnostics.

3. He wants people to believe.

John wants his readers to understand just who Jesus is and believe in Him.
This is a great book to recommend to your friends who are looking for God.

:35-42 Andrew and Peter

:35 Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples.

:35 the next day – John the apostle has been building a chronology through the first chapter.

Day One:   after Jesus had been baptized, the religious leaders had come to John the Baptist to ask him about who he was (John 1:19-28).

Day Two:  The following day, Jesus is walking by John the Baptist, and John points Jesus out (John 1:29-34) as the Lamb of God. Show Video Clip

Day Three: We are now dealing with the day after John the Baptist has pointed Jesus out.

:36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, "Behold the Lamb of God!"

:36 the Lamb of God – We saw last week the significance of this title. John understood that Jesus was going to fulfill the prophetic picture of the Passover Lamb, a lamb whose blood would pay for and remove our sins. Once again John points to Jesus.

:37 The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.

disciplesmathetes – a learner, pupil, disciple; from the Greek word meaning “to learn”.


Keep pointing to Jesus

As you keep growing in the Lord, you ought to be getting to the point where you are having an influence on the lives of others around you.
You may even want to get to the point where you decide to follow in the footsteps of the early church by taking a couple of younger believers under your wing, and help them to grow in the Lord.
It can be a pretty “heady” thing to have others who look up to you and come to you to learn and perhaps even receive advice.
The temptation is to keep yourself in that place in their lives where you are always the older, wiser person.  The temptation is to have others become dependent upon you for direction.
Typically in a cult, you are told that you need to be sure to keep listening to what the head honcho says or else you will fall away from the truth.
John gives us a different example.
He felt his job was to point people to Jesus.
If that meant that his church got smaller, he didn’t care, as long as people were coming to and following 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?"

:38 seeing themtheaomai – to behold, look upon, view attentively; not used of an indifferent spectator, but of one who looks at a thing with interest and for a purpose

Rabbirhabbi – my great one, my honorable sir; a title used by the Jews to address their teachers

Notice that John is explaining a common Jewish term.  Some of his readers are not Jewish.

where are You staying – They are telling Jesus that they want to stay with Him.

: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).

:39 tenth hour – Scholars are divided as to what time this was since there are two different ways of keeping track of time used in the Bible. Its either 10am or 4pm.

The Jews started their clocks at sunrise (6am), making this 4pm

Romans started their clocks at midnight, that would make this 10am.

You could make a case for John using both time clocks in his writing (John 4:6 is Jewish time; John 19:14 is Roman time)

:39 Come and see


Jesus invites seekers

Did you know that not everyone who comes to our church is a Christian?
We have people who have been coming for a year or more who still haven’t yet taken that step.
Notice that Jesus doesn’t say, “Either believe in Me now or go away”
Instead, He lets them follow after Him, to find out more.
Be patient if people aren’t willing to commit instantly to the Lord.
If they are still open to learning more about the Lord, great!

:40 One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.

:40 AndrewAndreas – “manly”; He is said to have been crucified at Patrae in Archaia.

Who was the other disciple? Most likely John the apostle.

The best candidate is John the apostle, the writer of the gospel.  Remember he likes to stay anonymous.

Andrew, Peter, James, and John were all from the same place, they all were of the same profession.

How does this fit with the other gospels that make is sound like Jesus first met these disciples up north on the Sea of Galilee?  How does it fit with Jesus telling Simon at Caesarea Philippi that his name was “Peter”?

(Mark 1:16-20 NKJV)  And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. {17} Then Jesus said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men." {18} They immediately left their nets and followed Him. {19} When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets. {20} And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him.

When Jesus calls these men to follow Him when they are in Galilee, He has already met them.  They had met earlier at the Jordan.  What we are seeing is a preliminary meeting.

Andrew isn't as well known as some of the other disciples.

He was just known as Simon's brother.

But he has a unique distinction; he brought his brother, Simon Peter, to the Lord.


Small is okay

Sometimes we can think that only people with large ministries are the ones that matter.
As a young man of 17, Dwight found himself placed in a Sunday School class, led by a man named Edward Kimball. Kimball tells us in his own words what happened on Saturday morning, April 21, 1855:

“I decided to speak to Dwight about Christ and about his soul. I started down town to Holton’s shoe store. When I was nearly there I began to wonder whether I ought to go just then during business hours. And I thought maybe my mission might embarrass the boy, that when I went away the other clerks might ask who I was, and when they learned might taunt Dwight and ask if I was trying to make a good boy out of him. While I was pondering over it all I passed the store without noticing it. Then, when I found I had gone by the door I determined to make a dash for it and have it over at once.” He found Dwight in the back part wrapping up shoes in paper and stacking them on shelves. “I went up to him and put my hand on his shoulder, and as I leaned over I placed my foot upon a shoe box.” Looking down into Dwight’s eyes he made what he thought afterwards a very weak plea. Neither could ever recall the exact words, but “Kimball asked him to come to Christ, who loved him and who wanted his love and should have it.” There were tears in Kimball’s eyes. “It seemed,” Kimball recorded, “that the young man was just ready for the light that broke upon him, for there, at once, in the back of that shoe store in Boston, Dwight L. Moody gave himself and his life to Christ.” Kimball slipped from the store a few minutes after he had entered.

from pg 27 of Moody Biography, John Pollock

Mr. Moody would go on to become one of the great evangelists of the 19th century, leading thousands to Christ both in Britain and in America.  While working in England he would have crowds of people numbering from 2,000 up to 16,000.  Back in America, he would speak to crowds of up to 20,000 people.  Moody Bible Institute, Moody Memorial Church came from his ministry.
And so, A Sunday School teacher, a Mr. Kimball, in 1855, led a Boston shoe clerk to give his life to Christ.
The clerk, Dwight L. Moody, became an evangelist. He brought thousands to Christ in his lifetime. In England in 1879, Moody awakened evangelistic zeal in the heart of Fredrick B. Meyer, pastor of a small church.
F. B. Meyer, preaching to an American college campus, brought to Christ a student named J. Wilbur Chapman.
Chapman, engaged in YMCA work, employed a former baseball player, Billy Sunday, to do evangelistic work.
Billy Sunday held a revival in Charlotte, N.C. A group of local men were so enthusiastic afterward that they planned another evangelistic campaign, bringing Mordecai Hamm to town to preach.
During Hamm’s revival, a young man named Billy Graham heard the gospel and yielded his life to Christ.
Do you think Mr. Kimball’s “small” ministry was important?

:41 He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which is translated, the Christ).

:41 found his own brother  The first thing Andrew does is to tell his brother.

:41 Messiahmashiyach – anointed, anointed one

Israelite leaders were initiated into their position by “anointing” them, pouring oil over their head.

The term became used to describe a great leader who would arise and save Israel.

The ritual to ordain a Levitical priest included pouring oil upon them (Ex. 29:7).
Saul, was initiated as the first king of Israel when Samuel poured oil upon his head (1Sam. 10:1).
When David had the opportunity to defend himself by killing Saul, he refused, because he still considered Saul to be God’s “anointed” (1Sam. 24:6).
(1 Sam 24:6 NKJV)  And he said to his men, "The LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the Lord's anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD."

The word David uses for “anointed” in the Hebrew is “Mashiyach”, “Messiah”.

David was also anointed with oil in order to be king:
(1 Sam 16:13 NKJV)  Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.

We see that oil was a picture of the Holy Spirit being on a person.

The term is most often used to describe the Israelite kings, but would eventually become a term used to describe a special leader, one who would come and save Israel.
(Dan 9:25 NKJV)  "Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times.

:41 Christ –This is not Jesus’ last name. This is simply the Greek word used to translate “Messiah”.

: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).

:42 SimonShim‘own – “heard”

:42 CephasKephas – “stone”. The name “Peter” comes from the Greek word for stone, petros. “Cephas” and “Peter” are different forms of the same concept, a “stone”.  You could have called Peter “Rocky”.

The funny thing in the Greek text is that the phrase “which is translated, A Stone”, the word for “stone” is petros. 


God sees your potential

(Mat 16:15-18 NKJV)  He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" {16} Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." {17} Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. {18} "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

:43-51 Philip and Nathanael

:43 The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, "Follow Me."

:43 the following day – John the apostle now takes us to the day after Andrew and Peter have met Jesus.

:43 to Galilee

Jesus was from the Galilee area, the northern part of Israel.

He was most likely down in the southern area of Judea to worship God at the Temple. Three times a year people would make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to worship God.

It’s while Jesus is down south in Judea that He is baptized, pointed out by John, and begins to call these disciples. So far all these men are also from the Galilee area.

Jesus is now ready to head north. Show video map of Bethany to Galilee.

:44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.

:44 PhilipPhilippos – “lover of horses”

BethsaidaBethsaida – “house of fish”

Bethsaida was a fishing village originally on the edge of the Sea of Galilee. Today, shoreline has changed, and the ruins of Bethsaida are about a mile inland.

Peter is from Bethsaida, but he also has a house in Capernaum, the city that will become the “headquarters” for Jesus and His disciples.

: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."

NathanaelNathanael – “gift of God”

:45 Philip found Nathanael


Who have you found?

Do you get the sense that when these guys met Jesus, they were so excited that they couldn't wait to bring a friend to meet Jesus for themselves?

:46 And Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see."

:46 Nazareth – We know of this city as the place where Jesus grew up.

Show video map from Bethsaida to Nazareth

The northern area of Galilee was thought of as the “frontier” in the days of Jesus. When the Jews returned from Babylon in 500BC and began to rebuild their nation, they focused primarily in the south, starting in Jerusalem. In the days of Jesus, the northern area had only been inhabited for about 100 years. The center of all culture and religion was in Jerusalem. Jerusalem would send out itinerant preachers to teach the poor frontier settlers about Judaism. To think that a preacher would come from the north and have anything worthwhile to say was beyond belief.

Note: Nathanael was also from Galilee. He was from the city of Cana (John 21:2), only 3.5 miles away. (see map) Maybe they were high school rivals…

:46 Can anything good


Don’t miss the treasure

If we’re not careful, we can miss some of the incredible, special things around us.


Harry, a new retiree greeter at Wal-Mart, just couldn’t seem to get to work on time. Every day he was 5, 10, 15 minutes late. But he was a good worker, really tidy, clean shaven, sharp minded and a real credit to the company and obviously demonstrating their ‘Older Person Friendly’ policies. One day the boss called him into the office for a talk. ‘Harry, I have to tell you, I like your work ethic, you do a bang up job, but your being late so often is quite bothersome.’ ‘Yes, I know, boss, and I am working on it.’ ‘Well good, you are a team player. That’s what I like to hear. It’s odd though, your coming in late. I know you’re retired from the Armed Forces. What did they say if you came in late there?’ ‘They said; ‘Good morning, General, coffee this morning, sir?”


Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approx. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.
After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.
4 minutes later: The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.
6 minutes: A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.
10 minutes: A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.
45 minutes: The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.
1 hour: He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.
No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.
This is a true story. It was an experiment organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities.

Is it possible that we might from time to time not expect to see anything special, but it could be happening right next to us?

Nathanael couldn’t dream that anything special could come from a town only 3 miles from his.
I wonder if some of you who have been considering Jesus really understand the treasure that we are talking about?  I wonder how much we really understand all that God has done for us, just how much God has displayed His love for us?

:47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!"

:47 deceitdolos – craft, deceit, guile

Jesus is calling Nathanael a man of integrity.

: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."

:48 How do you know me?

Jesus tells Nathanael two more things:

He tells him that He knew that Philip had called him.

He tells him about sitting under a fig tree.

Apparently these two little things blew Nathanael away. He was amazed that Jesus knew these two things.

Jesus is giving him a peek at the fact that He’s different. He’s a bit beyond human.


He knows you

I think one of the reasons people like to be “name droppers” is because it is a pretty cool thing when an important person knows who you are.
A long time ago it was one of my biggest dreams to get to the place where Chuck Smith knew who I was. I have to confess that I used to do things to get him to notice me like writing him letters or standing in line after the service. I remember once Chuck was talking about some kooky guy in Kansas who claimed to have found the Ark of the Covenant. When my wife’s family was having a family reunion in Kansas, we took the time do go to the library and look up the guy, make photocopies, and take it all back to Chuck. To tell you the truth, I’m not really sure Chuck knows who I am. Over the years I’ve realized that Chuck is just a guy who has a lot of people vying for his attention. I have a hard time remembering the names of the people in our small church. I can’t imagine what Chuck must face. I hope I’ve grown up enough to be okay with the fact that I don’t think Chuck knows who I am.
But I have had a couple of times in my life when I became aware of the fact that God knew who I was.
As a teenager, I was at a dinner and prayer meeting with Melodyland with my girlfriend. I didn’t know a thing about the Holy Spirit. After dinner there was a prayer time where we all stood in a circle, and this guy went around praying for people. He was also telling them things about themselves. When he came to me, he began to tell me specific things about my life. I have to confess I can’t remember what he said, except I remember being blown away that this stranger knew about me. Actually, God knew about me.
A few years ago I was in my office. At the time I was struggling with a difficult thing going on in the church. Laurie told me I had a phone message, and it was some guy named Chris in Florida that I’ve never met. He said he had been praying and that my name came to his mind, and that God wanted him to be praying for me. He didn’t ask me for anything. He didn’t try to sell me something. He just told me that God wanted him to be praying for me. I can’t tell you how much that hit me to think that God cared enough about me to put my name on some stranger’s heart. It’s one thing when a loved one calls to encourage you, but from a total stranger, wow.
It’s possible that you have people whose attention you would really like to get. But I have something better for you. Those other people may never know who you are. But God does. He knows all about you. That’s not just some made up preacher talk. It’s real.

:49 Nathanael answered and said to Him, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!"

:49 the Son of God – The Greek text uses the definite article.

Jesus is not just by nature “a son of God”, one of many.

He is not just one son of God among many.

He is THE one and only Son of God.

This speaks of His deity. It is the first confession of Jesus' deity chronologically.

: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."

:51 the angels of God – Jesus is referring to a dream that Jacob had when he was fleeing from his brother Esau.

(Gen 28:12 NKJV) Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.

Jesus is identifying Himself as the ladder.  He is the way to heaven.
Note that He is not only the Son of God, but the Son of Man.
He's at both ends of the ladder.

In doing this, Jesus is also giving Nathanael two truths:

1.  Heaven will be opened
Up to this time, it had been shut because of men's sin.
The way into the Holy of Holies wouldn't be made until the blood was shed on the cross.
2.  The bridge into heaven will be Jesus
Jesus has made it possible for there to be communication and movement from earth to heaven.

(John 14:6 NKJV)  Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

:46 Come and see

Did you notice how that phrase was used?  Jesus used it.  Philip said the same thing.  Philip didn’t know all the answers to all the questions that Nathanael has, but he invites him to come and find out for himself.


It’s not about answers, it’s about Jesus

We feel like we’re inadequate to tell people about Jesus because we’re afraid they’re going to ask us something we won’t have the answer for.
It’s okay to not have all the answers.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that answers are unimportant.
But if you don’t know the answer, you can always find out the answer later.
What’s important is just to get them to Jesus.  “Come and see”
It’s easy when you’re witnessing to get sidetracked by lots of secondary issues:
TV evangelists
Churches that have hurt people
All the hypocrites that have ever lived.
Where did Cain get his wife?
All those “discrepancies” in the Bible
We’re not supposed to make them believe in the church, but Jesus.
Salvation doesn’t come when intellectual curiosity is satisfied, though you will find satisfaction in Him.

We need to take them to see Jesus.


How do I “bring them to Jesus”?

Some suggestions:
1. Tell them what Jesus is doing in your life.
2. Pray with them.

Let them listen in as you talk with the Savior about them.

3. Read the gospel of John with them.

It was written so they would believe in Jesus.  John has already told us seven things about Jesus:  He is the Word (:1), the Light (:7), the Son of God (:18), the Lamb (:29), the Messiah (:41), the King (:49), and the Son of Man (:51).

4. Share the gospel message with them:

Our need: Our sin separates us from God.

Jesus died for us:  God has paid the price for our sins.

Receive God’s gift of eternal life, to make it your own.

5. Bring them to a place where they’ll hear the gospel.

Like church.