Now that Jesus has passed the test to be our righteousness, he goes and gathers his disciples.
There are different accounts of Jesus calling his first disciples in the Gospels, and in our Children’s worship, we read and learned John’s account. It isn’t as well known as the fishermen story, but I think it gives a great entryway into learning about Jesus.
We read the passage.
The first part is a little bit confusing, since we don’t know which “John” the Bible is talking about. After John the Baptist baptized Jesus, Jesus goes to the desert, and now he is back. John the Baptist is sharing to his disciples who Jesus is. Then two of his disciples start following Jesus. Jesus asks them “what they want,” which is interesting. The honest answer the disciples want to say is “we wanted to see if you are really the Lamb of God,” but instead they just ask where Jesus is staying. Jesus’s reply is the answer to both their inner real question and their actual question. “Come and you will see.” And they saw, and one of the disciples immediately tells his brother, and brings him to Jesus.
The second story is a little different, but it still has a similar theme in letting the disciple experience firsthand and letting him share the Messiah to his close friend. A lot of times, we think we must know everything about Jesus to prove him to other people, but that’s not how Jesus works. All we need to do is share our experience, and bring our family and friends to Jesus, and he does the rest.
Nathanael was a skeptical person, and he gives good reason how Jesus can’t be the Messiah. Philip, the friend who is introducing Nathanael to Jesus, says is the same thing as Jesus said: “Come and see.” Nathanael has a conversation with Jesus, and he is able to already confess that Jesus is the Son of God. His understanding might not be deep, but Jesus accepts and gives him an even bigger promise!
John briefly talks to the boys about evangelizing. He encourages the boys to tell their friends about Jesus and to invite them to come to church with us. Evan who is a lot like me is very hesitant and unsure. I think for Evan, he needs to come and see Jesus first, before he has the confidence to invite other friends. I pray that we all can follow Jesus and say “I have found the Messiah!”
(For a shorter version, you can just read the first story of Andrew & Peter – John 1:35-42)