Sermon Notes and Audio
Scripture Focus- John 1:35-51
Rushing around-working continually-coming home tired- paying the bills- raising the kids- doing your taxes- maybe you have wondered, is this all there is? Life can seem like an endless cycle of the same thing, and our hearts long for something more. Whether it is the best of life’s circumstances, or the worst of life’s circumstances, this world cannot satisfy. People look in different places to fill the emptiness of life.
St. Augustine, one of the early church fathers, knew what it was like to feel this way. Speaking to God in prayer he said, “You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in You.”
If he is right, and he is, and what we need is found only in God, then we need to consider the invitation of Jesus to come and follow Him. The greatest need a human being has, is to be right with God.
This message focuses on coming and seeing who Jesus is, responding to Him in faith, and then in turn going to tell others about Him.
There are many perspectives in the world about who Jesus is. Some will say Jesus is a great teacher. Or that Jesus was a great ethicist who gave us new ways of relating to one another with his admonition to turn the other cheek, go the second mile, repay evil with good, and forgive one another. Some have described Jesus as a mystic, a seer, and a spiritual pioneer. Some just fashion a Jesus of their own making, who fits their lifestyle and is convenient to whatever they choose to do. The Bible never describes Jesus in these terms. Attempts to explain Jesus to the secular, humanistic western mind, are a betrayal of who He really was and is.
The first part of what it means to come and see is to. . .
Consider who Jesus is.
The Gospel of John is all about who Jesus is. He is the Eternal Word of God, who was in the beginning with God and who was God (v1). He has life in Him and that life is the light of men (v4). Jesus gives to all who believe in Him the right to become children of God (v12). He is full of grace and truth (v14). He explains God the Father to us (v18). He is Lord, and the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (v29). Jesus baptizes those who believe with the Holy Spirit (v33), and is the Son of God, the chosen one of God (v34). All of these things are communicated to us by John, so that we might believe that Jesus is Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name (20:31).
The passage we are considering today, repeats some of the truths about Jesus for emphasis, and then builds on them. V35 tells us that John the Baptist was standing with two of his disciples and he saw Jesus passing by. He said, “Look! The Lamb of God!” He focused on Jesus as the supreme and final sacrifice for sinners, that all of the Old Testament sacrifices pointed toward. The two disciples heard this and followed after Jesus.
Jesus turned and noticed them following Him and asked-
What are you looking for? This is an important question- what are you looking for in life?
Let’s consider who Jesus is. . .
Jesus is the Rabbi or Teacher. (v38; v49)
Jesus is the Messiah. (v41)
Jesus is Lord. (v42)
Jesus is the One who is prophesied about in the OT. (v45)
Jesus is the son of Joseph and is from Nazareth. (v45)
Jesus knows everything there is to know. (vv47-48)
Jesus is the Son of God. (v49)
Jesus is the King of Israel. (v49)
Jesus is the way from earth to heaven. (v51)
Jesus is the coming Son of Man. (v51)
Have you considered who Jesus is?
The response after you come and see is to. . .
Commit to follow Jesus.
The two disciples of John asked Jesus, “Where are you staying?” Jesus told them, “Come and you’ll see”. So they went.
V40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus.
Another day passed, Jesus decided to leave for Galilee, v43. Jesus found Philip and told him, Follow Me! What did he mean by that? For the people He was speaking to in biblical times, it was a literal invitation to go with Him, and stay with Him on His journeys. The invitation to follow Jesus in the Bible appealed to the original hearers, but the invitation extends throughout the ages.
In the Gospels, Jesus’ command to “follow me” appears again and again. In some of them, Jesus is calling the twelve men who would be His disciples during His earthly ministry. Other instances, He is speaking to anyone who was considering who He was.
When you commit to follow Jesus, it means surrendering everything to Him.
Luke 9:23-24 If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will save it.
When you commit to follow Jesus, it means that He becomes everything to you.
Personal desires, dreams, the direction of your life- is all determined by following Jesus. You cannot follow in two directions at once.
When you commit to follow Jesus, it means seeking to become like Him.
The invitation is given as an opportunity to learn from Jesus- His relationship with the Father, His love for people. If we want to learn how to do something in life, we might look for someone who knows how to do it. We spend time with them, observe them, let them instruct and correct us.
We seek to learn from the person so we can model ourselves after them. Athletes do so, artists, craftsmen. Dallas Willard defined a disciple as “someone who has decided to be with another, under appropriate conditions, in order to become capable of doing what that person does, or to become what that person is.” We have to want to be like Him.
When you commit to follow Jesus, it means obeying Him.
Through His Word, and the presence of the Holy Spirit we learn what it means to follow Jesus. We learn to obey Him. John 14:12 If you love Me, you will keep My commands.
Jesus lived a life of conscious dependence on His Father. He not only lived a life of faith before His disciples, He called them to live a life of faith and called them to trust in Him, to commit to follow Him. One of the saddest things about the church in the West today is the weakness of the commitment to follow Jesus.
Many people reduce what it means to follow Jesus, only to acknowledging Him for salvation but ignoring the necessity of a faith relationship after.
“Jesus was never interested in having fans. When he defines what kind of relationship he wants, ‘Enthusiastic Admirer’ isn’t an option. My concern is that many of our churches in America have gone from being sanctuaries to becoming stadiums. And every week all the fans come to the stadium where they cheer for Jesus but have no interest in truly following him. The biggest threat to the church today is fans who call themselves Christians but aren’t actually interested in following Christ. They want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits, but not so close that it requires anything from them.” Kyle Idleman, “Not a Fan” p. 25
Knowing who Jesus is, will you commit to follow Him?
The responsibility of all who commit to follow Jesus, is to. . .
Communicate the truth about Jesus to others.
In the Gospels, there are examples of many people coming to Jesus through a variety of circumstances. Andrew and John, were presumably disciples of John the Baptist. They heard him declare Jesus to be the Lamb of God and they followed Jesus (vv36-37). When Christ is exalted people are drawn to Him. John the Baptist proclaimed Jesus to be the Lamb of God, and that connected with Andrew and John who saw their need to follow Jesus. Philip proclaimed Jesus to Nathanael as the one Moses and the Prophets wrote about. Nathanael was skeptical at first, but Philip said come and see. Jesus called Philip directly and with authority.
You never know how God might use your witness. Andrew’s witness brought Peter to Christ. We do not have a record in Scripture of Andrew preaching to large crowds, but his one witness to Peter led to thousands coming to Christ on the Day of Pentecost. Peter became the leader of the twelve disciples. Every time we encounter Andrew in John’s Gospel, he is bringing someone to Jesus (6:8; 12:22). That is a great testimony!
As followers of Jesus, we have the responsibility to tell other people about Him. We are to bring people to Jesus because He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus is worth knowing.
We are to bring people to Jesus with urgency. The Gospel is the greatest news ever. Life is limited, eternity is long, judgment is certain, and people need Jesus. He is the only way to forgiveness and eternal life.
What is the role of the church in encouraging sharing about Jesus with others? A) Equip people- so they understand their faith and how to share it, B) Make the most of ministry opportunities, C) Celebrate people bringing people to Jesus.
Why are more people not sharing about Jesus with others?
Spiritual apathy; Fear/Embarrassment; Busyness; Relativism (not really believing people are on their way to Hell without Christ); Activism (doing good things but never getting to the Gospel).
We want to encourage you through what we call:
Think of 3 people you know in your circle of influence, who do not know Jesus. Begin to pray for them.
Show genuine care for them, and for others around you, to share the love of God.
Intentionally share the Gospel with people. Pray for opportunities, be aware of spiritual opportunities God gives you, make the most of them.
Are you faithfully sharing the Gospel with others? If not, would you repent of your unfaithfulness today and realize the calling God has placed on your life? Will you take your responsibility to share Jesus with others seriously?
Come & See—Go & Tell