Set Aside and Follow. JOHN 1:35-37

35 The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God! 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus.”
JOHN 1: 35-37 ESV

35 Τῇ ἐπαύριον πάλιν εἱστήκει ὁ Ἰωάννης καὶ ἐκ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ δύο, 36 καὶ ἐμβλέψας τῷ Ἰησοῦ περιπατοῦντι λέγει· Ἴδε ὁ ἀμνὸς τοῦ θεοῦ. 37 καὶ ἤκουσαν οἱ δύο μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος καὶ ἠκολούθησαν τῷ Ἰησοῦ.
JOHN 1: 35-36 SBLGNT

The next day (the third day), John the Baptist, seeing Jesus passing by, again identifies him as the Lamb of God, but two of his disciples hear their master’s witness this time. One of them was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother; the other is not named. The text does not tell us that the Baptist expected his followers to become disciples of Jesus.

Certainly, some remained attached to John even after his death (Acts 19:1ff.). However, in the light of John the Baptist’s self-perception as the forerunner of the Coming One, it is reasonable to assume that at least some of his disciples, those perhaps who understood him best, discerned that their master was constantly pointing beyond himself to another. Once he had identified the Coming One, it was only to be expected that some of them would follow Jesus. In doing so, the two disciples mentioned here are not scurrilously abandoning the Baptist in favour of a more prestigious leader but are most faithful to the teaching of the forerunner.
In the Fourth Gospel, the verb ‘to follow’ often means ‘to follow as a disciple.’ (e.g. 1:43; 8:12; 12:26; 21:19, 20, 22). However, this is not invariably the case: sometimes the verb is relatively neutral (e.g. 11:31). The Evangelist may be playing with both meanings: at one level, these two men were ‘following’ Jesus in the most mundane of senses, but at another, they were taking the first steps of genuine discipleship.
There is a crucial element to the second proclamation of ‘Behold’. The first time The Baptist uttered those words were in John 1:29, which was an announcement to all around to hear his prophecy unfold, but the second time was specific to his followers. It is clearly an instruction which John later announces that period from which he is to submit to Jesus and His ministry on earth.

John knew his time was now fulfilled, and his work was to give way to the man he was paving the way for. The element that continues to unfold proves the sovereign hand of God, as this leads to The Baptist disciples continuing their evangelistic work under the umbrella of the Messiah. The first of two disciples are brought into the new ministry of Jesus Christ, and the detailed narrative may seem to point to the author as the unknown individual with Andrew; however, there is no evidence within the scripture to support that hypothesis.

How many of us are willing to leave everything behind in search of answers. These two disciples were followers of The Baptist and knew his ministry called for the coming of The Messiah, and here they stood as a living witness to the man their teacher had been speaking about. They walked into a new ministry that is the epiphany of scripture. They were in the presence of God, in human form. Did they know it? Were they aware of what was to unfold before them? I believe they did not since there is no reference to the Baptist’s teachings, pointing to what was to come. It was faith and trust in the revealed truth, which drove them to follow.

This is the spirit to those who are grounded in need to know the truth. It was to be a part of a journey that would funnel their faith to a single point within their reality. The reality of the man that walked before them being proclaimed, “ Behold, the Lamb of God!” As revealed earlier, remember who The Baptist was, “ I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness. Make straight the way of the Lord.” An invitation to all who are seeking and have been waiting for the coming of the Messiah. He has arrived and to those whose spirit has been stirred and awaken to his arrival, continue to seek the answer that is only found in Jesus Christ.

Imagine if we were witness to this glorious event and asked ourselves if our first impression was to leave everything behind and follow Him. Are we able to place our faith in a desert wanderer, preaching and proclaiming the coming of the Messiah? If that question is hard to give an honest answer ourselves if we were there, what makes it any different today in our time and place. We have the testimony and the revelation of historical events, supported by non-canonical evidence, which supports everything the Bible claims and still we are fickle and uncertain.

The world has placed its claim on you, and you cannot determine the reality of the truth against a secular, pluralistic world around us. The difference is that the world immoralities are vast and endless, and no matter what our immoral and sinful needs are, the world comfortably meets them, whereas the Word of God is absolute and unwavering and steadfast and offers nothing to meet our defined objective reasoning. The Word of God would not be a transcendent divine absolute if it is continuously changing. No matter time, place, lifestyle and whatever technology exists, the Word is Absolute.

Today, this challenge faces the modern church, setting aside God’s absolutes to meet the masses’ demands. No matter how we perceive the world today compared to the time of Christ, the laws are absolute and there is no leeway or substitute for them.

May your focus always be locked on His Word and His Absolutes.
Not of this world but for the world to come.



Categories: christianity, english, Gospel of John

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