August 3, 2016

Today you should read: John 1:35-51

Trendsetters.  Pioneers.  Trailblazer.

What would you call the first people to respond to Jesus’ “Follow Me”? Faith-filled… that’s what I call them. What an honor. I’d like to say that I would have responded the same way, but I’m not sure.

Can you imagine being among the nation awaiting the Messiah for so long and then realizing that He is right in front of you? They knew something was different about Jesus. He wasn’t just another prophet or rabbi. He was the One that Israel had been longing to see. And in these few verses, we see Him doling out new names, sharing prophecy, giving hope, and more.

An ordinary man? Nope. Savior of the world? Yep.

What can we learn from Philip, Nathanael, and the other disciples from this passage of scripture? Here are a few thoughts:

  1. They were seeking. These guys were not looking for theological or worldview debates. They wanted a relationship with their Creator. You can almost feel their anxious longing jump off the page.
  2. They had awkward questions for the Messiah. “Where are you staying?” and “How do you know about me?” was the best they could come up with. It almost feels like a bad job interview, but I love it because it shows that we come to God as we are. We’re not perfect or polished, but broken and humble, relying on Him to make us new (and not awkward).
  3. They had faith. They had eyes to see what others would not. Remind you of Hebrews 11?
  4. They were everyday people. Fishermen, tax collectors, etc. God invites all kinds of people from all kinds of socio-economic backgrounds into His family. That’s refreshing stuff.
  5. They will change the world. They had no idea then. We get to be on this side and be recipients of the faith decisions they made. Through Jesus, they flipped this terrestrial ball upside down.

Maybe the best part of all this is that the invitation these disciples responded to is the same one that is extended to us. “Follow Me” is the most liberating, life-altering, joy-giving opportunity anyone could ever have. Will you drop your nets?

What else did God show you in these verses today? We’d love to hear from you.

By: Todd Thomas

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Author: cpclexington

Lexington & Richmond KY

4 thoughts on “August 3, 2016”

  1. “I Am”
    “Follow Me”
    “It is finished”

    Today it occurred to me that Jesus said 3 simple things, using 7 words, that profoundly changed the world.

    If we simply acknowledge Him as the great I Am and follow Him, then sin is finished and no longer has the power to rule over us and separate us from God! I’m grateful for these life changing words from our Lord, Jesus Christ!

  2. Just curious why John’s account of how Andrew and Peter became disciples is different than the sequence of events in Matthew. Anyone know of a good resource that could explain this?

    1. Hey Joe, great question! You’ve hit on a rather large topic when it comes to biblical studies dealing with what we call the “synoptic problem.” The basic idea is that the “synoptic” gospels (Matt, Mark, & Luke) have a lot in common, but not everything is said exactly the same way and discrepancies arise. Add to this the Gospel of John, which, as you have pointed out, can differ in larger ways to the synoptics and what might be considered discrepancies turn in to full blown contradictions. However, this is not the case. Just because something is different doesn’t mean it’s contradictory as much as our critics would like to suggest that it does. This has to do with the purpose of the author’s writing as well as the fact that details like chronology were not as important to the ancient mind as to our 20th century western mind. John is weaving a tale about Christ with purpose and precision, each story (probably out of order) is pushing forward a theological narrative, rather than a strict chronological retelling of Jesus’ life.
      I might guess that this story of the calling of the Apostles is set in direct juxtaposition to what I wrote yesterday in Jumpstart; that the religious elite missed the coming of the Messiah in a big way. Now, in the next section you have this group of nobodies, who, despite the fact that they have almost zero religious training, are willing to give everything to Jesus. The response of the Apostles is the response the religious leaders should have had BTW. In this way, literally, the Apostles become a foil for the religious elite. As you can see from this possible explanation, that the intent is not to convey chronological truth, but theological truth, which John will use as his narrative plays out.
      For more on the Synoptic Problem you can read about it here…
      (http://www.gotquestions.org/harmony-Gospels.html)- A brief and simple introduction on GotQuetions.org, which is usually pretty good.

      (https://bible.org/article/synoptic-problem)- This article is much less brief and much less simple, written by a professor at my alma mater and has a lot of great information that can make your head spin.

      If you have anymore questions don’t hesitate to let us know, we love discussing this kind of thing.

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