Whom do you follow?
Back in Jesus’ day, the religious leaders called groups of followers and the followers literally ‘followed their leaders’ like a family of ducks. One behind the other, they lived with, ate with, and learned from their teacher.
When Jesus called His disciples, they did exactly what the disciples of other Rabbis did; they followed their leader. When Jesus called Andrew and another disciple who had been following John the Baptist, their hearts were prepared to hear from John the Baptist that Jesus was the Lamb of God (v 36). Therefore, they eagerly followed Jesus. However, Jesus tested them by asking them what they were seeking. This phrase, uttered by Jesus at specific times in His ministry, He knew exactly what they were seeking, but asked the question anyway. Jesus always seems to want to make explicit what may be assumed as implicit. He makes them say what they believe.
Andrew, full of zeal for one whom he had found, went to his brother Simon Peter and told him that he had found the Messiah. When he brought Simon to Jesus, Jesus immediately renamed him Cephas or Peter, which means little rock or pebble.
The next day, Jesus and His new followers went to Galilee, where He chose Philip, who found Nathanael. Now, the Pharisee’s had influenced Nathanael because he uttered the statement, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” This was the common thought of the proud Jewish leaders who felt the north was the only center of learning, and that those in the south were country bumpkins with no ability to be theologically astute. Jesus chose His band of followers from the least likely places according to the wisdom of His day.
When Nathanael approached Jesus, Jesus quickly dispelled any rumors by saying something to Nathanael that apparently let him know Jesus was the Son of God.
Jesus, as He always did, took advantage of this teaching moment (v. 48-51) to teach the disciples what they would eventually see.
How do you respond to the call of Christ? When He says to you, “come,” do you wonder if what He says is true. Do you eagerly respond or like Nathanael, respond out of a cynical and skeptical culture?
If Jesus is whom He says, you ARE called to follow Him. How does your life say that you are following Him?
See Ya Next Time
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Rev Dr. Cheryl A Durham, Biblical Counselor, Discipleship Coach, Above and Beyond Discipleship Ministries, provides services for individuals and groups online and via teleconference. www.abovenbeyonddiscipleship.com
Read John 1:36-51
1. Consider how Jesus called His disciples. How were their hearts prepared?
2. What do you think their objections might have been?
3. What were the benefits to following this new leader?
4. What might have been some of the negative consequences?
5. How was Jesus different from the other leaders like John the Baptist?
6. What does our culture say about following Jesus?
7. What are the benefits?
8. What are some of the negative consequences?
9. What are the positive consequences?
10. What is Jesus calling you to do?
11. What are you going to do?
12. List some ways that you will do that.