John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus by preaching repentance. In that message, John was preparing the people’s hearts to understand their need for Jesus. After John the Baptist introduced the people to Jesus, read what happened. “35. Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; 36. And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!” (John 1:35-36). John again declared Jesus as the Lamb of God. “And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus” (John 1:37). Recognize that these men left John the Baptist to follow the One for which John had come to prepare the way. John had done His job: he had directed the people’s attention to the Savior of the world, Jesus. These men left John, and they followed Jesus.
“38. Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? 39. He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day … 40. One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother” (John 1:38-40). John’s disciples called Jesus Rabbi (Master); yet another indication that they had turned their focus from John to Jesus. They were ready to hear the teachings of Jesus now that they had met Him. Rabbi means “a doctor, teacher, master; a title of honor in the Jewish schools.” After Andrew believed in Jesus, he immediately found his brother, Simon (Peter), and took him to meet Jesus.
“The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me” (John 1:43). Jesus called Philip, too. What did Philip do? “Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” (John 1:45). Philip recognized who this man was that called him. Philip understood that Jesus was the Promised One that Moses and the prophets had written about in the Old Testament. Immediately he went and found Nathanael to bring him to Jesus. (Remember, that is what Andrew had done. Andrew immediately went and found his brother, Simon.) Today, when a person meets Jesus, becoming a Christian, the immediate response should be to introduce others to Jesus, too.
Nathanael was a skeptic – at first. Nevertheless, after Jesus told him where he had been, Nathanael believed. Remember that each person has the choice – to believe or not to believe. Nathanael believed.
Many people followed Jesus because they wanted to hear His teachings – so many that they crowded Him. Jesus saw the empty ships, and asked Simon to thrust the ship out a little from the shore. Jesus taught the people from the ship. After finishing teaching, Jesus told Simon (Peter) to go out to the deep water and throw out their nets again to fish. Simon (Peter) initially objected – but then he obeyed Jesus. They caught so many fish that their nets broke, and then both ships began to sink because of the number of fish caught. How did Peter respond? “8. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. 9. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken” (Luke 5:8-9). Especially notice that Peter was not the only one affected by this miraculous catch of fish. “10. And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. 11. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him” (Luke 5:10-11). It was at this point that these four men forsook their old occupation as fishermen of fish, and followed Jesus as fishers of men. If you notice, it said, “they forsook all.” In Matthew, chapter four it tells us that James and John were working with their father. They left him, too.
People were trying not only to hear Jesus’ teachings, but also to be healed. Many people followed Jesus. He was drawing the people from a religious practice to a commitment of the heart – a heart committed to Jesus. Jesus saw the need of the people. Read what Jesus did. “12. And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. 13. And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles” (Luke 6:12-13). Apostle means “an ambassador; it indicates the distinctive relation of the 12 men Jesus chose to be His witnesses of Him before the world.” This was the third call of these men. They were initially called to believe in Jesus. Then they were called to follow Jesus. Finally, Jesus called them for a special purpose – to be His apostles.
Just as Jesus called the twelve disciples (Apostles) for a special purpose, when someone today is saved (asks Jesus into their heart), Jesus has a special purpose for them as well. “8. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 10. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8, 10). Not only are Christians His workmanship (workmanship means “the result of work; something produced; something made”), but God has before ordained (before ordained means “to make ready beforehand; used of God’s foreordaining for good, referring to glory and good works”) that new Christian to walk in that new life Jesus has for them. Jesus has a job for each Christian.
Have you believed in Jesus, becoming a Christian?
Do you follow Jesus and His teachings?
Have you recognized the job that Jesus has for your life?