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Weekly Bible Study
“The First Disciples”
by Hugh Davidson   
September 16th, 2007

John 1:35-42 “Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; and looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 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? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two which heard John and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, we have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, a stone.”

In verse 36 John the Baptist looked at Jesus and said, “Behold the Lamb of God” and I think this is both a brief but a very powerful message. As a matter of fact, some of the more powerful messages are known for their brevity. Jonah’s short message of only eight words, “Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown” resulted in the greatest revival this world has ever seen. It was short but it was powerful. Or think of Jesus when He preached, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” And nothing more needed to be said because people could understand the consequences of ignoring His message. So, when John said, “Behold the lamb of God” all those who heard him were people who were on their way to Jerusalem for the Passover and they knew what he was talking about. And although all three of these messages were brief I believe they were repeated time and time again until people had to ask themselves what they were talking about.

I remember hearing that famous quote from Oswald Smith when he was speaking about the need to focus on the foreign fields and he said, “No one has the right to hear the gospel twice until everyone has heard it once.” And although that sounds good there are very few people who respond to the gospel the first time they hear it. In North America the average person hears the gospel seven times before they’re saved while the average Muslim hears the same message 230 times before they come to the place of salvation. Now, that’s not a guarantee that everyone who hears the gospel a certain number of times is going to accept it but those who do rarely accept it the first time they hear it. I think the scripture teaches us in the parable of the sower that the word must be sown and watered for a while and then it will bear fruit. So, if someone comes to church once or twice and doesn’t respond they may need to hear it a few more times before the message sinks in.

And then the impression we have from the text is that people just filed in behind Jesus as He walked and they followed at a respectable distance until Jesus stopped and asked them a question. And when ever Jesus asks a question we should ask ourselves why is He asking this. I mean, since He’s God and already knows the answer then it’s obvious that He’s asking so those who hear it can ask themselves. And His question is simple because He asks them what they want and that’s the same as saying what are you living for? Are you looking for the truth or are you just looking for something to do?

And when they respond they say, “Rabbi” which is the same as ‘my great one’ and this was a title that was used by those who were seeking spiritual knowledge. They said, “Where dwellest thou?” or where are you staying? And this was the same as telling Him, we want to sit at your feet and learn from you. And when Jesus said, “Come and see” this was a common rabbinical invitation to come and learn.

And then in verse 40 one of the two disciples is identified as Andrew and the unnamed one is always assumed to be John who never identifies himself anywhere in the book. They met Jesus at four in the afternoon and then they spent the rest of the day with Him. We have no record of what was said or what they did but we do see the effect of their time with Jesus because both of them became lifelong followers of His from this point on.

It’s interesting that John is writing this book about sixty years later and he can still remember the time of day that he met Jesus. And then Andrew on the other hand, leaves this meeting and goes directly to find his brother Peter and to tell him they have found the Messiah. Whatever happened in the brief time these two shared with Jesus changed the way they lived for the rest of their days.

So, Andrew was so sure he had found the Messiah that he had to share it with the one he shared everything with and that was Peter. And while he was eager to share this with him I’m sure there might have been a sense of reluctance because of Peter’s nature. He was the loud self-confident type who would not only remind you of every dumb thing you’ve ever done but would also enjoy sharing all these things publicly with all your friends. So, even though it might have been humiliating telling him you met the Messiah, it could also be difficult simply because he was your brother. And let’s face it, the most difficult people to talk to about the Lord can be those of our own family. After all, they know us and they know all of our inconsistencies and there’s always the fear that if they reject the gospel they might reject us as well. But listen, what’s more important, their respect and admiration or their eternal destiny? I love Andrew’s response because he was convinced of two things, one was that Jesus would save all who came to Him and two, he loved his brother enough to invite him. Have you?

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