John the baptist had reached the end of his work. His time had come to hand the work across to Jesus and we see him do this in the beginning of these verses. He does not try to hold onto the work that he had, and even more he does not try to hold onto his disciples. Instead he points them to the one who would lead them forward into God’s kingdom.
Behold the Lamb of God
As John was standing and speaking with some of his disciples, Jesus came near. John then said to the disciples, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” ( verse 36) Two of John’s disciples heard him say this and they immediately followed Jesus.
It is evident that as followers of John and knowing his message, they knew that he was to announce the coming of the Christ. John preached among other things to believe in the one who was to come, and that he would testify to whom that person would be.
So on hearing the words of John, the two disciples followed Jesus. One those who heard him say these words was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, and he went to get Simon as they followed the Lord.
Jesus turned and saw them following him and he asked a very insightful question. It is a question that we need to ask ourselves today too. He said in verse 38, “What are you seeking?”
This is a question that we could and should ask today as it will help us define why we are Christians. Ask yourself this now. What are you seeking? When you come to the Ord and stand before him, what are you looking for?
Sme come seeking comradeship or camaraderie with others in a church setting. Others come to develop contacts for business or other things. Some see church as an opportunity to take from God’s people. For some it is a very shallow reason as to why they are in a Christian church. Others come to seek power so that they can lord it over heir brethren.
Then there are many others who are seeking to learn the ways of God. They are looking to find the Kingdom of God and they are seeking the pathway to eternal life. Some come to help others to find that pathway and to aid others when they are in times of trouble or difficult circumstances.
As you can see from just these few lines, there are many reasons why people may come into a church and be part of the congregation of the Lords people, and not all of their reasons are for good purposes. But for all people here is a reason why they are in the church, and each of them needs to ask and answer the question the Lord put to those disciples that day two thousand years ago: “What are you seeking?”
Simon is named Peter
At this early time we see Jesus also name Simon with his new name, Peter. Most people are aware that the name Peter is from the Greek word that means rock or stone.
What Jesus saw in Peter is quite clear from this passage. He saw hat Peter had a strength of character greater than many others around him. Jesus saw that Peter would stand firm as a rock. And despite the nstances where we saw Peter make mistakes, it is evident that this summed up who Peter was very well.
At the end of the gospel of John we will see that Jesus gave the authority and responsibility for the ongoing strength, teaching and spiritual nourishment of the early church to Peter (John 21:15-19). We saw Peter in various places stand up and take charge, specifically in his oration after receiving the Hoy Spirit and the gift of tongues at Pentecost (Acts 2), and then again when the elders and apostles came together to consider the issues of law-keeping when Paul struck problems with various of the early church factions (Acts 15:1-35).
You should note that in this section, despite the tremendous knowledge and learning of Paul, it was Peter who took the lead and stood firm as a rock over the matter of freedom from law and gave the right direction for the new Gentile churches.
And so we see the start of the work of Jesus. He began by calling his first disciples and these are they who continued to follow him and laid the basis for the church and who wrote what we know as the new testament today. Inspird by the Holy Spirit they took the teachings of Jesus to the world and wrote them down so that we too could find the truth.
And so as Jesus said back then, let us also ask today. What are you seeking? And also know that we have the advantage that Jesus taught us saying, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)
(Picture sourced from www.sxc.hu taken by Kylie White)
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