Day 9: The First Disciples

Text: John 1:19-51
Event(s): John the Baptist’s ministry and message; John the Baptist recalls his experience upon baptizing Jesus; the first five disciples to follow Jesus. 

John 1:31 John the Baptist and Jesus were relatives (Luke 1:36), so he knew who Jesus was as a person, but didn’t realize He was Messiah until after he had baptized Him. The Gospel of John is the only one that mentions that John also witnessed the Spirit descending and remaining upon Jesus.

John 1:37-45 Jesus didn’t commission the 12 disciples until later, after John the Baptist had been put in prison. Here, these first five disciples, who were first disciples of John the Baptist, chose to follow Jesus, which is what John urged them to do. They were Andrew, John (not John the Baptist, but John, the author of this Gospel), Peter, Philip and Nathanael. (This event is not to be confused with the time Jesus called Peter and Andrew to become “fishers of men”; that did not occur until some time later.)

John 1:39 John wrote this Gospel towards the end of his life; it’s endearing that after all those years, he still remembered the precise time of day he met Jesus for the first time.

John 1:42 Jesus spoke to Peter’s potential – what he was to become, not who he was then. To clear up any confusion as to why we have three names for Peter: Cephas is Aramaic (the common language of Palestine); Peter is the Greek translation and Simon was the Hebrew version of his name.

Today’s Takeaway:  I can’t imagine how different the landscape of The Church would look had Andrew not brought his brother, Peter, to see Jesus. I can’t imagine how different my life would look if my dear friend, nearly 16 years ago, had not invited me to church. I can’t imagine what my marriage would look like, if that guy, who didn’t even know who we were, hadn’t walked over to us and handed us that brochure that led us to a marriage small group that literally changed our lives.

I believe we all want to make a difference, but I wonder if we sometimes over-complicate what that looks like. The people and the moments I just mentioned to you will forever be imprinted on my heart, much in the same way that John remembered the exact place, and and the exact hour when he met Jesus.

Today, I just want to encourage you to take that step. Whatever it may be. Think of that someone in your life you know that really needs to meet Jesus. Think of that couple that you know that is having a hard time with their marriage, or that friend that keeps dating all the wrong guys and just ended up in another horrible breakup. Or how about that person who comes into your place of work (you may not even know their name) but you can just tell they seem to have the weight of the world on their shoulders. Just take the step. Just ask. Don’t overcomplicate it. Just invite them to church, hand them the info or send them the link. You don’t have to preach a message, you don’t have to open up the Scriptures, you don’t have to even have to stop and pray for them (unless, of course, this is what God is leading you to do). But that simple, earnest step towards being the hands and feet that leads them to Jesus could be the catalyst that forever changes their life.

Additional (optional) reading: The disciples were looking for the Messiah that had been prophesied about. Isaiah 53 is just one of those prophecies.