Yesterday we laid the foundation for today’s study learning how meeting Jesus changes us from ordinary to extraordinary people. Today we continue that study by witnessing the first change an encounter with Jesus can make in us.
Change #1: You Become A Believer instead of an Unbeliever.
Jesus has just endured 40 days of temptation in the wilderness. But now He’s back filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and ready to begin His public ministry, having defeated the devil at every turn. It’s also at this point on Day 3 that John the Baptist says to two of his disciples, “Behold the Lamb of God!” In other words, this is the Messiah I was telling you about, and now the time has come to follow Him, not me!
How do I know that’s what he meant by what he said? Because that’s what they immediately begin to do! Verse 35 says: “The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as He walked by and said, Behold, the Lamb of God!’ The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus.” (See! I told you that’s what he meant!)
Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, ‘What are you seeking?’” That’s the question of our lifetimes, isn’t it? What are you seeking? Are you seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness? (Matthew 6:33) Is that the most important thing in your life? Or is it the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life that you’re pursuing? (1 John 2:15-17)
That’s too big a question to answer in passing. They need time to sit down with Him and ask Him the questions that are on their hearts. So they say to Him, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” The Bible doesn’t tell us where He was staying. It could have been in a tent or a cave in the wilderness or at a friend’s home in Bethany near where John was baptizing. But wherever He was staying, that’s where they wanted to be! Can you say that about yourself? That’s my testimony and the first way I could tell that I was born again. Wherever Jesus is, that’s where I want to be forever.
They also call Him “Rabbi,” a term of great respect in Hebrew culture. Here it’s translated “teacher,” but it meant far more than that. It not only meant someone you learned from, it meant someone you followed and obeyed. In effect, they’re saying is: “We trust John’s testimony about you and are ready to follow you whatever you say and wherever you lead.”
Last week we learned who these first two disciples were. But let me repeat it for anyone who may not have read that blog. Verse 40 says, “One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.” You’ve heard of Peter, I’m sure, but you probably don’t know as much about Andrew. And yet, as you’ll see in a moment, if not for Andrew, you wouldn’t have heard of Peter either.
The name of the second disciple, on the other hand, isn’t mentioned here. But that’s actually the best clue as to his identity because who is the one disciple John never names in his Gospel? Himself – John! Out of humility, John never names himself. But you can tell it’s him because of how accurate he is about this meeting with Jesus. They ask Him in verse 39, “Where are you staying, Rabbi?” Right away He invites them, “Come and see.”
By the way, not once in all the Gospels, will you find Jesus turning someone away who wants to believe in Him! Nor will He turn you away. Instead, He invites them, “Come and see!” So John says, “They came and saw where He was staying, and they stayed with Him that day, for it was about the tenth hour.” The tenth hour was 4 o’clock in the afternoon, too late on a winter’s day to start the long walk home. So they spend the night with Jesus.The point is if the second disciple were someone other than John, he wouldn’t have mentioned the exact hour. But this was the great turning point in his life, and he could never forget where and when and how it happened.
So they spend the night with Jesus, and that’s all it takes to convince Andrew. That’s why I call him the first believer in Jesus. The proof of it is what he does the next morning. He finds his brother Peter and tells him about Jesus. That’s the second change that takes place when you meet Jesus. The first thing that happens is you become a believer. The second change that takes place is that you become an inviter rather than a mere seeker. That will be the focus of tomorrow’s study. Please join us!