John 1.35-42 — Now on the witness stand, the “first people” who meet Jesus

OK, so back at the beginning of John I mentioned that the author, John, claims Jesus is God. Then we moved on to John the Baptizer, who also claims that he is God, declaring that God told him so. But what did other people think—other people who didn’t have that special message from God? What did, say, Joe the Plumber think of Jesus?

Here’s the scene: John the Baptizer is there, as usual, doing his prophetic thing. This time two of his followers are with him. When John saw Jesus, he again exclaimed, as he did in verse 29, that Jesus is the sacrificial lamb whose death will bring forgiveness for sin and cleansing to people. It’s what he had said the day before, which is OK because truth is truth, and sometimes repetition helps people learn better. His two followers heard him this time, so they decided to check Jesus out for themselves. And why not? If it’s true, it’s going to bear up under scrutiny. But it also shows that they believed their teacher, John, that this man, Jesus, was the one they were supposed to follow. In their eyes, both their teacher and his teaching had credibility. But it’s still worth examining for oneself.

Jesus is aware of them and asks, “What do you want?” It’s a normal question, but it’s also loaded. It’s Jesus’ first recorded words in John’s account, and not a bad question to all of us: “What is it you are looking for? Where is your heart? What do you want?” It’s almost as if he assumes that they, like everyone else, are looking for something to fulfill their deepest desires and give reality to their dreams and hopes for life. Am I reading into that? Once you hear Jesus’ normal questions as you read on, you’ll realize I’m not. Jesus always pokes straight to the heart of matters. “Is this curiosity, or a real desire?” You know how it goes. We all want something bigger than us, something truly significant and meaningful. We want to experience fullness and completeness. Some would say we want the sacred—something that surpasses our humanity. Based on what has already been said about Jesus in this book, I can tell their hearts are beating with expectation. Who IS this guy?

When they ask, “Where are you staying?”, we are to understand it as more than a request for his address. They want an interview. They want to have a chance to talk and find out for themselves if what John has said is true. And who wouldn’t? If they are going to become followers, they need not only information, but convincing. Makes sense to me.

Jesus puts himself at their disposal. “Come and you will see for yourself.” It’s a wide-open invitation to discover who He is. We all have the same invitation. Poke around all you want. Ask the hard questions. Discover everything there is to discover. Don’t hold back.

They went and spent the day with him. I don’t know about you, but I wish I had been a fly on the wall to hear the conversation. We don’t get that, but we do get to hear his conclusion, what he would say on the witness stand: “We have found the Messiah!” The two men are convinced they have made the greatest discovery of the ages. Wow, after just one day.

One of the men, Andrew, then brings his brother to Jesus. He wants others to meet Him, but Simon wasn’t so excited. He came reluctantly. Without introduction, Jesus says: I know you. You’re Simon, John’s son. You will be called “The Rock.” Jesus is already predicting that Simon will be changed by his relationship to Jesus. Ya think?

So, from witnesses 2 & 3 we have an evaluation: This man Jesus is the one God has been planning to send to us for ages. Hmmmm…  Very interesting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *