Sunday, January 19, 2020
“Follow the Lamb”
Service Orientation: Following the Lamb of God, Jesus, requires we recognize why He came in the first place; to take away sin. The degree to which we see our need will often dictate the degree by which we will follow.
Memory Verse for the Week: “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” Hebrews 9:27-28
- This is the second day of the week that the apostle John recorded, and no doubt some of the same committee members were present to hear John the Baptist’s message. This time, he called Jesus “the Lamb of God,” a title he would repeat the next day. In one sense, the message of the Bible can be summed up in this title. The question in the Old Testament is, “Where is the lamb?” (Gen. 22:7). In the four gospels, the emphasis is “Behold the Lamb of God!” Here He is! After you have trusted Him, you sing with the heavenly choir, “Worthy is the Lamb” (Rev. 5:12). (Warren Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, 230-1)
- Andrew’s testimony shows that the interview of the preceding hours must have been related to Jewish hopes and to Jesus’ character. The statement “We have found the Messiah” does not necessarily imply an explicit claim by Jesus, but it does indicate a settled conclusion on the part of Andrew. Andrew’s declaration does not imply that he had a correct concept of Jesus’ messiahship. It only shows that he regarded Jesus as the candidate for that title. The expectation of a national deliverer was widespread in Judaism in the first third of the first century. Probably all the disciples expected that Jesus would fulfill their hopes for an independent kingdom and consequent political power for those who joined him (cf. Mark 10:28, 35—45). (Frank E. Gæbelein, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Vol. 9, 40)
- Here we find the fulfillment of the answer that Abraham had given to Isaac those many years ago. Isaac said, “…Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burn offering…” (Gen. 22:7-8). John tells us that lamb is Jesus. (J. Vernon McGee, Thru The Bible Commentary Series, John, 34-35)
The question to be answered is…
What does this account reveal about Jesus and why does it matter?
This account reveals who Jesus is, where He’s from, why He came, and for whom He came. It matters because if Jesus is worth following, understanding His validity and mission matters.
The word of the day is… Follow
What should we hone in on in this text in order to more-fully follow Jesus?
- Who Jesus is? | The Lamb (vv. 29, 25)
(Gen. 22:8; Is. 53:7; John 1:36; 1 Cor. 5:7; 1 Pet. 1:18-21; Rev. 5:11-12; 7:10 )
John the Baptist is famous for many things, but the central and most important role he has in the New Testament is to point away from himself and towards Jesus. In particular, here in John’s Gospel, he points him out as “God’s lamb”. And with that he indicates, at the very start of the gospel story, how things are going to end, and why. Jesus is to die a sacrificial death for the sins of the world. (N.T. Wright, John for Everyone, Part 1, 10)
Christ as an Elijah —a Social-Reformer— will be tolerated; and Christ as a Prophet, as a Teacher of ethics, will receive respect. But what the world needs first and foremost is the Christ of the Cross, where the Lamb of God offered Himself as a sacrifice for sin. (Arthur W. Pink, Exposition of the Gospel of John, 58)
- Where Jesus is from? | God (vv. 29, 30, 34)
(Gen. 3:15; John 3:17; 6:46; 7:17; 8:42; 13:3; 16:27; 16:30; Rom. 8:3)
The people of Israel were familiar with lambs for the sacrifices. At Passover, each family had to have a lamb, and during the year, two lambs a day were sacrificed at the temple altar, plus all the other lambs brought for personal sacrifices. Those lambs were brought by men to men, but here is God’s Lamb, given by God to men! Those lambs could not take away sin, but the Lamb of God can take away sin. Those lambs were for Israel alone, but this Lamb would shed His blood for the whole world! (Warren Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, 231)
- His primary mission? | take away sin (vv. 29, 41)
(Gen. 2:17; Jer. 31:30; John 8:24; Rom. 5:8; 6:23; 1 Cor. 15:3; Heb. 9:15; 1 Tim. 1:15)
He is the Lamb that God provides, and in this sacrifice, He takes away the sin of the world. This is a theme throughout this Gospel. The Lamb is our substitute. He takes upon Himself our infirmities. The vicarious nature of His death is made clear in the cry of John. (Roger L. Fredrikson, The Communicator’s Commentary: John, 55)
- Who’s sin? | the world’s (v. 29)
(Mat. 16:26; John 3:16-17; 8:12; 12:46; Rom. 5:9-11; Heb. 10:5-7; 1 John 2:2; 4:9; 4:14)
But in witnessing to Jesus’ identity, the Baptist partly unpacked the significance of Jesus’ ministry. First, he declared that Jesus was the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (1:29b). This implies three significant points: that sin stands as the root problem addressed by Jesus; that the malady of sin afflicts the whole world, rather than a limited segment of it; and that it is God himself who stands behind this Lamb, offering gracious remedy for the world’s affliction. (Joseph Dongell, John: A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition, 47)
Conclusion: What does following the Lamb imply in light of this text?
A. Trusting | The Lamb as your lamb.
(Ps. 9:10; 13:5; Is. 53; John 1:12; 3:16;14:6; Acts 4:12; Rom. 5:8; 6:23; Eph. 2:8; Rev. 7:17)
There is no way to follow Jesus without him interfering with your life. Following Jesus will cost you something. (Kyle Idleman, Not A Fan, 30)
B. Exchanging | Your bubble for his kingdom.
(Mat. 3:2; 4:17; 6:33; 7:21; 16:26; 21:43; Mark 8:36; John 15:19; 1 Cor. 15:50; Heb. 12:28)
When you know that you’ve found everything that you’re looking for, you don’t have to seek anywhere else to find it. When you know you’ve found the desire of your soul, you don’t have to go and just enjoy the temporary cravings of the world because you’re completely satisfied in who He [Jesus] is. (Sadie Robertson, Passion 2020 Conference, 7:05)
The reason Jesus is so adamant about followers surrendering everything is because the reality is this: the one thing we are most reluctant to give up is the one thing that has the most potential to become a substitute for him. Really what we’re talking about here is idolatry. When we are to be following Jesus, who is ahead of us, but find ourselves looking behind us, we are revealing that we are substituting something or someone for him. (Kyle Idleman, Not A Fan, 205)
C. Bringing | others.
(Pro. 11:30; Is. 6:8; Mat. 9:37-38; 28:19; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; 8:28-35; Rom. 1:16; 10:10-17; 1 Cor. 9:22; 1 Pet. 3:15)
Today people are looking for someone to give them security in an insecure world. We must point them to Christ and show them how Christ satisfies their need. They must hear it first from us. We cannot pass on to others what we do not possess. If we know Jesus, we will want to introduce others to him. (Bruce B. Barton, Life Application Bible Commentary: John, 23)
The man who only knows Christ by the hearing of the ear, will never do much for the spread of Christ’s cause in the earth. (J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on John Vol.1, 51)
It is worth noting that Andrew and John trusted Christ through the faithful preaching of John the Baptist. Peter and James came to Christ because of the compassionate personal work of their brothers. Later on, Jesus would win Philip personally, and then Philip would witness to Nathanael and bring him to Jesus. Each man’s experience is different, because God uses various means to bring sinners to the Savior. The important thing is that we trust Christ and then seek to bring others to Him. (Warren Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, 231)
The Son of God, is the Lamb of God, who came to reconcile the world to God. Jesus is worthy of our worship because He is God and gave Himself for us.
(Luke 19:10; Rom. 5:10-11; 2 Cor. 5:11, 18-20; Eph. 2:14-18; Col 1:15-32)
The principal office of Christ is briefly but clearly stated; that he takes away the sins of the world by the sacrifice of his death, and reconciles men to God. There are other favors, indeed, which Christ bestows upon us, but this is the chief favor, and the rest depend on it; that, by appeasing the wrath of God, he makes us to be reckoned holy and righteous. (John Calvin, Commentary on John: Vol 1, 42)
Following Jesus means we recognize our need of Him, and put our trust in Him. In Jesus, our life can become something far greater than what we settle for without Him.
To follow Christ for our own purposes would be asking Christ to follow us—to align with us to support and advance our cause, not his. We must examine our motives for following him. Are we seeking his glory or ours? (Bruce B. Barton, Life Application Bible Commentary: John, 24)
Spiritual Challenge Questions…
Reflect on these questions in your time with the Lord this week, or discuss with a Christian family member or life group.
- Is Jesus your Lamb? Do you have assurance of this? If so, where does your assurance come from? If not, what does the Bible teach about finding assurance in Jesus?
- What in your life is hindering you from fully following Jesus? Friends, choices, relationships, habits…?
- Who in your life do you need to introduce to Jesus? Do you have a Christian friend you can begin praying with about this?
- Finish this sentence… “My next step in more-fully following Jesus this week will be to…”
Quotes to note…
Jesus was never interested in having fans. When he defines what kind of relationship he wants, “Enthusiastic Admirer” isn’t an option. My concern is that many of our churches in America have gone from being sanctuaries to becoming stadiums. And every week all the fans come to the stadium where they cheer for Jesus but have no interest in truly following him. The biggest threat to the church today is fans who call themselves Christians but aren’t actually interested in following Christ. They want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits, but not so close that it requires anything from them. (Kyle Idleman, Not A Fan, 25)
Satan accuses Christians day and night. It is not just that he will work on our conscience to make us feel as dirty, guilty, defeated, destroyed, week, and ugly as he possibly can; it is something worse: his entire ploy in the past is to accuse us before God day and night, bring charges against us that we know we can never answer before the majesty of God‘s holiness. What can we say in response? Will our defense be, “Oh, I’m not that bad!“? You will never beat Satan that way. Never. What you must say is, “Satan, I’m even worse than you think, but God loves me anyway. He has accepted me because of the blood of the Lamb.” (D.A. Carson, Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus, 98-99)
Just as God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, so God was now bringing a new people out of an even older and darker slavery. (N.T. Wright, John for Everyone: Part 1, 11)
‘How weighty must be the blood of the Lamb, by whom the world was made, to turn the scale when weighed against the world!’ (Augustine)
Surely, if we can find nothing to say to others about Jesus, we may well doubt whether we are savingly acquainted with him ourselves. (J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on John Vol.1, 51)
FURTHER QUOTES AND RESEARCH
A religion that gives nothing, costs nothing, and suffers nothing, is worth nothing. – M. Luther
In Rebuilding Your Broken World, Gordon MacDonald suggests twenty-six questions to help develop accountability and invite feedback. If we desire to grow, we should submit our selves to a spiritual mentor and answer these questions honestly.
- How is your relationship with God right now?
- What have you read in the Bible in the past week?
- What has God said to you in this reading?
- Where do you find yourself resisting Him these days?
- What specific things are you praying for in regard to yourself?
- What are the specific tasks facing you right now that you consider incomplete?
- What habits intimidate you?
- What have you read in the secular press this week?
- What general reading are you doing?
- What have you done to play?
- How are you doing with your spouse? Kids?
- If I were to ask your spouse about your state of mind, state of spirit, state of energy level, what would the response be?
- Are you sensing spiritual attacks from the enemy right now?
- If Satan were to try to invalidate you as a person or as a servant of the Lord, how might he do it?
- What is the state of your sexual perspective? Tempted? Dealing with fantasies? Entertainment?
- Where are you financially right now? (things under control? under anxiety? in great debt?)
- Are there any unresolved conflicts in your circle of relationships right now?
- When was the last time you spent time with a good friend of your own gender?
- What kind of time have you spent with anyone who is a non-Christian this month?
- What challenges do you think you’re going to face in the coming week? Month?
- What would you say are your fears at this present time?
- Are you sleeping well?
- What three things are you most thankful for?
- Do you like yourself at this point in your pilgrimage?
- What are your greatest confusions about your relationship with God?
(Paul Borthwick, Leading the Way, Navpress, 1989, pp. 171-172.)
It is well known that Christ consistently used the expression “follower.” He never asks for admirers, worshipers, or adherents. No, he calls disciples. It is not adherents of a teaching but followers of a life Christ is looking for. (Søren Kierkegaard, Training in Christianity, 231)
Following Jesus means following him alone. Fans don’t want to put Jesus on the throne of their hearts. Instead they keep a couch on their hearts and, at the most, give Jesus a cushion. (Kyle Idleman, Not A Fan, 63)
“And he brought him to Jesus.” Isn’t this the heart of all our evangelistic endeavor? Jesus looked at Simon—searchingly and penetratingly— and saw what no one else could see. He saw not only what Peter could become, but who he would become. This big, blustering, erratic fisherman would become a leader among men, the first among the apostles, and finally, a martyr because of his love for Jesus. Jesus claims him with a new name, Cephas, which signifies what he will become, a stone. “In designating him by his new name, Jesus takes possession of him and consecrates him, with all his natural qualities, to the work which He is going to entrust to him.”3 (Roger L. Fredrikson, The Communicator’s Commentary: John, 59)
We sin because our nature is sinful. How often we have been naive and superficial in our understanding of sin, minimizing its cosmic nature. It is not simply a wrongdoing now and then with which we have to contend, but a pervasive “sickness unto death” which affects all existence. Rebellious, hostile warfare is waged in all creation against its Maker. (Roger L. Fredrikson, The Communicator’s Commentary: John, 55)
Jesus was consecrated to a life of obedience and sacrifice when the Spirit came on Him. Archbishop Temple has written of this beautifully. “The dove was a poor man’s sacrifice (Luke 2:24) and was commonly reputed to be the only sacrificial victim that offered its own neck to the sacrificial knife. That is the spirit that descends upon Him: that is His kingly anointing: that is what marks Him as Son of God.” (Wm- Temple, Readings in St. John’s Gospel, 26)
32—33 Another aspect of John’s witness related to the work of the Holy Spirit, who both authenticated the mission of Jesus and was the seal of his work in individual lives. John did not pretend to impart the Spirit to his followers; he could only announce that Jesus would do so. To “baptize with the Holy Spirit” means that just as the common experience of baptism in water signified repentance and confession of sin, so the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the seal and dynamic of the new life. Repentance and confession are the conditions on which the believer receives the gift of the Spirit (cf. Acts 2:38; Gal 3:2; 5:16-25). (Frank E. Gæbelein, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Vol. 9, 38)
The Baptist was a religious leader outside the mainstream. He appeared in the wilderness with an eschatological message, that is, a message about the expected time of God’s judgment and restoration. But although his message was not mainstream, it was not unique. Within Judaism there were many popular movements and much speculation concerning the Coming One prophesied in Scripture. It was as confusing a time as our own. Even the hope for a coming messiah was not a single, simple idea, but rather a complex variety of expectations that had been developing for several centuries . (Rodney A. Whitacre, The IVP New Testament Commentary Series: John, 65)
Such humility is part of being receptive and obedient to God. One with such a heart is able, like the Baptist (v. 33), to hear God. Later in the story we will be told of God’s speaking directly to people who are not able to understand (12:28-30). It seems clear that the Baptist must have had an inner receptivity that enabled him to receive God’s message. (Rodney A. Whitacre, The IVP New Testament Commentary Series: John, 69)
“Behold the lamb of God.” There before John stood the One whom all the sacrifices of Old Testament times had foreshadowed. is exceedingly striking to observe the progressive order followed\u2029i It is exceedingly striking to observe the progressive order followed by God in the teaching of Scripture concerning “the lamb.” \u2029First, in Gen. 4, we have the Lamb typified in the firstlings of the flock slain by Abel in sacrifice. Second, we have the Lamb prophesied in Gen. 22:8 where Abraham said to Isaac, “God will provide himself a lamb.” Third, in Ex. 12, we have the Lamb slain and its blood applied. Fourth, in Isa. 53:7, we have the Lamb personified: here for the first time we learn that the Lamb would be a man. (Arthur W. Pink, Exposition of the Gospel of John, 58)
Many have wondered how to harmonize John 1:35-42 with Mark 1:16-20. But there is nothing to harmonize, because there is no contradiction between them. The truth is, that Mark and John are not writing on the same subject. Mark treats of something which happened at a later date than that of which John writes. John tells us of the conversion of these disciples, whereas Mark (as also Matthew and Luke) deals with their call to service-a service which concerned the lost sheep of the house of Israel. That John omits the call to service (which each of the other three evangelists record) brings out, again, the special character of his Gospel, for he treats not of dispensational but of spiritual relationships, and therefore was it reserved for him to describe the conversion of these first disciples of Christ. (Arthur W. Pink, Exposition of the Gospel of John, 62-63)
When God sends forth a man to take an active and prominent part in His service, the religious leaders look upon him with suspicion, and hold aloof in their fancied superiority. On the other hand, the vulgar, curious crowds, ever hungering for the novel and sensational, are attracted; but comparatively few are really touched in their consciences and hearts. (Arthur W. Pink, Exposition of the Gospel of John, 66)
There are a great variety of motives and influences which make people become the outward and professed followers of Christ. In the days of which our passage treats, many soon “followed” Christ because the crowd streamed after Him and carried them along with it. Many “followed” Him for what they could get — the loaves and fishes, or the curing of their ailments and the healing of their loved ones. For a time many “followed” Him, doubtless, because it was the popular and respectable thing to do. But a few “followed” because they felt their deep need of Him, and were attracted by the perfections of His Person. So it was then, and so it is now. Christ desired to be followed intelligently or not at all — that is, He will not accept formal or superstitious worship. What He wants is the heart — the heart that seeks Him for Himself! (Arthur W. Pink, Exposition of the Gospel of John, 68)
Every heart has its object. If your heart is not set upon Christ Himself, it is set upon something which is not Christ. (Arthur W. Pink, Exposition of the Gospel of John, 68)
The Greek word for “takes away” can also mean “take up.” Jesus took away our sin by taking it upon himself. This is the image depicted in Isaiah 53:4-9 and 1 Peter 2:24. 21
Andrew appears two more times in this Gospel; each time he is bringing people to Jesus (see 6:4-9; 12:20-22). The idea that we must somehow convince people about Jesus places too much importance on what we say and do. We must trust God’s Spirit to work in a person and understand that our part may be little more than bringing that person into contact with Jesus. (Bruce B. Barton, Life Application Bible Commentary: John, 25)
\The people of Israel were familiar with lambs for the sacrifices. At Passover, each family had to have a lamb, and during the year, two lambs a day were sacrificed at the temple altar, plus all the other lambs brought for personal sacrifices. Those lambs were brought by men to men, but here is God’s Lamb, given by God to men! Those lambs could not take away sin, but the Lamb of God can take away sin. Those lambs were for Israel alone, but this Lamb would shed His blood for the whole world! (Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary Vol. 1, 287)
There was some confusion among the Jewish teachers as to what the Messiah would do. Some saw Him as a suffering sacrifice (as in Isa. 53), while others saw a splendid king (as in Is. 9 and 11). Jesus had to explain even to His own followers that the cross had to come before the crown, that He must suffer before He could enter into His glory (Luke 24:13—35). Whether or not Jesus was indeed the Messiah was a crucial problem that challenged the Jews in that day (John 7:26, 40—44; 9:22; 10:24). (Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary Vol. 1, 288)
Christ is a Saviour. He did not come on earth to be a conqueror, or a philosopher, or a mere teacher of morality. He came to save sinners. He came to do that which man could never do for himself,—to do that which money and learning can never obtain,—to do that which is essential to man’s real happiness: He came to ‘take away sin.’ (J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on John Vol.1, 40)
Last, but not least, Christ is a perpetual and unwearied Saviour. He ‘taketh away’ sin. He is daily taking it away from everyone that believes on him,—daily purging, daily cleansing, daily washing the souls of his people, daily granting and applying fresh supplies of mercy. He did not cease to work for his saints, when he died for them on the cross. He lives in heaven as a Priest, to present his sacrifice continually before God. In grace as well as in providence, Christ worketh still. He is ever taking away sin. (J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on John Vol.1, 41)
The use of the present tense, ‘taketh away,’ is remarked by all the best commentators, ancient and modern. It is intended to show the completeness of Christs satisfaction for sin, and the continual application of his once-made sacrifice. He is always taking sin away. Rollock observes, ‘The influence of Christ: sacrifice is perpetual, and his blood never dries up.’ (J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on John Vol.1, 43)
Augustine remarks, ‘How weighty must be the blood of the Lamb, by whom the world was made, to turn the scale when weighed against the world!’ (J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on John Vol.1, 44)
Those who have done most for Christ’s cause in every part of the world, have been men like John the Baptist. They have not cried, Behold me, or, Behold the church, or, Behold the ordinances, but ‘Behold the Lamb.’ If souls are to be saved, men must be pointed directly to Christ. (J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on John Vol.1, 49)
The extent of Andrew’s religious knowledge ought not to be overlooked. Poor and humble in station as he was, he seems, like all the Jews, to have known what the Old Testament prophets had foretold about Messiah, and to have been prepared to hear of a person appearing in the character of Messiah. It is one of many expressions in the Gospels which show that the lower orders among the Jews were far better acquainted with the letter of the Old Testament Scriptures, than the poor in our own day generally are with the letter of the New Testament, or indeed of any part of the Bible. (J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on John Vol.1, 53)
This was near the time of the Passover, the celebration of God’s mighty deliverance of His people from captivity. At the center Of this joyous occasion was the sacrifice of the Paschal Lamb. This must have been in the Baptist’s mind as Jesus came. Also, there may have been flocks of lambs being driven to Jerusalem through this area to be offered in this act of national worship. Furthermore, John was the son of Zacharias, the priest, and he knew well the command of the Lord to offer a lamb upon the altar every morning and evening. (Roger, L. Fredrikson, Mastering the New Testament: John, 54)
He is the Lamb that God provides, and in this sacrifice, He takes away the sin of the world. This is a theme throughout this Gospel. The Lamb is our substitute. He takes upon Himself our infirmities. The vicarious nature of His death is made clear in the cry of John. (Roger, L. Fredrikson, Mastering the New Testament: John, 55)
It is not simply our individual sins He bears, but the “sin of the world. ” We sin because our nature is sinful. How often we have been naive and superficial in our understanding of sin, minimizing its cos- mic nature. It is not simply a wrongdoing now and then with which we have to contend, but a pervasive “sickness unto death” which affects all existence. Rebellious, hostile warfare is waged in all creation against its Maker. “We have been caught with the weapons in our bloody hands,” as Emil Brunner said long ago. Unless this awful sickness in human existence is dealt with, there is no salvation, no hope of a new creation. John’s declaration here in v. 29 makes it clear this is exactly what Jesus came to do. (Roger, L. Fredrikson, Mastering the New Testament: John, 55)
“And he brought him to Jesus.” Isn’t this the heart of all our evangelistic endeavor? Jesus looked at Simon—searchingly and penetratingly— and saw what no one else could see. He saw not only what Peter could become, but who he would become. This big, blustering, erratic fisherman would become a leader among men, the first among the apostles, and finally, a martyr because of his love for Jesus. Jesus claims him with a new name, Cephas, which signifies what he will become, a stone. ‘ ‘In designating him by his new name, Jesus takes possession of him and consecrates him, with all his natural qualities, to the work which He is going to entrust to him ” (Roger, L. Fredrikson, Mastering the New Testament: John, 59)
But what did Jesus find when He found Andrew and Peter and you and me? Was the find worth the search? He got a son of thunder in John—a man of fiery spirit, daringly covetous of power and ready to bring down the damnation of fire on first provocation. In Andrew He got a very common man—just a common sinner. Simon Peter was an impetuous fellow, unstable as water; well intentioned, but blown with the wind. Philip was slow, calculating, unimaginative. (J.C. Macaulay, Expository Commentary on John, 30)
Nathanael was a victim of narrow prejudices. No, Jesus did not find an army of full-fledged saints when He lighted on these Galileans. I think they would compare more favorably with the motley crew that assembled to David in the cave of Adullam than with a band of angels. Yet the Lord made a great find in these men. He would not have gone seeking them had He not thought them worth all the travail and humiliation to find them. And right here let us stop and remember that the Lord would not have gone the dark, hard way of the cross to find you and me had He not considered us worth the awful price. The value, however, lies not in what we are, but in what He can make of us. 30-(J.C. Macaulay, Expository Commentary on John, 31)
Nathanael was a victim of narrow prejudices. No, Jesus did not find an army of full-fledged saints when He lighted on these Galileans. I think they would compare more favorably with the motley crew that assembled to David in the cave of Adullam than with a band of angels. Yet the Lord made a great find in these men. He would not have gone seeking them had He not thought them worth all the travail and humiliation to find them. And right here let us stop and remember that the Lord would not have gone the dark, hard way of the cross to find you and me had He not considered us worth the awful price. The value, however, lies not in what we are, but in what He can make of us. (J.C. Macaulay, Expository Commentary on John, 31)
He takes a son of thunder and makes him into an apostle of love. He finds a very common man (his name just means “a man”), and enables him at last to crash the gates into the inner circle of the apostolate. He undertakes for the unstable Simon and transforms him into a mighty rock fit to take a foundation place in His church. He sanctifies the cautious, calculating disposition of a Philip until he is written down in tradition as “that holy and glorious apostle and theologian.” A prejudiced Nathanael he delivers from his narrow groove and makes him a man of heavenly vision, a guileless Israelite. (J.C. Macaulay, Expository Commentary on John, 31)
Left to ourselves, we are of little account, but found by the Lord Jesus, we can become under His hand something for His everlasting delight and glory. (J.C. Macaulay, Expository Commentary on John, 31)
This Messiah was no swashbuckling commander that came to rid Israel of her enemies; He came to deliver them from their own sin and rebellion and He did it God’s way. It was love and not might that would redeem. It was
the Lamb that would reign, and His was the Kingdom that would never end. (Samuel Young, Beacon Bible Expositions, Vol.4, 23)
Jesus’ active ministry begins about the time when John the Baptist had reached the climax of his popularity and ministry. He seemed to be “shunting” some of his own leading followers into Jesus’ circle. They eventually became a part of the Master’s “inner circle.” (Samuel Young, Beacon Bible Expositions, Vol.4, 25)
The final section of this immediate passage before us closes by calling Jesus “the Son of man.” Here the designation relates Him to all humanity rather than to a special people or race. No wonder John later indicates the realm of
His redemption extends to “whosoever believeth in him.” Such is the measure of God’s redemption and grace. (Samuel Young, Beacon Bible Expositions, Vol.4, 26)
Whenever you find Andrew in John’s gospel, he is bringing somebody to Jesus: his brother, the lad with the loaves and fishes (John 6:8), and the Greeks who wanted to see Jesus (John 12:20–21). No sermons from Andrew are recorded, but he certainly preached great sermons by his actions as a personal soul winner! (Warren Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, 231)
* John the Baptist, therefore, by speaking generally of the sin of the world, intended to impress upon us the conviction of our own misery, and to exhort us to seek the remedy. (John Calvin, Commentary on John, Vol.1, 43)
It was then, for the first time, that the Spirit was seen descending on him; not that he had formerly been destitute of him, but because he might be said to be then consecrated by a solemn rite. For we know that he remained in concealment, during thirty years, like a private individual, because the time for his manifestation was not yet come; but when he intended to make himself known to the world, he began with his baptism. At that time, therefore, he received the Spirit not only for himself, but for his people; and on that account his descent was visible, that we may know that there dwells in him an abundance of all gifts of which we are empty and destitute. (John Calvin, Commentary on John, Vol1, 45)
he testified that Christ was the Son of God, because he who gives the Holy Spirit must be the Christ, for to no other belongs the honor and the office of reconciling men to God. (John Calvin, Commentary on John, Vol1, 46)
We ought also to observe what is the chief object to which John directs the attention of men; it is, to find in Christ the forgiveness of sins. And as Christ had presented himself to the disciples for the express purpose that they might come to him, so now when they come, he gently encourages and exhorts them; for he does not wait until they first address him, but asks, What do you seek? This kind and gracious invitation, which was once made to two persons, now belongs to all. We ought not therefore to fear that Christ will withdraw from us or refuse to us easy access, provided that he sees us desirous to come to him; but, on the contrary, he will stretch out his hand to assist our endeavors. And how will not he meet those who come to him, who seeks at a distance those who are wandering and astray, that he may bring them back to the right road? (John Calvin, Commentary on John, Vol1, 47)
I knew him not – Till he came to be baptized. How surprising is this; considering how nearly they were related, and how remarkable the conception and birth of both had been. But there was a peculiar providence visible in our saviour’s living, from his infancy to his baptism, at Nazareth: John all the time living the life of a hermit in the deserts of Judea, Luke i, 80, ninety or more miles from Nazareth: hereby that acquaintance was prevented which might have made John’s testimony of Christ suspected. (John Wesley, Wesley’s Notes on the Bible, 147)
The title Lamb of God foreshadows Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice on the cross for the sin of the world. With this brief statement, the prophet John made it clear that the Messiah had come to deal with sin. (John MacArthur, New Testament Commentary: John 1-22, 56)
But of all the issues involving the relationship of divine sovereignty to human responsibility, the most basic is that of salvation. The biblical teaching that salvation is a divine act that demands a human response may be likened to a clearly marked, but narrow path between two chasms. To err on either side of that path is to plummet to spiritual ruin. (John MacArthur, New Testament Commentary: John 1-22, 62)
By asking the question, where are you staying? Andrew and John were not merely asking where He was residing. They were courteously requesting an extended private interview with Him.The question also signaled their willingness to become His disciples. Jesus’ immediate response to them, “Come, and you will see,” was the invitation Andrew and John were hoping for. But Jesus “is in fact bidding these men do something more than discover where He is staying for the night; He is inviting them to come and gain from Him an insight into the mind and purpose of God Himself” (John MacArthur, New Testament Commentary: John 1-22, 64)
Jesus never put off the sincere, Spirit-prompted seeker. He was never too busy to show compassion for lost sheep who were seeking a Shepherd (Matt. 9:36). (John MacArthur, New Testament Commentary: John 1-22, 64)
Not content with merely delivering the good news that he had found the Messiah, Andrew actually brought Peter to Jesus. When he arrived, Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter). Jesus’ penetrating, omniscient look saw not merely Simon, but also the man He would mold him into. Jesus therefore called him Cephas, the Aramaic word for “rock,” which, as John again translated for his Gentile readers, is rendered Peter in Greek. That name would both inform Simon of the rock that he was to become, and challenge him to pursue it. Over time, Jesus would transform Simon’s character to match the new name He had given him, and use him as the foundational leader in the earliest days of the church. (John MacArthur, New Testament Commentary: John 1-22, 66)
It would be miserable work indeed to visit the sick and dying, if I could not say, “Behold the Lamb of God—believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved.” The right hand of a Christian minister is the doctrine of free forgiveness through faith in Christ. Give us this doctrine, and we have power—we will never despair of doing good to men’s souls. Take away this doctrine, and we are weak as water. We may read the prayers and go through a round of forms—but we are like Samson with his hair shorn—our strength is gone. Souls will not be benefitted by us, and good will not be done. (J.C. Ryle, Forgiveness, 13)
Every sacrifice that was offered up by patriarchs, was a testimony of their faith in a greater sacrifice yet to come. Every shedding of the blood of lambs and goats under the Mosaic law was meant to foreshadow the dying of the true Lamb of God for the sin of the world. When Christ was crucified, these sacrifices and types received their full accomplishment. The true sacrifice for sin was at length offered; the real atoning blood was at length shed. From that day the offerings of the Mosaic law were no longer needed. Their work was done. Like old almanacs, they might be laid aside forever (J.C. Ryle, Old Paths, 109)
“Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn 1:29). It is here, in the recognition that, whereas we are by nature at odds with God, and God with us, Jesus has made “peace through his blood, shed on the cross” (Col 1:20), that true knowledge of the peace of God begins. (J.I. Packer, Knowing God, 196-7)
Concerning His birth
|1||Born of the seed of the woman from the bloodline of Adam as the Son of Man||Genesis 3:15||Galatians 4:4|
|2||Born of a virgin||Isaiah 7:14||Matthew 1:18-25. Luke 1:26-35|
|3||Descendant of Abraham||Genesis 22:15-18. Genesis 12:3||J: Matthew 1:1 (3)
M: Luke 3:34 (3)
|4||Descendant of Isaac||Genesis 21:12. Genesis 17:19||J: Matthew 1:2
M: Luke 3:34
|5||Descendant of Jacob||Numbers 24:17||J: Matthew 1:2
M: Luke 3:34
|6||Tribe of Judah||Genesis 49:10||J: Matthew 1:2
M: Luke 3:33
|7||The family line of Jesse||Isaiah 11:1, 10||J: Matthew 1:6|
|8||Descendant of David||Jeremiah 23:5||J: Matthew 1:6
M: Luke 3:31
|9||Born in Bethlehem (The Bread from Heaven, born in the city of Bread, John 6:51)||Micah 5:2||Luke 2:4-7|
|10||Worshipped by Shepherds||Psalms 72:9||Luke 2:8-15|
|11||Presented with gifts||Psalms 72:10||Matthew 2:1,11|
|12||Herod kills the children||Jeremiah 31:15||Matthew 2:16-18|
|13||Escape to Egypt||Hosea 11:1||Matthew 2:14,15|
Concerning His nature
|14||He pre-existed creation||Micah 5:2||1 Peter 1:20|
|15||He shall be called Lord||Psalms 110:1||Acts 2:36|
|16||Called Immanuel (i.e., God with us)||Isaiah 7:14||Matthew 1:22-23|
|17||Prophet||Deuteronomy 18:15,18-19||Acts 3:18-25|
|18||Priest||Psalms 110:4||Hebrews 5:5-6|
|19||Judge||Isaiah 33:22||John 5:22-23|
|20||King||Psalms 2:6||John 18:33-37|
|21||Anointed by the Spirit||Isaiah 11:2||Matthew 3:16-17|
|22||His zeal for God||Psalms 69:9||John 2:15-17|
|23||Declared the Son of God||Psalms 2:7. Proverbs 30:4||Luke 1:32,35. Matthew 3:17|
Concerning His ministry
|24||Preceded by a messenger that would be similar to Elijah (i.e., John the Baptist)||Isaiah 40:3. Malachi 3:1. Malachi 4:5,6||Matthew 3:1-3. Luke 7:24,27. Matthew 11:13,14|
|25||To begin in Galilee||Isaiah 9:1-2||Matthew 4:12-17|
|26||Ministry of Miracles||Isaiah 35:5-6||Matthew 9:35;11:4|
|27||Teacher of parables||Psalms 78:1-4||Matthew 13:34-35|
|28||He was to enter the temple with authority||Malachi 3:1||Matthew 21:10-12|
|29||Enter Jerusalem on donkey||Zechariah 9:9||Matthew 21:1-7. Mark 11:7-11|
|30||Stone of stumbling to Jews||Isaiah 28:16. Psalms 118:22||1 Peter 2:6-8|
|31||Light to Gentiles||Isaiah 49:6||Acts 13:46-48|
|32||Adored by children||Psalms 8:2||Matthew 21:15,16|
|33||Not believed||Isaiah 53:1||John 12:37,38|
The day Jesus was crucified
|34||Betrayed by a friend||Psalms 41:9||John 13:18-27|
|35||Sold for 30 pieces of silver||Zechariah 11:12||Matthew 26:14-15|
|36||30 pieces thrown in Temple||Zechariah 11:13||Matthew 27:3-5|
|37||30 pieces buys Potter’s field||Zechariah 11:13||Matthew 27:6-10|
|38||Forsaken by His disciples||Zechariah 13:7||Mark 14:27,50|
|39||Accused by false witnesses||Psalms 35:11,20,21||Matthew 26:59-61|
|41||Silent before accusers||Isaiah 53:7||Matthew 27:12-14|
|42||Wounded and bruised||Isaiah 53:4-6||1 Peter 2:21-25|
|43||Beaten and spit upon||Isaiah 50:6||Matthew 26:67-68|
|44||Mocked||Psalms 22:6-8||Matthew 27:27-31|
|45||Fell under the cross||Psalms 109:24-25||John 19:17; Luke 23:26|
|46||Hands and feet pierced||Psalms 22:16||John 20:24-28|
|47||Crucified with thieves||Isaiah 53:12||Matthew 27:38|
|48||Prayed for and forgave His enemies||Isaiah 53:12||Luke 23:34|
|49||Rejected by His own people||Isaiah 53:3. Isaiah 53:8-12||John 1:11. John 19:14-15. Luke 23:18. Acts 4:11. 1 Peter 2:6-8|
|50||Hated without cause||Psalms 69:4||John 15:25|
|51||Friends stood aloof||Psalms 38:11||Luke 22:54; 23:49|
|52||People wag their heads||Psalms 22:7;109:25||Matthew 27:39|
|53||People stared at Him||Psalms 22:17||Luke 23:35|
|54||Cloths divided and gambled for||Psalms 22:18||John 19:23-24|
|55||Became very thirsty||Psalms 22:15||John 19:28|
|56||Gall and vinegar offered Him||Psalms 69:21||Matthew 27:34|
|57||His forsaken cry||Psalms 22:1||Matthew 27:46|
|58||Committed Himself to God||Psalms 31:5||Luke 23:46|
|59||Bones not broken||Psalms 34:20||John 19:32-36|
|60||Broken heart||Psalms 69:20;22:14||John 19:34|
|61||His side pierced||Zechariah 12:10||John 19:34,37|
|62||Darkness over the land||Amos 8:9||Luke 23:44-45|
|63||Buried in rich man’s tomb||Isaiah 53:9||Matthew 27:57-60|
His Resurrection & Ascension
|64||Raised from the dead||Psalms 16:8-11||Acts 2:24-31|
|65||Begotten as Son of God||Psalms 2:7||Acts 13:32-35|
|66||Ascended to God||Psalms 68:18||Ephesians 4:8-10|
|67||Seated beside God||Psalms 110:1||Hebrews 1:3,13|
|68||Sent the Holy Spirit||Isaiah 44:3. Joel 2:28||John 20:22. Acts 2:16,17|