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Come and See

Conversations with Love- the Gospel of John  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  28:19
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How It Began

After John’s profound and beautiful Introduction to Jesus- A behind the scenes spoiler of who the Rabbi from Nazareth actually was. John begins to tell us, His readers his story of Jesus. But John’s story is closely tied to John Himself. To his own experiences with his savior and how he met him.
So that Is how he begins by telling us in intimate detail about the day that he and a few of the other first disciples met began there journey with their Savior.
John the baptist was the one who introduced them to Jesus. It was John who had met Baptised jesus and Saw the Holy Spirit descend on Jesus like a dove. It was John who knew then that Jesus would be the one who baptized not just with water but with the Holy Spirit. Jesus would do the hard work of connecting the hearts of the people with the heart of God.
On seeing that John Proclaimed to his followers that Jesus was the Messiah. and called him the Son of God.
And it was John that introduced John the evangelist and Andrew to Jesus. Later on in his Ministry John the Baptist would Say That Christ must become greater and he would become lesser.. But that wasn’t a lesson that he had to learn. He was practicing it at the very start of Jesus’ ministry. Sending his own disciples to follow Jesus.

The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus.

38 Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39 He said to them, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour.

And it seems so natural how it all happened in this description of that day.
John the baptist is there with a few of his disciples. Jesus walks past, and John points him out.. declaring him to be the ONE he said is coming.
Two of those with John the B. Turn and follow Jesus. As they draw near to Jesus he turns to the, and asks them a question that is at first very simple and very very complex.
“what are you seeking?”
This question could be answered.. simply or deeply. They could have answered.. We seek the King of the Jews. Or the Lamb of God.. OR we seek the over throwing of the Roman Empire in Judea.
But they didn’t answer that way.. They simply say.

Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?

In other words they are seeking to know him. and to perhaps follow him.
Jesus answers them just as simply, Come and you will see. And so they did!
That was quite the exicting Jumble of the afternoon. John relates to us at this point two important things about that day.
that they spent the whole afternoon and evening with Jesus. and that some where in that afternoon Andrew had to go get his brother and introduce him to Jesus too.

So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. 40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ).

The tenth hour is measured from Dawn and that means that it was about 4 in the afternoon when then went with Jesus. And they would talk with him far into the evening.
This seems like such a simple thing to just talk for a few hours.. but remember this is the lord of life and the word of God.. That conversation was enough.. There was nothing better than to be with Him and to follow him. After all he knew them and loved them in a profound and beautiful Way.
John shares some of this by telling about how Jesus met Peter. John will talk very little about himself in the book but he will share a lot about Peter’s story . Through peter”s stor John is going to show us a great deal about how much God loves his children. And when Peter met Jesus. Jesus knew him and gave him a new name. __ Just Like that___

42 He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).

..... God is often in the habit of renaming those who walk with him. He gave Abram the name Abraham, He gave Jacob the name Isreal. and He gave Saul the new name Paul.
Now here at the begining of Jesus’ ministry.. HIs very first meeting with Simon he tells him we will be called. Cephas, “peter.” Peter hadn’t done anything to warrent that name..
It wasn’t an earned title, or a nickname that was goofy and funny.
To draw near to God is to be changed.. by his grace and power. and this is a simple example of that. As Simon met Jesus.. Jesus is warning him. He will be changed if he follows him. He will be a different man.. And that is true for us as well.
If you are following Jesus.. You too are being Changed.. It isn’t always quick.. It is almost never painless but it is beautiful. Your heart, your character, your passions are being shaped by God.. and You are a rock too. A living stone.
And God is shaping you, chipping away the broken and misshapen parts of you till you fit perfectly in the great temple that is the church. Just like Peter.
And that was just the first day of Jesus’ ministry. At this point Jesus’ ministry looks a lot like just making friends and inviting them to follow him! And the way it worked and still works today is that as Jesus met people they invited others to come meet Jesus. And so the party grew and more and more of these men started following Jesus.

43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

46 Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”

And that is what happened here as well. Jesus Called Philip, the only disciple that Jesus has singled out with a command to follow him. And the first thing that Philip does is he goes to get a friend of his who he thinks should meet Jesus.. And he comes and tells him to come meet Jesus.
Now if you are paying attention you will notice that several things that Philip tells Nathanael about Jesus are wrong in one sense or another. Jesus is not actually from Nazareth, and Joseph was not his father. Still as far as Philip knew that was who Jesus was.. and his lack of “getting the details right” doesn’t stop him from inviting Nathaniel to meet Jesus. And he is absolutely right in saying that Jesus is the one the law and the prophets point too. In fact in saying this Philip is reiterating. What John said in the Prologue about how Jesus is the Word made flesh. And it tells us why Philip is so excited to share this news with Nathaniel.. Because meeting Jesus is a once in a life time opportunity.
Nathaniel is an interesting character.. His first response to Philip’s claim is skepticism.. but it isn’t uninformed skepticism. Philip has just said that Jesus is the messiah, and Nathaniel is asking when do the scriptures say that The messiah would come from Nazareth.
Or he is just making fun of the Nazerath with a little Small town rivalry.. sort of a what good could come from Blackville? A joke of sorts.
But Philips answer should get our attention.. Come and see! He is getting to the heart of the matter.. For John and for us! We don’t need to know about Jesus.. we need to know Jesus.
And that is what this book is inviting us to do.. to go beyond knowing about Jesus to Knowing him.. personally.
Here I want you to use your imagination.. Imagine what it would be like to walk up to Jesus on the dusty road to Galilee. The road is dirty and a the sun is hot.. there are a few men walking down the road.. Taking their time and talking as they let their words eat up the miles. You walk up that group of men.. and they part so that you can meet Jesus, the one they are following.
What would Jesus say to you when you meet him.. Would he call you by name? Would he give you a new name?
One thing is certain as you meet him. You would know that you are no stranger to this man.. but that he knows you.. and he loves you.
Now listen to how Nathaniel met Jesus.

Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” 48 Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49 Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50 Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

Jesus knew Nathanael, and he knew his heart. he welcomes his with quite the complement.. Nathanael was a man with a love for the truth. He didn’t flatter or deceive.
And Nathanel is surpirsed by Jesus and by this amazing greeting. So he asks, “How do you know me?”
And Jesus’ answer blows his mind.
“Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
With these words Jesus reveals that his knowledge of Nat is supernatural, intimate and wonderful. A fig tree was a quiet and cool place for rest, and meditation. Rabbi’s studied the law under the fig tree and perhaps prayed there as well. Now we don’t know what nathaniel was doing under the fig tree. Whether he was praying, reading, sleeping or weeping. but nathaniel knew and jesus knew..and that was enough for nathaniel to know jesus..  Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
Nathaniel has declared more than he knew.. After all Jesus wasn’t just the prophet or the messiah.. he was the Son of God..
And Jesus doesn’t deny this sudden display of faith and praise. Instead he confirms it..

Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

In other words, because you see me you will see the father.. and the glory of God will be revealed. But that revelation of the fathers glory will not happen the way that Nathaneal or any of the disciples expect..
The journey that they are going on with Jesus will show them God.. his love, his compassion, his holiness. and his sacrifice as Jesus is glorified on the Cross.
That is how Jesus is going to show his new friends his love for them and the Glory of god, On that bloody Cross. And that will be the hardest part of the journey.. For us and for them, because on the cross Jesus rescues a sinful hateful world. Including you and me!
In this series we are going to take this journey with John. to walk with Jesus and to hear his voice. And each week he is going to ask us a question.
This week the question that you need to answer is the one that jesus asked John and Andrew.

What are you seeking?”

Are you seeking Jesus? and if so why? Are you looking for a hero, a celebrity to imitate?, Are you looking for the miracles that brought the crowds to see him work his wonders?
Or do you like the disciples want to dwell with Him.. To get to know Jesus and enjoy presence just and JOhn enjoyed that precious first evening as they sat and talked. After all That is after all why he has come so that we might dwell with him and he with us. For us to dwell with him is to walk with him, to join him on his journey of obedience and sacrifice. It might sound hard but it is beautiful. Because it is a journey we walk with Jesus.
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