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Help More People Meet Jesus Christ!

The Gospel of John  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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God wants us to help more people meet Jesus... 1. Because Jesus is our model (vs. 43). 2. Because Jesus is the Messiah (vs. 44-46). 3. Because the need is so massive (vs. 47-48). 4. Because the future is miraculous for all who believe (vs. 49-51).

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Help More People Meet Jesus Christ!

The Gospel of John

John 1:43-51

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - April 27, 2016

(Revised June 21, 2019)

*If you are a Christian today, let me ask you: How did you meet Jesus?

*I know a lady who has an unusual salvation story. Her name is Sherryl, and she didn't get saved until she was thirty. One day she was at home laying on the couch. And Sherryl was as lost and miserable as she could be.

*Then she changed the channel on the TV, and it landed on a TV preacher. Sherryl was just about to change the channel again, but the preacher said: "There you are, laying on the couch. You are 30 years old, and you are just as miserable as you can be. All you've ever wanted is to be happy. But you will never be happy until you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior."

*Sherryl got saved right then and there, and that is a wonderful story. Many people have been saved through radio, television and internet ministries. The very evangelistic, well known Presbyterian Pastor D. James Kennedy was saved through a radio ministry. (1- Details at the end of this sermon)

*And we can thank God for all of those wonderful stories! But media ministries are not the most common way for people to meet Jesus. Probable eighty percent of Christians in our churches today were saved in part because somebody invited them to church. But they weren't just inviting them to church. They were inviting them to come and meet Jesus Christ! (2)

*Here's how it usually went for us: A Christian got concerned about us. It was probably someone we know, maybe someone in our family, or a friend, a neighbor, or someone at work. They got concerned about us and began to pray for us. Somehow, they shined the light and love of Jesus Christ before us. Then, as we were willing to listen, they told us about what God had done in their life. And they invited us to come to church. Then we heard more of God's Word, and God's Holy Spirit continued to work in our hearts. Then one glorious day, we believed in Jesus Christ and received Him as our Lord and Savior!

*Invitations make a difference! I am standing here tonight, because of an invitation Georgia Savoie gave to me over 40 years ago. Georgia simply invited a new co-worker to church, a lost co-worker, one who by the grace of God was seeking the truth. She invited someone who was almost ready to receive Jesus Christ, and I did get saved less than two months later.

*How did you happen to come to this church? A few of us are here because God led us by the still, small voice of His Spirit, but the majority of us are here because one day, someone who cared about us invited us to come. And one of the best reasons why we should invite people to church is because it works.

*But tonight's Scripture gives us some even better reasons to invite other people.


*Our perfect Lord and Savior is the model for every good and decent thing we ought to do, and that includes inviting people to come and see Him.

*Back up in vs. 36-37, John the Baptist told two of his disciples that Jesus was the Lamb of God. They began to follow Jesus to find out more about Him, and in vs. 38-39:

38. . . Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, "What do you seek?'' They said to Him, "Rabbi'' (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), "where are You staying?''

39. He said to them, "Come and see. . .''

*Jesus gave them an invitation, and in tonight's Scripture, He gave another invitation. In vs. 43: "The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, 'Follow Me.'"

*Jesus Christ found Philip. That's because Jesus is not only the sacrificial Lamb of God who died to take away the sin of the world. Jesus is also the Good Shepherd who came to find His lost sheep. He came to seek and to save that which was lost. Jesus found Philip.

*Christians: Aren't you glad that Jesus found you? And what does He say when He finds us? "Follow Me." Follow Jesus. Walk in the footsteps of the Lord. Walk in the ways of the Lord.

*That's what Jesus told Philip: "Follow Me." And Philip said, "I will!" But not only did Philip say it. He did it! So, in vs. 45-46, we see Philip finding Nathanael:

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. And Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?'' Philip said to him, "Come and see.''

*How did this happen? How did Philip invite his friend to Jesus? And how can we invite our friends?


*Philip found Nathanael, and we don't know how long he had to look. But it was a whole lot harder to find people in those days. Of course, there were no cell phones, no GPS apps, no email websites and no social media. The only way that Philip found Nathanael was by some dedicated, intentional effort.

*Sadly, we live such busy lives these days that we tend to forget inviting people to come to church. But God wants us to be intentional about it. God wants us to invite our friends. And it might be someone we have known for years, or it might be a brand new friend, but it's going to take some intentional effort.


*We need the same kind of attitude Phillip had when he went to see Nathanael. I say that, because Nathanael was very skeptical at first.

*Again in vs. 45-46:

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. And Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?'' Philip said to him, "Come and see.''

*Philip found Jesus, the only promised Messiah and Savior of the world. Then, filled with excitement, he ran to find his friend and said: "We have found Him! We've found the Messiah!"

*But Nathanael said: "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" What a put down! What would you think if someone asked you, "Can any good thing come out of Grayson, Louisiana?" Plus, Nathanael was basically telling Philip, "I don't believe a word you say."

*Nathanael had a bad attitude about Philip's testimony, but what would have happened if Philip had gotten a bad attitude too? He could have gotten mad at his friend. He could've walked away with his feelings hurt. He could have given up on Nathanael, but Philip did not give up on his friend. He had a good attitude.

*But how can we keep a good attitude in the face of rejection? Keep focused on the cross! Keep focused on Jesus Christ. Keep focused on how much He loves us, and how much He suffered for us. Keep focused on how patient Jesus has been with us, and that will give us the good attitude we need to keep inviting people to Christ.


*"Come and see." You know, that's exactly what Jesus said to Andrew and John back up in vs. 39, so the Lord really is our model for inviting other people to Christ and to His church.


*Again in vs. 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.''

*"We have found Him!" Philip said. And we know that Philip was talking about the Messiah, because that's what Andrew told his brother in vs. 40-41.

40. One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.

41. He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, "We have found the Messiah'' (which is translated, the Christ).

*That word "Messiah" comes from a Hebrew word that simply means "anointed." It's actually found 39 times in the Old Testament, but most of those times it's translated as "anointed," because it's talking about one of the anointed Old Testament priests or kings.

*Only two times in the Old Testament is this word translated directly as "Messiah." And both of those times are in Daniel 9, when the Angel Gabriel gave Daniel a very specific prophecy about when the Messiah would come.

*In Daniel 9:25-26, Gabriel told Daniel:

25. "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times.

26. And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself. . ."

*He was talking about Jesus Christ dying on the cross for our sins. Jesus is the one and only promised Messiah. And there are hundreds of prophecies about Him in the Old Testament.

*In fact, hundreds of those prophecies have already been fulfilled by Jesus, and one day and all of them will be fulfilled! That's why in vs. 45, Philip said: "We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote: Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.''

*Christians: We have found the Messiah! The Promised One, the Coming King, the one and only Savior of the world!


*Verses 47-48 help point us to the truth that everybody needs Jesus:

47. Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!''

48. Nathanael said to Him, "How do You know me?'' Jesus answered and said to him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.''

*In these verses we find that Jesus had already taken the measure of Nathanael's life, even though they had never met face to face. And Jesus could do that, because He was no ordinary man. Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God who became a man. That's why in 1 Timothy 3:16, Paul said: "Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh. . ."

*Jesus Christ is also the Judge of all. That's why in John 5:22-23, we hear Jesus say:

22. . . "The Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son,

23. that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him."

*Jesus had already taken the measure of Nathanael's life, and Nathanael got some good marks. He was a superlative man. Jesus called him "an Israelite indeed." That was a huge compliment in that day, a mark of honor.

*Nathanael was superlative, and he was sincere. Jesus said, "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!" There was no deceit, no hypocrisy in Nathanael's life. He was a straightforward, honest man.

*Nathanael was sincere, and he was spiritual. In vs. 48, Jesus said this to Nathanael: "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.'' In those times, a fig tree was a place of prayer and study, so Nathanael got very good marks from the Lord Jesus.

*But Jesus took the full and complete measure of Nathanael's life. And Jesus is measuring our lives too. "GOD IS TAKING THE MEASURE OF MY LIFE." We ought to be thinking about this truth every day. And when we do, one of the most important things we see is that we don't measure up. As good as he was, Nathanael wasn't perfect. If he had walked away from Jesus Christ, Nathanael would have never made it to Heaven.

*Everybody needs Jesus Christ. That's why we have to be very careful. Some of the nicest, sweetest, most honest people we know may be just as lost as they can be. They will never make it to Heaven without Jesus, and neither will we, because we don't measure up.

*That's why we all need God's mercy. And thank God we can have it through the cross of Jesus Christ! Everybody needs Jesus!


*In the closing verses of this chapter, Jesus began to focus on the miraculous future in store for everyone who will believe in Him.

*In vs. 47-48:

47. Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!''

48. Nathanael said to Him, "How do You know me?'' Jesus answered and said to him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.''

*Here again, Jesus revealed that He miraculously saw Nathanael before Philip ever found him. Only God could have done this. And that's why in vs. 49-51:

49. Nathanael answered and said to Him, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!''

50. Jesus answered and said to 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, "Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.''

*By vs. 49, Nathanael had opened his heart to believe in Jesus. He had trusted in the Lord, and he showed his faith when he said, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!"

*Nathanael was saved! What a great victory that was for him, and for the friend who brought him to Jesus! But that was just the beginning, because again in vs. 50-51, Jesus said:

50. "Do you believe, because I said to you, 'I saw you under the fig tree?' YOU WILL SEE GREATER THINGS THAN THESE."

51. "Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man."

*Here the Lord was promising a miraculous future for Nathanael and everyone else who believes in Jesus. But to understand the Lord's promise in vs. 51, we have to go back 4,000 years to the story of Jacob in Genesis. Jacob had lied and tricked his older brother Esau out of both his birthright and his blessing.

*It was about the worst thing Jacob could do, and Esau planned to kill his conniving brother just as soon as their father was dead. That's why Jacob ran away to live with his uncle. And on the way, Jacob stopped for the night in the countryside. Jacob had nothing but rocks for his pillow: (Extra firm.)

*Laying there in the wilderness Jacob didn't have a thing, but his shepherd's staff. But the reality was that Jacob had everything he needed, because he had God! You see, God appeared to him in a dream. We read about this back in Genesis 28:12-17:

12. Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.

13. And behold, the LORD stood above it and said: "I am the LORD God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants.

14. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

15. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.''

16. Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.''

17. And he was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!''

*Fast forward to Nathanael, who surely knew this Old Testament story. And Jesus was saying, "Nathanael, you remember Jacob's ladder? I am that ladder. I am the way to Heaven. I am the only way to Heaven. And one day you will see it! You can have Heaven. You can live in Heaven forever, because you believe in Me!"


*This is the infinite, miraculous future in store for everyone who believes in Jesus Christ, and that's why Jesus wants us to invite more people to come to Him.

*Nathanael is in Heaven right now, because his friend Philip invited him to come and see Jesus. And as for me, by God's grace, and the blood of Jesus Christ, I am also going to Heaven one day, because in the fall of 1975, Georgia Savoie invited me to church.

*Now Jesus wants us to invite more people to come and meet our Savior. Make the commitment to do it, as we go to God in prayer. And if you have never trusted in Jesus Christ, I invite you to come to the Lord right now. You can ask the Lord to save you as we bow our heads for prayer.

(1) Sources for Salvation of Dr. D. James Kennedy:

In the 1950’s Dr. Kennedy was an Arthur Murray dance studio instructor. It’s hard to believe it now. Back then, Dr. Kennedy was a drunk. He slept around. And he lived a very worldly life. When he started dating a Christian girl, she asked him, "Where do you go to church?" And he said, "Nowhere. You don’t have to go to church to be a good person." Then, with an air of arrogance, he said, "You can be a good Christian WITHOUT going to church!"

And the girl said, "No you can’t!"

Years later, Kennedy said, "That was the first time anyone had ever challenged my little pet saying. I was taken aback. And it made me rethink everything I believed."

A week later, Kennedy was asleep in a drunken haze. When he woke up, he heard a preacher on the radio. He got up to turn it off. But before he got to the radio, he heard the preacher say this: "Suppose that you were to die today and stand before God. And he asked you, "What right do you have to enter my heaven?’ what would you say?"

The question stopped Kennedy in his tracks. He sat back down on the bed and listened as Dr. Donald Barnhouse shared the gospel message. Right then and there, Kennedy completely surrendered his life to Christ.

The next day, as he was shaving, he kept looking at himself in the mirror and saying, "I’m forgiven! I’m completely forgiven! I’m going to spend eternity in paradise with Jesus!" He was so happy, so grateful. He decided right then and there, "I want what happened to me to happen to as many people as possible." He started going to church with his new Christian girlfriend. For the last 45 years, Dr Kennedy has shown his appreciation for Jesus Christ by living a life of loving service to Him.

(Adapted from Marc Axelrod’s contribution to Sermon Central)

So, what is a good man? We are going to use the life of Barnabus to define this term. In Acts 11:24 Barnabas was described as a good man. From this text we can learn how God defines "goodness.”

(SermonCentral sermon "A Good Man" by Leland Patrick - Acts 11:22-24 - Source: SermonCentral contribution by Marc Axelrod)

(2) Sources:

Just Ask - April 8, 2013 by Thom Rainer -

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