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1 35-46 Honoring Our Veterans

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                                                  liberty bible church          11/11/07 a.M.

By Tom Zobrist

“honoring our veterans”

John 1:35-46


Illus. of today is Veteran’s Day and much has been done in recent years to “make up for lost time” if you will. After WW II, veterans pretty much came home and life returned to normal for most. Our nation was blessed in many ways in subsequent years and it hasn’t been until recently that much has been done to honor “The Greatest Generation”, as Tom Brokaw called them. In recent years, memorials have been erected and movies have been made about these men and women and their heroic exploits. “Saving Private Ryan”, “Band of Brothers” and documentaries like Ken Burn’s “War” have chronicled major events and given us all a glimpse of what for years had been known only in the minds of the veterans themselves. Today we honor all who have sacrificed for our freedoms in serving our great nation.

But, today, we also want to honor those that have been veterans of spiritual battle and remember the men that started it all…the first veterans of the church, the disciples of Jesus Christ. From them and their experiences we can learn how to do battle valiantly with an enemy that seeks to destroy us all. It would take a study of the whole NT testament to cover everything they did, so today we want to see how they got started. How did they get into the army of Jesus Christ? From them, we can see how to join up and also how to increase our ranks.

OPEN to passage.                                       

Prop. In this passage, we get a glimpse of how we can begin to become a disciple of Jesus Christ.

Open in PRAYER.

PREVIEW the passage. The attention of the Gospel now turns from John the Baptist to Jesus. After His baptism last week, Jesus’ ministry now begins to take shape. It begins with the selection of His disciples. How did they connect with Him. First…

  i. Some transferred in from another unit vs. 35-39

Illus. of when I was in the AF, it was not uncommon for airman to cross train into another career field and transfer to another unit. With these men, they transferred their allegiance from one servant of God to Jesus, God Himself.

A.     sent with a blessing

V 35    1. This was the day after this series of events that John traces. It was after John the Baptist had pointed to Jesus and called Him the Lamb of God. V 29

            2. John is standing there with 2 of his disciples.

V 36    3. The verb tenses are worthy to note here. John stood there is the perfect tense, while Jesus walked by in the present tense. Once again, this points to the change of emphasis from John’s ministry to that of Jesus.

            4. Once again, John points out Jesus to his disciples as the Lamb of God. It was time that attention be shifted from John to Jesus and his disciples needed to be the ones that understood this fact.

V 37    5. John speaks and their response is one of following. That word has a double meaning here. They followed Him literally as He walked, but they followed Him with their allegiance as well. They no longer would follow John, but with his blessing, they now would follow the Jesus. In other words, they were sent with a blessing.

b. received with open arms

V 38a   1. This appears to be a simple question and their answer implies that that is the way that they understood it.

V 38b  2. They inquire as to where He was staying? But, Jesus’ question may have implied more than what appears on the surface. He may have been asking, “What do you seek in life?” This goes beyond immediate needs to lifetime goals.

            3. John uses this term for “staying” quite often in His writings. 112 times it occurs in the NT, 66 times in John’s writings. Sometimes it means to dwell or stay somewhere. Sometimes it means to last, but more times than not it means to remain or continue in a theological sense. Cf. John 15:4-7 “Abide”

V 39a   4. Jesus invites them to come and see. If we want to know what Jesus is all about, we must come to Him. We may be drawn by the HS or invited by another as these were by John the Baptist, but we can’t really know Jesus until we come to Him. No doubt these men thought that this was an invitation to come to a home, but there was more there.

V 39b  5. This would have been either 10:00 AM or 4:00 PM depending on whether John used the same time frame as the synoptics or the Roman time which began at midnight. Probably the latter is the case here. At any rate, they stay with Jesus…

Trans. Having TRANSFERRED IN FROM ANOTHER UNIT… the ministry of John the Baptist. Second…

 ii. some were recruited by friends vs. 40-42

Illus. of when I joined the AF, I was dared by my friends. When I joined the Lord’s army I was recruited by my girlfriend. Here, we see some recruited by their friends to follow Jesus.

a. A blue chipper

       Illus. of a blue chipper in college recruiting is one of the top recruits. The Lord secures a blue chipper here.

V 40    1. Andrew is the first disciple to be named here. We are told that he was the brother of Simon Peter. The unnamed disciple here may be the Apostle John, who is the author of this Gospel. Cf. Mark 1:16-20 Here Jesus calls two sets of brother, and of course one of them is John. That event may have been the official calling, whereas here, John gives us a brief overview of how these men heard about Jesus.

V 41    2. Andrew tells Peter that they have found the Messiah, the Anointed One, the Christ. This title remembered kings and prophets being anointed with oil. That anointing was symbolic of the true anointing that would come on the Messiah. Cf. Is. 61:1 He would be anointed by the HS.

b. a campus visit

       Illus. Of college athletes frequently visit the campus to see what the program is like. Here, Andrew brings Peter to see Jesus.

V 42a   1. Andrew wants Peter to see for Himself. Andrew was a great recruiter. He is seen two other times in this Gospel and both times he is bringing someone to Jesus. Certainly we all benefited from him bringing his brother Peter.

V 42b  2. Jesus had a plan for Peter. Cephas is Aramaic for Peter. Jesus knew is character and destiny. We’re not told of the reason for the name changer here, but we know that Jesus calls him the rock on whom His church would be built. The context there of course is when Peter identified Him as the Son of God, the Messiah. It is that truth upon which the church is built. No doubt though, Peter was a rock-like figure in the early years of the church.


iii. some were drafted vs. 43-46

Illus. of everyone registers for the draft, even though we don’t have one right now. Everyone has an opportunity to believe in Jesus, but not all will. Here we see some called by the Lord. How will they respond?

a. A draftee 

V 43a   1. Although Jesus’ disciples were from Galilee, He wasn’t there at the time. He, as well as some of these men, had been where John was baptizing.

V 43b  2. As He traveled north, he came across Philip and called Him to follow Him. From what we see next, it is evident that he followed in earnest.

V 44    3. He was from the same town as Peter and Andrew, so no doubt had some knowledge of them. So, he was a willing draftee. Now we have what looks to be…

b. A draft dodger?

            We know hat he’s not, but he looks that way at the beginning here.

V 45a   1. Philip, in his excitement, immediately passes on this new knowledge to Nathanael.

V 45b  2. Philip shares that Jesus is the fulfillment of all the OT prophecies concerning the coming Messiah. From Moses to Isaiah to Daniel to Micah to Zechariah, Jesus fulfills all the prophecies. Interestingly enough, Philip calls Jesus the son of Joseph. That’s all the disciples would have known at this point, although Nathanael calls him something different, which we will see next week.

V 46a   3. For now, Nathanael struggles with the concept of the Messiah being from lowly Nazareth. It did not have a good reputation. The Messiah should be from someplace special, like Jerusalem.

V 46b  4. Philip makes no argument. He just says, “Come and see.” No matter how one is invited, eventually we must make a decision to believe in Jesus or not. That’s the only way to get in the Lord’s army.


Some are transfers from other units, some are recruited by friends, and other are drafted by the Lord Himself. No matter how the disciples came, we are all called by the HS. Now what will we be? Are we in His army? How do we get there?

1.      Psalm 34:8 says, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” Psalm 34:8 How do we do that? GOSPEL But trusting Christ is only the start.

2.      How much recruiting are we doing? John sent a few and they reproduced themselves.

3.      How much sacrifice are we putting forth? Time, finances, talents, etc. Make a commitment to go to another level. Stretch yourself. Try something more challenging or make a bigger commitment.  

Illus. of Veteran’s Day is the say that honor those that served our country faithfully.

God has a Veteran’s Day when those that serve faithfully are rewarded for their efforts for Him in the battles we wage against an unseen enemy. I pray that we will all be counted faithful and be those that have been true warriors for Jesus Christ, seeing many disciples commit to following Jesus Christ.     



“honoring our veterans”

John 1:35-46


Today, we also want to honor those that have been veterans of…

  i. Some                                                                                vs. 35-39

A.      sent with a blessing

b. received with ______________ __________________

                Cf. John 15:4-7

 ii. some                                                                               vs. 40-42

a. A blue chipper

                Cf. Mark 1:16-20; Is. 61:1

b. a campus visit


iii. some                                                                               vs. 43-46

a. A draftee 

b. A draft _________________________________?



Are we in His army? How do we get there?


Psalm 34:8



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