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. 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 foundthe Messiah” (which means Christ). 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). 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.” – John 1:35-46

FOUR DISCIPLES

Here we observe four men, called four ways, living out one purpose.

Andrew and John could be called the, “Sincere” disciple as they immediately followed Jesus and received the privilege of spending an entire day with Him.

Peter could be called the “Troubled” disciple as Jesus changed his name from Simon to Peter – a name change meant to inform Peter of who he would become while challenging him to actually become it.

Philip could be called the, “Apathetic” disciple for he wasn’t at the hillside revivals of John the Baptist and seemingly could care less about Jesus.

Lastly, Nathanael, could have been called a, “Skeptical” disciple, found sitting under a fig tree ruminating about his ancestors only to have Jesus read his very thoughts.

FOUR CALLS

In every generation, there are sincere disciples. By the age of five, they’re in love with Christ and massively devoted to His glory. Like John, they commemorate the hour of their conversion and their love for Christ emanates into a picture of holy living. From birth to death they can say with the Psalmist, “Let every breath praise the Lord.” May pride never overtake this tenured saint, remembering that, “The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life…” Grace is but a gift!

Every generation also has its troubled disciples who, like Peter, require a season of training. Swayed by popular opinion, egotistical, and selfish, they are groomed by the Holy Spirit through a progressive sanctification. Eventually their passive reliance on God’s work and their active commitment to holy living brandish a rock-solid character used for God’s glory. May insecurity never overtake this humbled saint and may they ignore the lie, “This is my personality” for psychology cannot define, “Dead to sin and alive in Christ.”

Also, there are surely still apathetic disciples like Philip, who long ago set aside any desire for spiritual things, trusting more to sex, power, and the pursuit of their career. But, it’s quite possible that soon (even now while reading) the knock on their heart-door will come, “Yes, I stand at the door and knock…” With new eyes, they’ll note that no man avoids the end of life! Yes, death will come and they can either walk that valley of shadow alone or with their heavenly friend.

Finally, there will also be the skeptical disciples like Nathanael – A dubious questioner, the man un-swayed by emotion and planning to discern all choices through science and experience. Christ won’t argue, He’ll simply share things of a private nature, private items which the skeptic has only asked internally. His conscience will be seared, he will rejoice in things he cannot taste or touch… The, “Word will become a lamp unto his feet…”

ONE PURPOSE

Four different men. Four different calls. One thing in common. Did you catch it?

“One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He found first his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah.”… Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophet wrote.”

No matter where a true disciple is from or what a true disciple has done, a true disciple naturally begins finding people to share the good news. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere…”

At home, at work, and at school, be the light of Jesus Christ this Easter season.

 

Posted by Anthony Wood

Anthony is Pastor of Mission Bible Church in Tustin, CA, and has authored the books Defining Church & Defining Family. He’s married to Bre, and they have three children. More @AnthonyGeneWood

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