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Brought Him to Jesus

by David Johnson

(Transcribed from the Words of Life Radio Program)

     It is good to be together again as we look into the Word of God. The title for the lesson, “Brought him to Jesus” and the text is the gospel of John chapter one beginning in verse 35 through verse 42. Listen to the Word of God.

     The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by he said: Look, the Lamb of God.  When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around Jesus saw them following and asked: What do you want? They said: Rabbi, which means teacher, where are you staying?  Come, he replied, and you will see. So they went and saw where he was staying and spent that day with him. It was about the 10th hour. Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him: We have found the Messiah, that is the Christ.  And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said: You are Simon, son of John. You will be called Cephas, which when translated is Peter.  This is the Word of God. May he add his blessing to the public reading of his Word.

     I remember many year ago when I was in my early 20s I was walking on the LSU campus, Louisiana State University campus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. And a young man came up to me to witness for Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world. Now at that time I was not interested in the things of God. I was not teachable. I was not seeking. I was not searching for a savior. I did not want to follow Jesus.  But that young Christian planted a seed.  He was not successful directly, but he had shared about Jesus. He was faithful to Christ’s mandate, his commission to all Christians to share Jesus. And he was successful in his witness in that he did it. We are not responsible for the results. That is God’s department. We are responsible to share the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ and him who died on the cross, was buried and raised on the third day from the dead.

      That is what God desires and expects of all Christians. Witnessing is not for the select few. Witnessing is not a special spiritual gift.  It is not optional. It is commanded. Go and make disciples. In fact, at the end of all four gospels each evangelist emphasizes the need to share with others about Jesus Christ. 

     In Matthew chapter 28 and verse 19 and following it says: Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  In Mark chapter 16 and verse 15 it says, in part: Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. That is, the good news about Jesus Christ.  In the gospel of Luke chapter 24 and verse 47 it says: And repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations beginning at Jerusalem.  Verse 48 says: You are witnesses of these things. And so by application today we are witnesses of the good news of the gospel of the glad tidings centered in Christ Jesus and his work on the cross and being raised from the dead. And then even in the gospel of John chapter 21 and verse 24 it says, in part: We know that his testimony is true, speaking of Jesus’ testimony. We also as Christ’s Church today are to give our testimonies that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, that is life eternal with God. We today can get into all kinds of religious discussions, but the main thing, the major person is Jesus Christ. The early Church emphasized Jesus Christ. The whole Bible could be summed up with the fact that someone was coming, someone came and someone is coming again and that is Jesus the Christ. The early church emphasized Jesus Christ and him crucified, raised from the dead.

     In Acts chapter eight and verse five, for example, it says, in part, that Philip in Samaria proclaimed Christ. In Acts chapter eight and verse 35 it says, in part, that Philip told him the good news about Jesus, that is to the Ethiopian eunuch. In Acts chapter nine and verse 20 it says: At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God, that is, Saul of Tarsus who became known as Paul the apostle.  He focused on Jesus as the Son of God.  In Acts chapter 11 and verse 20 it says, in part, that men from Cyprus and Cyrene went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus.

     The pattern is obvious.  As Christians today surely we can tell others in our own words about Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. That is evangelism. That is witnessing. That is testifying. That is giving our personal testimony. That is sharing the gospel. You do not have to be a preacher to share the gospel. And you do not have to be a preacher to be an effective witness. Just in your own words, what does Jesus mean to you? What has Jesus done for you? What is Jesus doing and will do according to his promises and the prophesies of Scripture? In fact, often people listen to you as a friend, as a neighbor better than professional preachers or who they expect to preach at them. Somebody has put it rather nicely with these words and I quote: I am just a nobody telling everybody about somebody who can save anybody, end quote. However, in Christ Jesus especially everybody is somebody, even sons and daughters of the King of kings.  Great news to share.

     But often you hear excuses. For example: But I am too shy. I am too reserved to witness. Well, how does a shy Christian witness? Well, shyly, but he or she still shares Jesus even in a shy way. God doesn’t expect us to be all Billy Grahams or Ruth Grahams.  God expects us according to the personality he has given to us and the opportunities that God has given to us to be ourselves and to share as Christians what Jesus means to us, what Jesus has done for us to share the gospel even in a shy manner. 

     Another excuse is often: But I am too scared or afraid to be rejected. You and I are God’s instruments. People ultimately don’t reject us.  They reject Christ. And that is their choice. If we are sharing Christ, if we are instruments of God it is God that they are rejecting. It is Christ that they are rejecting. But we still need to share Jesus who is God’s choice and is our mandate to share.

     Consider our study text in the gospel of John chapter one verses 35 through 42 that illustrates our need to share and to bring him or her to Jesus.  This is our Great Commission from Jesus Christ himself.  In verse 36 it says: When he saw Jesus passing by he said: Look, the Lamb of God. Here John the Baptist chose to become less as he pointed his own disciples, his own followers toward Jesus as the Lamb of God, because John the Baptist needed to decrease as Jesus Christ increased in his public ministry.

     Now there is a great application here for all of us. No matter who we are, Jesus Christ the Son of God is always greater, infinitely greater and we need to point others to him, to Jesus Christ who is our sin bearer, the Lamb of God, the sacrificial servant, the suffering servant who took our place, who died on the cross for the sin of the world. 

     In verse 37  when the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Immediately they trusted John the Baptist’s judgment about Jesus. Now who were these two disciples?  Andrew, the brother of Peter—according to verse 40 was one of them—and the other was surely John the apostle John, the one who became the apostle John who wrote this gospel, this account. Now there is an application here for all people today. John the Baptist whom they trusted pointed the way to follow Jesus. Today we have the Bible, the Holy Spirit that points us to Jesus.  And Jesus is the way, the truth, the life, the only way to the Father according to the gospel of John chapter 14 and verse six. And we need to testify to these truths to others and allow the Holy Spirit to do the convicting and convincing. We are God’s instruments to share the good news and leave the rest to God.

     In verse 38 it says: Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked: What do you want? Now that seems like an odd question coming from Jesus on this occasion. But, as we think about it and look deeper at the context and the situation and circumstances, understand that following Jesus is not enough.  Jesus challenged them to explain the reasons that they wanted to follow him. When we witness to others to follow Jesus is it just to follow Jesus socially? Well, no. It is not just to join a holy club. Jesus offers eternal life.  That life is in the Son. It is in Christ Jesus, an eternal life. People need to know that to follow Jesus involves persevering faith in his promises.  It involves obedience to Christ’s commandments. To follow Jesus is not just about temporal needs of health and wealth, but eternal needs, eternal life to honor God by receiving his Son as our personal Savior and Lord to the glory of God.

     In verse 39 it says, in part: They went and saw where he was staying and spent that day with him.  Notice that Andrew and John were not shallow followers of Jesus. They spent the day with Jesus.  They were interested enough to invest their time. They were teachable. They investigated him thoroughly and personally.  We should all want to get to know Jesus better, personally. Today especially, primarily through the Scriptures by the Holy Spirit and certainly by other mature Christians that teach us and that also emulate Christ, because we should want to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus.

     In verse 41 it says the first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him: We have found the Messiah, that is the Christ. Notice the first thing Andrew did was to tell another about Jesus.  As Christians this should also be for us the first and foremost charge that we have, to tell others about Jesus even in our own words. We don’t have to memorize Scripture. We don’t have to be preachers or evangelists. We need to evangelize even in our own words. What does Jesus mean to me? Who is Jesus? What did Jesus do? Surely we know these things. 

    In verse 42 it says: And he brought him to Jesus. Andrew brought Simon to Jesus. Andrew made it personal. Today Jesus is just as real and we need to tell our personal story of who Jesus is to others, to make Jesus real, which is really important to souls all around us that are dying without Jesus and are dead in trespasses and are dead spiritually that need to be born again from the inside out. 

     Listen to a fictitious story that nonetheless has a great truth. It goes like this. When Jesus returned to heaven following his resurrection and ascension the angels gathered in amazement. They gazed at his wounds and scars and shuddered to recall his suffering on the cross. Finally the angel Gabriel spoke up and said: Master, do they on earth understand why you suffered so terribly? Jesus answered: Right now only a few understand and believe. Then what have you done to let everyone else know, asked the angel Gabriel. I have asked Peter, James and John and a few others to spread the news, to share the gospel.  They will tell others who will tell others until the message spreads to the ends of the earth. But the angel Gabriel, having observed mankind asked Jesus: Well, what, Lord, is plan B? Jesus replied. I have no plan B. I am counting on my followers to share the message of the cross and the empty tomb, the gospel.

     So, today, as followers of Jesus Christ we are on the A team. There is no plan B.  Please, don’t let Jesus down. Share Jesus with others.  This is our great work until he calls us home. 

 

          David Johnson is minister of the Sellersburg Church of Christ, Sellersburg, KY.   




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That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:10