Invitation from Jesus John 1: 32-51(Bible)                  

20 January 2022

John the Baptist baptized people with water. Baptism means soaking or submerging in water. This is a human work. Jesus, on the other hand, is the one who baptizes by the Holy Spirit. This cannot be done by humans. It is a work that only God can do.

32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”

John’s Disciples Follow Jesus

35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” 37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”39 “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon. 40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 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).

Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael

43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip. 47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” 48 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” 49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.” 50 Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” 51 He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.” (John 1: 32-51)

The “next day” in verse 35 is the third day of Jesus’ ministry. John the Baptist was with two disciples. Seeing Jesus walk, again (1:29) he said, “ Look, the Lamb of God ” (verse 36). When the two disciples heard the master John say so, they stopped following John and followed Jesus (verse 37). These words opened their eyes. The two who were John the Baptist’s disciples became Jesus’ disciples. One of the two was Peter’s brother Andrew. The other would have been John, who wrote this Gospel. John the Baptist had no feelings of envy.

Seeing them follow him, Jesus said to them. “What are you looking for?” (Verse 38)  The Lord Jesus kindly asks us, too “What are you looking for?”

They asked, “Teacher, where are you staying now?”, But Jesus did not answer the question, but invited them , ” Come, and you will see ” (verse 39). They responded to Jesus’ invitation and followed him. Then they learned where Jesus was staying and spent time with him. It was a new step for them. It is said that John wrote this Gospel around 85 AD, so it has been more than 50 years since this event, but it must have been a very impressive event. They remembered until the time. Around 10 o’clock is around 4 pm. Andrew tells Peter.” We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). (verse 41).

“The next day” (verse 43) is the fourth day of the ministry of Jesus. Jesus tried to go to Galilee. He found Philip and was told. ” Follow me ” (verse 43) Philip tries to bring Nathanael to Jesus, just as Andrew took Peter to Jesus. Philip said. “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” (Verse 45) .

Nathanael said what good would come out of Nazareth, but Philip said, ” Come and see ” (verse 46). Nathanael came to Jesus at the suggestion of Philip. Perhaps Nathanael is Bartholomew, one of the 12 apostles of Jesus. Bartholomew and Philip are set in the place where the 12 apostles are introduced in the three Gospels.

Jesus knew Nathanael. Because Jesus was seeing him under the fig tree with his spiritual eyes (verse 48). I think we were in a sense under the fig tree. When Adam and Eve sinned, they hid their nakedness (shame and sin) with fig leaves. When we were still under the fig tree, when we were in sin and shame, the Lord had found us in advance. And he put on a leather garment. In other words, he entrusted him with the grace, blessing, and salvation that sin was forgiven by the blood of the cross.

Nathanael was given a promise by Jesus to see something bigger (verse 50). And he actually saw it. What did he see? He witnessed the resurrection of Jesus. And he experienced Pentecost (the pouring of the Holy Spirit). We saw them using the name of Jesus as a sign and a wonder.

Like Andrew and John, Nathanael talked to Jesus and learned more about him, and reputation of Jesus went up. At first, they called him a “teacher” (verse 38), but after talking to Jesus and spending time with him, they evaluated him as the Messiah (Christ, Savior, verse 41), the Son of God (verse 49).

Jesus went on to say. “You will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.” (Verse 51) Jesus came down from heaven. That is because we will be able to ascend from this earth to heaven. This was achieved in Pentecost. First, the Holy Spirit was poured on Jesus (verse 33). Now the Holy Spirit is poured into Christians.

We are also invited by Jesus. Believe that we can see greater things when we follow Jesus, when we respond to Jesus’ invitation. Jesus says , ” come and see, ” ” follow me .”  If we follow him, we will see the heavens and the earth connected. Revival will occur. The heavens open and the Holy Spirit is poured. The prayers, praise and worship offered from this land go up to heaven, the blessings and the answers of prayer come down .

Those who follow Jesus will see the work of God and experience greater things. Each of us is called and invited by Jesus. Let’s follow Jesus like Andrew and spend time with him. Then we should be able to see the work of God at the time of God.

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埼玉県で10年間&北海道で10年間牧師の働きをしました。現在は神奈川県の教会で協力牧師をしています。私自身が様々なことば(特に聖書のことば)で力づけられてきたので、希望に満ちたことばをお伝えしたいと願っています。I used to be a pastor in Saitama prefecture for 10 years and Hokkaido for 10 years. Now I am a cooperating pastor in Kanagawa prefecture. I myself have been empowered by various words(especially Bible ), so I would like to tell the hopeful words. 


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