Quote of the Day: Reflections on John 1

 

I’m just beginning a re-read of the book of John in my daily time with the Lord. I read the first chapter on Monday and parts of it really struck me, almost like I hadn’t read it before. I thought I’d take the opportunity to share my thoughts on a few sections! First:

This was John’s [the Baptist] testimony when the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him, “Who are you?” 

He didn’t deny it but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” 

“What then?” they asked him. “Are you Elijah?” 

“I am not,” he said. 

“Are you the Prophet?” 

“No,” he answered. 

“Who are you, then?” they asked. “We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What can you tell us about yourself?” 

He said, “I am a voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord  — just as Isaiah the prophet said.”

— John 1:19-23

Amazing that John was able to say with such confidence who he was and what his mission was – and, as my sister pointed out when I discussed this with her, insert himself into Biblical prophecy! The only way he could have done this is by the Holy Spirit.

A few verses later: 

The next day, John was standing with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”

The two disciples heard him say this and followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and noticed them following him, he asked them, “What are you looking for?” 

They said to him, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” 

“Come and you’ll see,” he replied. So they went and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day. It was about four in the afternoon. 

Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard John and followed him.

— John 1:35-40

I’ve read John before, so I must have known this at one point, but I did not realize that Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist. How cool! I would love to know more about each of the disciples and their backgrounds. John MacArthur’s book Twelve Ordinary Men is on my TBR list, and I’m really looking forward to it. (Sidenote: It recently occurred to me that this book title must be based on Twelve Angry Men, which is fun.)

And finally: 

The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. He found Philip and told him, “Follow me.” 

Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the hometown of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the law (and so did the prophets): Jesus the son of Joseph, from Nazareth.”

— John 1:43-45

How amazing to have been waiting and watching for the Messiah to come and then to realize that He has and you’ve found Him! How excited these disciples must have been. May those of us who are believers today be so looking forward to His coming again that we will be as excited to see Him when He returns.

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  1. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    When as a middle-aged man I became open-minded about Scripture and began to read it with understanding for the first time in my life, one of the most striking discoveries was the historical account given of the universal reaction of real people from every walk of life who actually met Jesus, from the time he was a little boy lost in the big city of Jerusalem.

    Nothing testifies more to the authenticity of the New Testament than the consistency of this record of eye-witness accounts.  You can make up miracles, and many religions that elevate one man or women to mythical status do that.  So that sort of religious text didn’t impress me before my mind was opened to this one.

    • #1
  2. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    It’s interesting that so many of the Apostles were from the same area. Still today, faith overflows in one town and falters in another. 

    There are many things in this to consider. Perhaps it is an example of the Lord’s blessings “to the tenth generation” of a loyal disciple’s family. But more, I think, it shows the influence of friends and neighbors upon our faith. A faithful community is a wonderful blessing. 

    I often wonder about the role of the Holy Spirit in human lives before baptisms and Pentecost. When Jesus was a babe, the old man Simeon waited for Him and celebrated Him because of the Holy Spirit

    • #2
  3. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    Allie Hahn: Amazing that John was able to say with such confidence who he was and what his mission was – and, as my sister pointed out when I discussed this with her, insert himself into Biblical prophecy! The only way he could have done this is by the Holy Spirit!

    Luke 1:5-17  

    Perhaps little John and his parents had long discussions about his future too . 

    • #3
  4. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Nathanael’s calling is my favorite.

    The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

    — John 1:43-51

    Nathanael is a bit of a mystery. He only appears by that name in the Gospel of John. There is a theory that he’s also Bartholomew, but then again maybe not. 

    From this passage we know two things about Nathanael. The first is that he’s a wiseguy.

    The second is that there was something about Jesus saying “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you” which was more than a little impressive to have elicited such a profound response.

    The way it was explained to me, having a fig tree in your garden was a pretty nice perk. First of all, figs. Second is that the tree provided both shade and privacy. It would be a good place to sit and study, or dream, or pray …

    That is what I think Nathanael was doing. Praying and wondering if God ever took notice of him. And to have someone later tell you, “yeah, I saw you then” would be impressive indeed.

     

    • #4
  5. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Allie Hahn: Amazing that John was able to say with such confidence who he was and what his mission was – and, as my sister pointed out when I discussed this with her, insert himself into Biblical prophecy! The only way he could have done this is by the Holy Spirit!

    Luke 1:5-17

    Perhaps little John and his parents had long discussions about his future too .

    Luke 1:39

    Now at this time Mary set out and went in a hurry to the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

    I think the Holy Spirit was in communication with John even in the womb.  Why else would he leap as presence of the Jesus in Mary’s womb?  It’s funny though, when in prison John seems to have doubted Jesus’ divinity and he sent men to ask if Jesus was the Coming One or should they look for another.  And it’s equally remarkable Jesus’ answer; he didn’t say Yes or No to whom He would later call among the greatest prophets, but answered:

    “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: people who were blind receive sight, people who limped walk, people with leprosy are cleansed and people who were deaf hear, dead people are raised up, and people who are poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is anyone who does not take offense at Me.”

    He quoted four messianic passages from Isaiah, referring to “that day”, and the Year of the Lord, and to the time when God will come.  I think that was a hinted Yes.

    • #5
  6. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Allie Hahn: Amazing that John was able to say with such confidence who he was and what his mission was – and, as my sister pointed out when I discussed this with her, insert himself into Biblical prophecy! The only way he could have done this is by the Holy Spirit!

    Luke 1:5-17

    Perhaps little John and his parents had long discussions about his future too .

    Luke 1:39

    Now at this time Mary set out and went in a hurry to the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

    I think the Holy Spirit was in communication with John even in the womb. Why else would he leap as presence of the Jesus in Mary’s womb? It’s funny though, when in prison John seems to have doubted Jesus’ divinity and he sent men to ask if Jesus was the Coming One or should they look for another. And it’s equally remarkable Jesus’ answer; he didn’t say Yes or No to whom He would later call among the greatest prophets, but answered:

    “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: people who were blind receive sight, people who limped walk, people with leprosy are cleansed and people who were deaf hear, dead people are raised up, and people who are poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is [n]anyone who does not take offense at Me.”

    I think that was a hinted Yes.

    Also trials can make us forget in the dark what we knew in the light. 

    • #6
  7. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Allie Hahn: Amazing that John was able to say with such confidence who he was and what his mission was – and, as my sister pointed out when I discussed this with her, insert himself into Biblical prophecy! The only way he could have done this is by the Holy Spirit!

    Luke 1:5-17

    Perhaps little John and his parents had long discussions about his future too .

    Luke 1:39

    Now at this time Mary set out and went in a hurry to the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

    I think the Holy Spirit was in communication with John even in the womb. Why else would he leap as presence of the Jesus in Mary’s womb? It’s funny though, when in prison John seems to have doubted Jesus’ divinity and he sent men to ask if Jesus was the Coming One or should they look for another. And it’s equally remarkable Jesus’ answer; he didn’t say Yes or No to whom He would later call among the greatest prophets, but answered:

    “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: people who were blind receive sight, people who limped walk, people with leprosy are cleansed and people who were deaf hear, dead people are raised up, and people who are poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is [n]anyone who does not take offense at Me.”

    I think that was a hinted Yes.

    Also trials can make us forget in the dark what we knew in the light.

    I suspect he was despondent and doubting what he heretofore knew.

    • #7
  8. Allie Hahn Coolidge
    Allie Hahn
    @AllieHahn

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Allie Hahn: Amazing that John was able to say with such confidence who he was and what his mission was – and, as my sister pointed out when I discussed this with her, insert himself into Biblical prophecy! The only way he could have done this is by the Holy Spirit!

    Luke 1:5-17

    Perhaps little John and his parents had long discussions about his future too .

    Good thought!

    • #8
  9. Allie Hahn Coolidge
    Allie Hahn
    @AllieHahn

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Allie Hahn: Amazing that John was able to say with such confidence who he was and what his mission was – and, as my sister pointed out when I discussed this with her, insert himself into Biblical prophecy! The only way he could have done this is by the Holy Spirit!

    Luke 1:5-17

    Perhaps little John and his parents had long discussions about his future too .

    Luke 1:39

    Now at this time Mary set out and went in a hurry to the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

    I think the Holy Spirit was in communication with John even in the womb. Why else would he leap as presence of the Jesus in Mary’s womb? It’s funny though, when in prison John seems to have doubted Jesus’ divinity and he sent men to ask if Jesus was the Coming One or should they look for another. And it’s equally remarkable Jesus’ answer; he didn’t say Yes or No to whom He would later call among the greatest prophets, but answered:

    “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: people who were blind receive sight, people who limped walk, people with leprosy are cleansed and people who were deaf hear, dead people are raised up, and people who are poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is anyone who does not take offense at Me.”

    He quoted four messianic passages from Isaiah, referring to “that day”, and the Year of the Lord, and to the time when God will come. I think that was a hinted Yes.

    I agree about Jesus’ quoting of Isaiah being a “yes” response! And what an encouragement that even John the Baptist struggled. 

    • #9
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