John 1:35-51 (What do you Seek?)



Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. 36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, Looking = to fix his gaze – John zero’s in on the man Jesus

Repeats his statement he said,"Behold the Lamb of God!" 37 The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.

A)John the Baptist stated his mission as being the forerunner to Christ


B) He was the voice of one crying in the Wilderness - 

1) Not worthy to lose his sandal strap


C) I need to decrease so that He might increase


John was all about the Promotion of Christ – not the Promotion of Self

A)Goal for people in ministry: Get people following Jesus – Point them to Jesus   


B)Timed Release  Discipleship is not yrs –

1) not into on going counseling – Get people as stable as possible as quick as possible


C)The goal of ministry is not to get People following You.

1) Problem with a lot of ministries – They are so centered on a personality


D) John wanted no part of that –

1) So here with two of his own disciples he declares – See that Guy – he is the man!


E) And as his disciples left him to go and follow Jesus – 1) At that MOMENT - John could step back and declare – Mission accomplished


The preacher’s eye should be on his master while he points to his master.

They preach Christ best who see him best (Spurg)


38 Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, "What do you seek?"

A)I have always been fascinated by the questions God asks of man.  What do you seek?


B)These four words go right to the heart of life. It is the most profound question in anyone's life: "

1)What are you looking for?" Did you ever ask yourself, "Why am I here? What do I really want out of life?"


C)That is the most penetrating question you can ask yourself.

1)What do I really want out of life?


D)Some would answer  “I seek health, others…wealth, others to feel good, feel secure, safe, feel self-worth, 1)What are you seeking? A wife,/husband, a better job? E) Help with raising your kids? More friends, a better personality, a way out of debt?


The answer – Seeking you

A)What we are craving – found in Jesus


B) 2 Corinthians 1:20 All the promises – Yes & Amen


They said to Him, "Rabbi" (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), "where are You staying?"

39 He said to them, "Come and see." They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour).

A)Jesus gives a simple invitation: Come and See


B) It was an invitation to investigate. "Come and find out.

1) Take your time; ask what you want; make up your own mind."


C) Jesus is into invitations:

 Come & See! – (1:39) A call to discipleship not service, that comes later.

Come & Drink! - (7:37) A call to believe.

Come & Dine! -(21:12) A call to feast w/Him! {Jesus’


D) That is the progression we want to see people making – Investigate – then taste and see ….

1) Learn to fellowship

I was talking to Dan Lietz who is going to be teaching Bible next year – What our young people need more than anything is to really experience Christ

A)Too many 3rd and 4th Generation believers – grown up in Christian homes – it is not real to them


B) We need to pray that it becomes real – Camps – Retreats –

1) Head to the heart – They have a real encounter with God


C) I was 2nd Generation: My dad was on his way to hell – he deserved it

1) God saved him – delivered him from Alcohol – Changed his life –  New man / Kinder / patient


D) That HUGE IMPACT on me – Any time I was faced with doubts – I would think about my dad – God must be real – no one else could change a man like that


E) But there came a point in highschool my faith went beyond my dad – God spoke to me

1) His word came alive – His presence real


2) Miracles in my life –


Our Young people need that – Desperately – Apologeitcs is good – Experience Jesus -

A)That is why when you talk to the ones who have been thru a divorce or heavy trial –

B)God brought them through it – they Know it – there is a difference


C)These guys had a radical encounter with Jesus on this day and they never left -

1)What they found was so fascinating they could not tear themselves away .


D)Their lives were so radically changed when they accepted His invitation, they even remembered the very hour their pilgrimage with Jesus began.


E)According to John, it was the tenth hour when they went.

1) Roman time 4pm / Jewish time 10am

2) 10am all day – all it took !



40 One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which is translated, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.

A)Andrew finds Peter and brought him to Jesus


B)How many of you were brought to Jesus by someone?

Friend parent neighbor

1) Andrew is always bringing others to Jesus – He is the first evangelist


C)When ever we read of Andrew he is always bringing people to meet Jesus!

1) Peter

2)Andrew brought the boy w/ the fish & loaves (6:5-9).
30 Andrew brought the Gentiles to Jesus (Jn.12:20-22).

D)Didn’t preach before crowds – but he still made an impact

1) Sometimes we place a big emphasis on making a big impact – God use you radial way –


E) Ordinary way: Day to day = Disciples are good proof of that =


The people we esteem in the Church are often the ones up front

A) The ones who are in the lime light { Peter


B) Behind so many of them is an unsung hero { Andrew


It was a man by the name of Edward Kimball – who had a burden for a young shoe salesman by the name of Dwight Moody

A)Kimball was persistent – the Young man Moody ended up coming to Christ – became the famous DL Moody – Evangelist


B) Set in motion an incredible run - Moody, uneducated and untrained, yet yielded to God, led Mordecai Ham to the Lord. 

Mordecai Ham, though not a great evangelist, was faithful to his task to preach and shared at a farmers meeting in NC –

and only one young man responded – his name, was  William Graham to the Lord.  And Billy Graham has won countless numbers to Christ


Another example

In the late 1800's and early 1900's, Alexander Whyte pastored a large church in Edinburgh. During that time, a salesman by the name of Rigby would travel to Edinburgh regularly just to hear him preach. He would often invite other businessmen to accompany him to the services. One Sunday morning he asked a fellow traveler to go to church with him. Reluctantly, the man said yes.

When he heard Whyte's message, he was so impressed that he returned with Rigby to the evening meeting. As the preacher spoke, the man trusted Christ as his Savior.


The next morning, as Rigby walked by the home of Pastor Whyte, he felt impressed to stop and tell him how his message had affected the other man's life. When Whyte learned that his caller's name was Rigby, he exclaimed, "You're the man I've wanted to see for years!" He went to his study and returned with a bundle of letters. Alexander Whyte read Rigby some excerpts -- all telling of changed lives.

They were men Rigby had brought to hear the gospel.

Listen you might not be eloquent in your speaking or even able to remember very many facts about the Bible A)But you can say – Come and See ! That was Andrew – Just bringing people to Jesus



Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, "You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas" (which is translated, A Stone).


3 words describe Peter coming to Jesus: “Sought, Brought, & Caught

A)He was sought by his brother, brought to the Messiah, & caught by what he saw & heard!

B)So Simon came. Jesus immediately seizes on the meaning of his name: "So you are Simon

1)["Simon" means a listener, a hearer, one who is constantly listening to what is going on around him],


C) you shall be called Cephas." Cephas is Aramaic, the language that Jesus and the disciples spoke, which is very close to Hebrew.


D) Cephas means "a rock," and John translates it here, using the Greek word for rock, Peter.





What Jesus is saying to him is, "So you are Simon. You are now a listener.

A)You are tuned to what everyone around you is saying; you are easily affected by the opinions and attitudes of others."


B)Rush / C span / ORielly / Hanity Combes -


C) But that would Change – remember when Jesus asked his disciples who are men saying that I am? –

1) Interesting that Peter responds – Some say Elijah others prophet – the opinions are vast – far and wide –


D) Who do you think that I am – Peter said – you are the Christ the son of the living God –

1) You are the one waiting for !


Jesus said – Peter that didn’t come from you – but that came from my father – supernatural revelation -  Peter –

A)Peter was learning to tune into the right voice –


B) Peter on roof top

1) Prayer walks


C) { Jesus sees your possibilities – question is who are you going to tune into?

In the hands of Jesus, a man like that can become as solid and steady as a rock.


When such a man hears the right voice, and follows him above all other voices, he becomes like Peter  

A)a strong, solid, dependable, secure person -- a rock!


B) On the following day more disciples are added. V.43  Phillip

The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, "Follow Me."


C) Notice that John specifically says, "Jesus found Philip," not "Philip found Jesus."

1) Jesus found him.


D)John tells us that Philip came from Galilee which is the the same city as Andrew and Peter

 (and, presumably, James and John, since they all came from the same area).


E) So Why does John tell us this? Why does he put it this way?

1) Leads us to ask another question: , "Why didn't Andrew and Peter bring Philip to Jesus?"


F)They had just found the most exciting person they had ever met, the one who satisfied all their expectations.

1)He was the Messiah, the Promised One for whom the nation had been waiting for centuries.


2) Why didn't they bring Philip to him?



Stedman – Morgan agrees Possible Suggest to you.

A)The answer is, Philip is the kind of man nobody ever remembers to bring.


B)He is quiet and shy; the kind no one would ever think of.  Easy to forget – Wall flower

1)The only record of his actions is found here in the Gospel of John; the other gospels simply list him as one of the disciples.


C) He was intelligent -- he asked some perceptive questions of Jesus later -- but he is virtually invisible.


D) No one ever thought of Philip, so Jesus found him.

Hope for shy people


But Phillip snaps out of his shyness after meeting Jesus  2nd Evangelist

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."

A)By the way, Nathanael is not listed in any of the gospels as being part of the apostolic band,


B) The reason is  he is called by his patronymic (the name of his father) "Bartholomew."

1)"Bar" is the Aramaic for son: "the son of Tolmai,


C) Nathanael Bartholomew is his full name is. Dads shadow

So Phillip goes after his friend

A)Philip bases his appeal to Nathanael on the Scriptures: "this is the one of whom Moses and all the prophets spoke, the Messiah."


B)Then he identifies him in a local context, "Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."

1) That was too much for Nathanael, because he came from Cana of Galilee,


C) Cana was more popular in that day – Nazareth was as dusty little village



46 And Nathanael said to him,"Can anything good come out of Nazareth?"

A)‘Nazareth’ meaning ‘Sprout Town’, Nathanael said, ‘Can anything of importance come out TJ ?


B) Naz was  off the beaten path, Nazareth was forgotten and forsaken economically, unimportant militarily, and insignificant politically.


C)Possible theological bent to his question

1)Messiah is to be from Bethlehem Micah 5:2


D) Phillip doesn’t have an answer so he simply responds – Come and see




Nathaniel is described in the following section, Verse 47:

47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!" 

A)What would Jesus say about You?  How describe ?


B)Jesus knows what is in men. (In the third chapter we are told that he did not need to have anybody tell him about someone because he knew what was in man.)


C)The word translated deceit  ‘guile’KJV is ‘Jacob’ in the Septuagint.

1)Jacob was tricky. He tricked his brother Esau out of his blessing and birthright,

1) and his uncle Laban out of the better part of his goods.


D) Selfish / self seeking / self promoter -

1) But after wrestling one night with the Lord,

What is your name ? Confession


E) Nathaniel wasn’t as Jacob – In fact it seems from this account he was seeking God -


48 Nathanael said to Him, "How do You know me?"

Jesus answered and said to him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you." 


In Jesus’ day, it was traditional for students to study under fig trees, the fig tree being the national symbol of the nation Israel.

I believe Nathanael was very likely studying Genesis 28 — the story of Jacob in the wilderness . . .

A)On the Run a Rock for a Pillow – Dream of a Ladder Angels ascending and descending


B) Jacob woke up and said ‘Truly God is in this place, and I knew it not,’; and he called the place Bethel, or ‘House of God’.


C) God is here, even though I didn’t know it.

The surroundings are barren and rocky physically, and my circumstances are not good personally — yet God shows me He is still with me presently.’


D) Nathaniel is blown away by this


49 Nathanael answered and said to Him, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!"

50 Jesus answered and said to him, "Because I said to you, 'I saw you under the fig tree,' do you believe? You will see greater things than these."  51 And He said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man." 


A)Think back to your story, Nathanel,’ said Jesus. ‘The ladder you were reading about is Me.


B)I am the Stairway between the heavens and the earth. I am the Way to eternity.

1)Upon Me the angels ascend and descend.’

As we close this tonight there are three observations I would like to make that apply to us:

A)The first is:: these were ordinary men. There is nothing unique about them.


B)They were not special men; they were not unusually intelligent men.

1)They were just like us -- ordinary persons.


C) Didn’t go to Jerusalem University / Best Politicians – Most Wealthy

1) Just ordinary guys


The 2nd thing  that strikes me is: They were all different

A)Jesus sees in Andrew one who is inquisitive  - Looking searching details come see whole day.


B)Sees in Peter one who was impetuous – Listener tuned into to everything – many voices

1) If Peter will just get tuned into me he can become a Pillar


C) Phillip was shy and forgotten – the kind of guy who gets lost in a crowd others forget

1) Nathaniel man of integrity – straight shooter – but he knows it too


D)Jesus spoke differently to each of them. He understood them. He took them for what they were.

1)He did not try to make them all fit a pattern or a mold.

Ministry teams – All different –  Picture of the Diversity that is in Christ



The final observation is: that is the way Jesus knows us today.

A)These guys were brought together for a plan and purpose – blend together


B) Called to be his disciples –


C) Initial introduction – a few weeks later – he would call them to a deeper commitment

1) Leave their boats and come and follow him