Before we begin studying the scriptures. I want you to listen to Danny Gokey’s song, “Haven’t Seen It Yet”. Not only listen but dance to it too! “He is moving with a love so deep. Hallelujah for the victory!” Our hearts need prepping. Daily, I might add. I know mine needs an attitude alignment, ALL THE TIME! It is so easy to put ourselves in auto-pilot, trusting our wiring and moving forward into our routine days. Let’s make today different! Today, let’s play follow the leader. Get your child-like groove on as we learn how to play. You might be thinking, “Carol, I already know how to play. Duh.” But do you? I challenge you to study along with me in today’s lesson.
Today, we are going to finish out John 1. Notice, there are two sections. Verses 29-34 is about Jesus Himself. In verses 35-51, we read about the very first followers of Jesus. Let’s begin with the first section. Read verses 29-34. Here we see Jesus walking towards John. John made sure everyone knew that Jesus was the one that he had been telling everyone about. This happened the very next day after John was quizzed by the priests (see previous lesson). John continued speaking on what He knew about Jesus. He didn’t let what others think deter him from living out and speaking truth. His focus was on God.
QUESTION: What grabs your focus? Are you willing to live where others see Jesus in you first? What changes need to be made?
John admitted that He didn’t know Jesus was the one until God sent John to baptize Him and he was told that he will see the Holy Spirit descend and rest on Jesus. John will know, without a shadow of a doubt, that Jesus is the Chosen One. John saw this happen! When God spoke, John knew he could trust and believe.
INSIGHT: Ask God to help you to hear His voice. Listen and see what He is telling you. God reveals Himself in ways that you will know that it is Him. God will confirm Himself to you. He loves to woo us so we will go to Him. He will teach us that He is trustworthy. He spares no opportunities to reveal Himself. He yearns for each one of us.
QUESTION: How has God been loving on you? What will it take for you to respond to Him?
Now that we are focused on Jesus and we have gotten insight in how John lived, for Him, we are going to see what it takes to be His follower. How did the first disciples follow Him? Read verses 35-51. We will see that it is not any different today.
Two disciples of John heard him say, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” as Jesus walked by. They followed Jesus, instead of John. Take note, how Jesus noticed them. He asks them what they wanted (like He didn’t already know :)) They responded. Look at what He tells them, “Come and see.” They went with Him and stayed the rest of the day with Him.
INSIGHT: They went to see for themselves what truth is, who truth is and how truth can change their lives for the better. This world cannot offer what a person’s heart needs. A tainted world can only offer surface-level healing. Jesus heals your soul which transforms your mind and body.
QUESTION: Who has shared Jesus with you? Where have you heard truth spoken? How have you responded? How would you respond today? Understand this, what God is looking for is simple, repent and turn and follow God.
When people hear and respond to truth, they are changed. Their hearts become alive and their souls are settled and they want others to experience it too. This happened to one of the two men. Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one who followed Jesus. After spending time with Jesus, Andrew went and found his brother. He brought him to meet Jesus.
Jesus gives us new identities. He gave Simon a new name. A name with meaning. Jesus saw potential in Peter and he sees potential in us too. We become new creations when Jesus enters in. We receive a new identity and live a whole new way!
QUESTION: How does understanding that you have potential and an identity that is enamored by God, change how you think about yourself and how you live your life? What changes do you need to make?
Jesus then found Philip. He travelled around seeking open hearts. He hasn’t changed. He is still seeking hearts. “Come and follow me.” Philip went and sought out Nathaniel. Look at Nathaniel’s response to Philip in verse 46. Don’t we respond the same way? Human reasoning keeps us from following. It trips us up. Trusting our own thinking is a big stumbling block. The best remedy for worldly thinking is Philip’s response, “Come and see for yourself.“
QUESTION: What kind of human reasonings can block someone from hearing truth? We like to trust other’s opinions but Jesus calls each of us to find out for ourselves and follow independently. We cannot ride into heaven on another’s coattails of their faith.
As we continue reading, God confirms Himself to hearts that seek Him. Nathanael, who smirked at the idea of Jesus, was now in His presence. And how His presence makes all the difference! Reread verses 47-49. Jesus spoke of Nathanael’s true identity, “a man of complete integrity“. This aided in Nathanael seeing himself in how God sees him and that Jesus is who He says He is.
QUESTION: Jesus calls us right where we are and doesn’t condemn us. He simply asks us to join Him. Will you believe and follow? Will you trust that He has your back?
Jesus shows us what it means to have faith and sight. We need both. As we journey with Christ, He will give us a greater vision of truth and love. What comes to mind when you think of Jesus as the stairway between God and earth? Read John 14:6 for added insight. Here we see that there is no other way for man to get reconnected with God than through Jesus.
So, did you really know how to follow the leader? Jesus is The One to follow. He will make all the difference in your life. If we all would follow, there would be unity and love everywhere we go!