Followers of Christ; John 1:35-42

Text: John 1:35-42                                                        11/16/08 a.m.

Thesis: Jesus is worthy to be followed and able to change every one of us.


Intro: In our time together this morning as we hear God speak through his word I want to prepare you to celebrate the Lord’s Supper.

As we set our eyes to look at what God is saying in John 1:35-42 I want you to use these verses as preparation for the amazing gift of worship that we have been given in the Lord’s Supper.

In the Lord’s Supper we hear Christ’s invitation to celebrate forgiveness in him. We are invited to give ourselves for the good of our brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. And in the Supper we are invited to taste the strength and joy of Christ’s return.

In John 1:35-42 we find Christ’s invitation to his first followers.

Here in John chapter 1 we see why Christ is worthy to be followed.


Read John 1:35-42

This morning I’m going to give you 3 reasons Jesus is worth following.

I) Because Christ is the Redeemer he is worthy to be followed (vs. 35-37).

a)      Christ is of such infinite value that he is worth losing followers.

i)        John the Baptist’s calling was to baptize with water so that the worthy One would be revealed to Israel.

ii)      The Baptist lived during a transition period. With John came the close of the Old Covenant so that with Christ could come the surpassing greatness of New Covenant.

iii)    Faithfulness with John meant the decrease of his successful ministry so that a better and more fruitful ministry could take place; the ministry of Christ.

iv)    In the narrative of John chapter one we find ourselves in day three.

v)      Day one was the day of interrogation. John is questioned by the religious authorities concerning his baptism.

vi)    Verse 29 starts a new day; the day of John’s public testimony to the person and worth of Jesus.

vii)  Verse 35 starts our third day; the day of John’s private testimony to his disciples concerning Jesus Christ.

viii)            Read verses 35-37

ix)    In verse 35 these two men are identified only as John’s disciples. These were two men who had committed their lives to learning from John.

x)      They committed to living with John so that every moment could be used to its fullest. No teaching opportunity was missed. No opportunity to serve was neglected.

xi)    Between day one and day three John would have taught a great deal concerning Jesus who is the Lamb of God, the worthy One, the One who baptizes with the Spirit, and the Son of God.

xii)  John was so clear about the person of Jesus that when he sees Jesus walking by and simply says, “Behold, the Lamb of God,” his disciples leave him in order to follow the Christ.

xiii)            Do you see Christ as worthy of losing followers?

xiv)            Better yet, how to you get to the place where you value Jesus so much that you will give everything in order to gain him and give him to others?

xv)  I found help this week from our through the bible ready in Psalm 148. You and I must find ways to regularly remind ourselves of the greatness of God.

xvi)            Exalting Christ in our minds leads to exalting Christ in our lives. The more we listen to Christ the more we will become like Christ.

xvii)          That’s what it means to be a disciple. The Redeemer, the one who died for my sins, should be loved and followed; worshipped and shared.

xviii)        We follow Jesus because he is the sacrifice for our sins.

II) Because Jesus is the Teacher he is worthy to be followed (vs. 38-40). Read it

Jesus is worthy of our lives not just because of what he did on the cross to pay for our sins.

a)      Jesus is worthy of our lives because of what he has to teach us concerning our glorious God.

i)        Did you notice that Jesus did not tell these two men to follow him? He didn’t call them to leave what they were doing in order to follow him.

ii)      They heard what John said and they set out to follow Jesus. They were literally walking behind Jesus or walking in the same direction he was walking.

iii)    When Jesus turned and saw them he scolded them because they hadn’t been invited to walk with him.

iv)    No, we see the grace of Christ as he asks a simple question in verse 38, “what are you seeking?”

v)      As always, Jesus is getting to the heart of the matter; what do you want? Why are you following me?

vi)    Perhaps because they were a little apprehensive about tagging along with the Son of God they respond with a title of honor and their own question.

vii)  In verse 38 they call him Rabbi, which means teacher, and then they ask him “where are you staying?”

viii)            If John the Baptist taught them great things and if John was just a speck of a man compared to Jesus then surely Jesus was worthy of the title Rabbi.

ix)    And if they lived and walked with John then they rightly desire to live and walk with Jesus.

x)      “Where are you staying” is a polite way of inviting yourself to come along. They want to learn; they want to be with the great one.

xi)    This should be our attitude concerning Christ as well. The more we learn about him, the more the Spirit changes us to be like him, the more we want to be with him.

xii)  We desire to hear Jesus say to us what he said to those two men of verse 39, “come and you will see.”

xiii)            They put themselves forward and they were rewarded with the presence of Christ.

xiv)            We must always strive to keep the balance between the truths that knowing Christ is a supernatural work of God and all who call on his name will be saved.

xv)  Don’t wait on a Damascus Road bright light sirens and angelic choir experience before you follow Christ.

xvi)            And don’t assume that you’re a follower of Christ because you go to church or think you deserve salvation.

xvii)          Follow Christ because you desire him. You want to know him and learn from him. Don’t sit around waiting for some experience; follow Christ.

xviii)        And don’t assume you’re following Christ; sit down and listen to the truth of Scripture.

xix)            Do you know this Christ? Do you desire to be with this Christ? Do you want to follow this Christ?

xx)  As the teacher he is worthy to be followed. We all have much to learn.

xxi)            Now I fear few of us have learned this next lesson.

III) The Messiah is worthy of more than just you and me (v. 41)

Read verse 41

a)      The first thing Andrew did was go and tell his brother that the Messiah had been found.

i)        The two disciples stayed with Jesus possibly for the evening meal or maybe even over night.

ii)      The number of hours these two men stayed with Jesus is not important. What is important is that what they learned about Jesus drove them to tell others.

iii)    Andrew’s priority was going to Peter and telling him exactly what he had learned.

iv)    And Andrew learned that Jesus is the Messiah. The truth of Christ rightly grasped cannot be contained.

v)      When we see Christ as he truly is; as our Redeemer, Teacher, and the promised Deliverer then it drives us to tell others.

vi)    When we have a low view or an inaccurate view of Christ it leads us to stay quiet, hole up in our homes, except for worship, and we share nothing with others.

vii)  How accurate is my view of Christ? How accurate is your view of Christ? How do we know?

viii)            When’s the last time you talked to one of your family members, one of your neighbors, or one of your co-workers about what you have learned and seen concerning the Jesus Christ the Messiah?

ix)    Is sharing what you know a priority because you know Christ? Is it my first thing and your first thing?

x)      So how do you become an effective evangelist? Pursue Christ, follow Christ, learn from Christ and when we taste his magnificence it will drive us to tell others.

xi)    We will go and tell knowing

IV) Jesus is the one who changes us (v. 42). Read it

Jesus does not have long shots and big hopes with little certainty. He is not a gambling man.

a)      Jesus has all authority to make his will come to pass

i)        Do you know who Peter is? Do you know what his name means?

ii)      Follow the little footnote in your bible. At the end of the phrase, “which means Peter” there is a little number 3 in my bible. Follow that to the bottom of my page and I find this,

iii)    “Cephas and Peter are from the word for rock in Aramaic and Greek, respectively.”

iv)    We all need bibles with center column references so we can track down similar phrases or words elsewhere in Scripture.

v)      And we all need bibles with footnotes that explain exactly what the phrase is or means in the original language.

vi)    Jesus sees Peter and calls him “the rock.” Now, from what we know about Peter from the gospels he is anything but a rock. It is more accurate to call him a loud mouth or a chicken; not a rock.

vii)  So what is Jesus doing? Jesus is exercising his authority. God changed Abram’s name to Abraham and Jacob’s name was changed to Israel.

viii)            These weren’t new names that more accurately reflected who these men were. These new names displayed the type of men God would make them.

ix)    Jesus is promising that he will make Peter a rock. Jesus looked at Peter and called Peter what he will make Peter.

x)      Jesus saw the foolish things Peter would say. Jesus saw Peter’s fear when he will abandon Jesus, and Jesus calls him a rock.

xi)    It is in the capacity of Jesus’ follower, as Jesus’ learner, as one on whom Jesus will pour out the Holy Spirit, and as one who will give his life to the cause of telling others about the Christ that Jesus calls Simon the son of John, Cephas-Peter-the Rock.

V) It is the promise of what Jesus is and what Jesus will do that makes Peter into something new.

a)      It is this same promise that we celebrate when we eat the Lord’s Supper.

i)        It is the New Covenant promise that we will be given new hearts. Hearts of flesh that hear Christ’s words and long to obey.

ii)      It is the New Covenant promise of forgiveness. Eternal forgiveness that does not come through animal sacrifices but forgiveness that comes through the death of Christ on the cross for us.

iii)    We celebrate the Lamb of God who takes away my sins and your sins by taking on himself the sin of the world.

iv)    What we are about to eat is the physical reminder that the body of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was broken so that our sin and our bodies would be healed.

v)      What we are about to drink is the physical reminder that the blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was poured out to save us from God’s wrath.

vi)    We celebrate the Lamb. We celebrate the Messiah. We celebrate the One who pours out the Spirit and brings new life. We remember the Son of God who is coming again for us.

vii)  We’re going to sing a couple of verses of hymn 582. While we sing I want you to ask yourself if you know Christ. The Christ, the only Christ that has been revealed to us through Scripture.

viii)            If you have questions I’ll stand down here, you come and ask, and we’ll find God’s answers in Scripture.

ix)    If you know Christ I want you to ask if you know he’s worthy of your worship; worthy of every day of your life?

x)      If not, spend some time reading Psalm 148 or Colossians 2 praying God will show you the excellence of Christ.

xi)    If you know the excellence of Christ I want you to pray that the knowledge you have will work it’s way into a love for the body of Christ here at Mambrino as well as a concern for the lost all around us.

xii)  Let’s pray and be prepared to celebrate the Lord’s Supper.


One thought on “Followers of Christ; John 1:35-42

  1. Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

    This is to appreciate the way you have presented your ideas. For a presbyter preaching in the rural and semi-urban area of Western Maharashtra, India; your way of presentation helps. The major points and sub-points keep the attention of the reader to the text and you have made minute observations which help to understand the passage. Thank you.
    Rev. Sudhir Sharma, Asst Presbyter, Christ Church and Principal, CSRD Institute of Social Work and Research, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra India, 414001

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