Character of Jesus 3

The Character of Jesus 3

Calling His First Disciples

John 1:35 – 51

  • Characteristic: Flexibility
    • (35 – 39)  After a clear announcement by John the Baptist, Andrew and probably John are hesitant to declare their intentions.  Jesus took initiative to start a conversation (38) and went along with their evasive answer (39).
    • (42)  With Peter, Jesus was a bit cryptic but obviously forceful.
    • (47 – 51)  With Nathanael (most often identified as Bartholomew), Jesus started with a personal miracle.
  • Applications
    • In general, are churches (or their representatives) flexible in their approach?
      • The people in this scene were to become apostles, yet Jesus started with each of them very differently.
      • How do we know what approach to take?
      • Jesus did not invite any of them to synagogue services on Saturday.
    • Approach 1:  What do you seek?
      • Open-ended question with a multitude of answers, shallow to deep.
      • “What are you looking for?”
      • Follow up a shallow answer with “Come and see.”  This was not an invitation to visit His living quarters, probably a rented room.
      • The resulting conversation went on for a few hours, probably not all theological.
    • Approach 2:  Make a non-miraculous prediction.
      • Nicknames were important in that culture.  This was like making the assertion that Simon had a solid character and would do great things in the kingdom of God, even though Simon had no clue about his future.
      • Tell people how you see them fitting into the kingdom.
    • Approach 3:  Do something miraculous.
      • Obviously, we do not have the same abilities as Jesus.
      • Can we do impossible stuff?
      • How can we challenge people with the miraculous?