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The Unknown Jesus

John 1:24-28

John the Baptist was a real puzzle to the official religious leaders. They did not know who had given him authority. They were very relieved that he had freely admitted that he was not God’s promised Messiah, but baptising non-Jews was an official priestly function. Although John’s father had been a priest, the Baptiser was not part of the authorised hierarchy; and also, John was baptising circumcised Jews who had already considered themselves part of God’s people. So what was he doing?

Announcing Jesus

John 1:29

Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, John the Baptist announced Jesus to the world. Interestingly, he did not proclaim the Saviour as a great teacher, example, prophet, healer or wise man – but as the Lamb of God. Although that might be an unusual title to some of us, its significance would have been clearly understood by his Jewish hearers. The Lamb of God could only mean one thing: the Lamb was to be a sacrifice. The Lamb was born to die.

Only a Part of God's Master Plan

John 1:30-34

Although John the Baptist was a close relative of Jesus, and John’s parents would have told him about God’s special calling on his life, he did not presume to manage Jesus or manipulate the Saviour into His ministry. Quite the reverse: he said that he did not even know for certain that Jesus was God’s Messiah! All John knew was that God would reveal His Son quite distinctly. And so when Jesus came out of the River Jordan, and the dove settled on Him, John knew that He was God the Son.

From Promise to Fulfilment

John 1:35-39

John the Baptist had attracted disciples (pupils) who had been impressed with his message and were looking forward to meeting God’s Messiah. The day after Jesus’ baptism, when John the Baptist announced Him as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), Jesus was back at the River Jordan. John pointed Him out to two of his disciples giving Him the same title, ‘Lamb of God’. Having identified Jesus, the two men left John to follow Jesus.

Passing the Word On

John 1:40-42

Andrew had been a disciple of John the Baptist before he met Jesus. But when he heard that Jesus was the Lamb of God, he turned to follow Him. Having spent a day with Jesus, he then went back home to Bethsaida (John 1:44) and looked for his fisherman brother, Simon. It was the very first thing he did. Finding him, Andrew said to his brother that he had found the Messiah. We don’t know what Simon was doing at the time but the narrative tells us that Simon made it a priority to come to Jesus, as his brother had urged him.

A Simple Command

John 1:43-44

Bethsaida was a small fishing village on the north side of Lake Galilee, not far from the main town of the area, Capernaum. Andrew and Peter lived in Bethsaida and so did Philip and Nathanael. It was later to become famous as the place where Jesus fed five thousand people. Simon Peter and Andrew had just spent a day with Jesus in the home where He was staying. The next day Jesus was on the move again.

God in Unexpected Places

John 1:45-46

Nazareth did not have a good reputation. The Roman army had polluted its religious culture; so too had many Gentiles who passed through on the nearby trade roads. Nazareth had no reputation for holiness, for which Jerusalem and Hebron were noted. So when Philip found his friend Nathanael, and told him about Jesus of Nazareth, Nathanael was not impressed. How could God’s Messiah be the son of a carpenter from Nazareth?

God Sees Us While We Are Looking For Him

John 1:47-51

Nathanael had been introduced to Jesus by Philip who invited him to ‘come and see’. But even as Nathanael was walking down the road towards Jesus, Jesus knew all about him; he called out to identify him as a true Israelite in whom there was nothing false. So although Nathanael had been hungry to meet God’s Messiah, Jesus was waiting for him and told him exactly where he was sitting before Philip came along with the news.

The Time To Take Action

John 2:1-5

John’s first chapter is the record of the first three days of Jesus’ ministry after His baptism (John 1:29; 1:35; 1:43). Jesus had called His disciples and they set out from the Jordan to the region of Galilee. Having arrived at Cana, a wedding feast was well under way. It might have lasted a week. To the embarrassment of the host, the wine had all been drunk and so Jesus’ mother informed Jesus, believing that He could resolve the problem. However, John 2:11 tells us that Jesus had not performed miracles before, so Mary could not have known His miraculous power.

Jesus Does Everything Excellently

John 2:6-11

The wedding feast had run into a crisis. There was no wine left. Jesus, seeing six stone water jars, told the servants to fill them with water – perhaps in total 100 litres. But when it was drawn out, the Master of Ceremonies realised that it was wine of a very high quality, and not water at all! It was a wonderful creation miracle, affirming that Jesus was God’s Son who had come from the glory of heaven. When Jesus called the disciples to follow Him, they obeyed; but now they believed in Him.