Digging The Word

"I rejoice in your word like one who discovers a great treasure." PSALM 119:162

Monday, September 22, 2014

Come And See

Jesus invites us to come and check him out.

John 1:38-46  Jesus looked around and saw them following. "What do you want?" He asked them. They replied, "Rabbi" (which means "Teacher"), "where are You staying?"  39  "Come and see," He said. It was about four o'clock in the afternoon when they went with Him to the place where He was staying, and they remained with Him the rest of the day.

40  Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus.  41  Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, "We have found the Messiah" (which means "Christ").

42  Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, "Your name is Simon, son of John--but you will be called Cephas" (which means "Peter").

43  The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, "Come, follow Me."  44  Philip was from Bethsaida, Andrew and Peter's hometown.

45  Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, "We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth."  46  "Nazareth!" exclaimed Nathanael. "Can anything good come from Nazareth?"

"Come and see for yourself," Philip replied.

Two men took the initiative and start following Jesus and it doesn't take long for him to realize that he has company. Have you ever been followed by a couple of rough looking men that you don't know? Would you walk faster and try and get away?

Jesus is a very kind and inviting person and he decides to break the ice with these two guys by asking a question. In the previous post we looked at the question that Jesus asked. The disciples make it clear that they are anxious to spend time with Jesus and they want more than just a few minutes on the road with him. (What Do You Want From Jesus?)

"Come and see" is the invitation that Andrew and John received from Jesus. The offer is the same one that we have today. He doesn't force himself of us but if we take a step toward him he will invite us to come closer and check him out and make an informed decision about who he is. His response to the disciples revealed nothing and it didn't promise anything, it only invited an opportunity to begin a relationship. Do you desire to be in the presence of God?

It didn't take long for Andrew to be fully convinced that he had found the Messiah and he wanted to share the awesome news with his brother Simon. That's the same response that most new followers of Christ have, they cannot keep it to themselves and hide it under a bushel, they seek to tell their family and friends so they may be brought to the Saviour. That is the thrust of mission work today. We do not wait for them to come to us, but we go for them and seek them out, and tell them that a Saviour is found.

Jesus invites Philip to "come follow me," Philip must have made up his mind about Jesus very quickly. We see another immediate reaction reaction, Philip's reaction was the same as Andrew's, he wants to find his brother right away and share the good news."

"Come and see," is the reply that Philip gives when Nathanael shows that he is skeptical that somebody that comes from the region of Galilee or the town of Nazareth could possibly be the Messiah. Philip didn't try to convince him, he didn't give him any apologetics or try to reason with Nathanael, he just wanted to show him Jesus.

So we should beg the people around us to lay aside their prejudices against religion, since there are so many definitions for the term Christian, we should be cautious about asking them to be one. We should just ask them to "come and see" Jesus for themselves.

John 7:52  They replied, "Are you from Galilee, too? Search the Scriptures and see for yourself, no prophet ever comes from Galilee!"

"Can anything good come from Nazareth?" Nathanael may have been skeptical or prejudiced but he certainly was not proud like the religious leaders that couldn't believe that the Messiah would come from Nazareth or from the region of Galilee. As soon as Jesus met  Nathanael he confirmed that Nathanael was a man of good character.

Jesus knows each one of us but do we know him? Do we know more about our definition of a Christian than we know about Jesus? A Muslim, a Jehovahs Witness, a Mormon or any other religious group, don't need to be convinced to become a Christian. They need to be shown Jesus for who he really is.

If we seek to know him then we will have a better chance of becoming like him. If we show Jesus to the people around us then we will overcome the prejudice that people have toward Christianity. After all of the history of messing things up, they can easily say, "Christian, can anything good come from that?"

Philippians 3:8  Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. 

We don't need to show anybody a lot of knowledge or doctrine. We need to invite the people around us to learn about Jesus by inviting the to "Come and see."
What Do You Want? (diggingtheword.blogspot.com)
Do You Know Jesus? (diggingtheword.blogspot.com)
Jesus Is Better (thegospelcoalition.org)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What Do You Want?

How would you answer Jesus question?

John 1:35-39  The following day John was again standing with two of his disciples.  36  As Jesus walked by, John looked at Him and declared, "Look! There is the Lamb of God!"

37  When John's two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus.  38  Jesus looked around and saw them following. "What do you want?" He asked them.

They replied, "Rabbi" (which means "Teacher"), "where are You staying?"  39  "Come and see," He said. It was about four o'clock in the afternoon when they went with Him to the place where He was staying, and they remained with Him the rest of the day.

A popular phrase that you have probably heard is "Jesus is the answer" but have you ever thought about the questions that Jesus asked? As a teacher or Rabbi Jesus used questions to make us think and go deeper in analyzing our hearts. Instead of easy answers Jesus asks difficult questions.

It is almost time for John the Baptist to fade into the background, his ministry doesn't seem to have lasted very long, it isn't long after Jesus begins his ministry that John's ministry disappears. There isn't any reason for the crowds to keep following John the Baptist when the Messiah is the one that you should be following.

I have to wonder what the disciples of John wanted if they didn't want Jesus. John the Baptist must of had a lot of disciples around him the day that he pointed out Jesus and told the crowd that that guy is the Messiah and yet we only know of two people that stopped following John and turned to Jesus. It makes me wonder why they were following John. If they believed in his message about the coming Messiah then they should have said good-bye to John the Baptist and followed Jesus.

These two guys were very happy to see Jesus and the look on their face must have made it very clear that they wanted to be with Jesus. As Jesus notices the disciples he turns to them and makes himself available to them. That's the same thing that he does for anyone that is honestly seeking him.

Jesus breaks the ice and begins the conversation with a question. Jesus asked them "What do you want?" Their smiling faces may have turned to red with embarrassment. Was he mad that they had interrupted his day?

What do you want from Jesus? Why are you following him? We all have different reasons for beginning to follow after Jesus. Most of them are pretty selfish at the beginning of our faith journey, we want to avoid hell or we want Jesus to fix our situation in life that we created, your life is a mess and you don't know what else to do.

Instead of a direct answer the disciples ask Jesus where he is staying, that's an indirect way of saying that they want to get invited over for the afternoon, they wanted to be with Jesus for more than a few minutes on the road. They addressed Jesus as "Rabbi" and they knew that they needed to stay with him and learn from him.

Consider three of Jesus questions that are recorded in the Gospels:

✔  What do you want? (John 1:38)
✔  Why are you looking for me? (Luke 2:49)
✔  What do you want me to do for you? (Mark 10:36, 51)

We can analyze our motives and the condition of our heart by asking ourselves the questions that Jesus asked two thousand years ago. His questions will help us to focus on God and not religion, his questions will draw us to repentance, and his questions will bring to mind our level of obedience and commitment to him.
The Man That Amazed Jesus (diggingtheword.blogspot.com)
A Question You Need To Answer: Who Is Jesus? (diggingtheword.blogspot.com)
What Have You Decided About Jesus (diggingtheword.blogspot.com)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Special Announcement

“Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"

John 1:6-9 God sent a man, John the Baptist, 7 to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. 8 John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. 9 The One who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.

John 1:15 John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’”

16 From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.

John 1:29  The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

There is a special announcement to be made and God like he usually does sent a special messenger to give us the news. God sent John the Baptist to break the silence that has lasted for four hundred years. Nobody heard anything from God but now he is ready to reveal the Light of the world to us.

You may wonder why a dark world would have a problem seeing the Light. Even a small match would be obvious to somebody that was living in total darkness. It would be just like standing in a cave without any light at all. As soon as a source of light is turned on everybody knows it but that isn't true if you are a blind man. 

2 Corinthians 4:4 Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.

You have to realize that a blind man is always in the dark, even if he is standing in the brightest light, that's how it is for those that need Jesus. We needed John to tell us about the Light because Satan has blinded our eyes.

John the Baptist had to do some searching to find out the truth about Jesus, God gave him proof, he made it clear that he didn't always know that Jesus is the Messiah. (John 1:31-34) The men that the religious leaders sent to question John and ask him who he is were not open to the truth that John shared with them.

Are you trying to decide about Jesus identity, is he really God in a body? John the Baptist says "Look at Jesus, he is the one." But what makes John a good witness and why should we listen to him?

Is John a credible witness?

John 5:31 “If I were to testify on my own behalf, my testimony would not be valid.  32 But someone else is also testifying about me, and I assure you that everything he says about me is true. 33 In fact, you sent investigators to listen to John the Baptist, and his testimony about me was true.
Jesus confirmed that John was a credible witness that we should listen to. Everything from his special birth to his peculiar lifestyle is evidence that John's testimony should be admitted into the courtroom in our minds as we attempt to know who Jesus is.

✔  His birth and his ministry were a fulfillment of prophecy. (Isaiah 40:3, Malachi 3:1)
✔  He is a good and holy man. (Mark 6:19-20)
✔  He didn't show any desire for power, for wealth or to exalt himself.
✔  He stood up to the powerful for what he believed. (Matthew 3:2-10)
✔   He died for his mission. (Matthew 14:1-12)
✔  He was an eyewitness to God's revelation. (Matthew 3:16,John 1:30-34)

When John says, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" we have plenty of reasons to believe him. John didn't have an agenda other than the one that God gave him, it was the reason that he was born, it was the reason that he lived, and it was the cause of his death.
Who Is Jesus? (whoisjesus-really.com)
Who Is Jesus? (truthforlife.org)
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