Sermon: Come and See John 1:35–51

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 Come and See

John 1:35–51

Primary Truth Taught- As John the Baptist fades away, Jesus calls other witness to tell of His glory

John the Baptist will soon ride off into the sunset. His mission, given by God, is all but finished. As much as we might hate to see him leave because he has been such a great companion through these opening verses, his goal to magnify Jesus has been accomplished. The mountains have been brought low and the valleys lifted and the road was made straight for Jesus our Lord.

Today, I want us to notice how John’s witness is replaced by other witnesses and much like John their words will serve as a witness for Jesus to others. While John’s words were Behold the Lamb of God, there’s are come and see. Come and see the Messiah for yourself.

Today we have three accounts each have similar make up. We first see John as he introduces his friends to Jesus. Then we’ll see another introduce his brother to Jesus, then one friend will introduce another to Jesus. In all three we’ll get the basic pattern and it’s come and see the result is they came, they saw, and they became followers of Jesus.

Another important truth we must see is these verses demonstrate to us is that there is no such thing as a Christian who is not a follower of Jesus. We learn this from the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry. There is NO Christianity apart from a relationship with Jesus. Christianity is seeing Jesus as the Savior that God has sent and then following after Him…This may be basic but listen, to be a Christian is to follow Jesus.

Lord give us eyes to see and ears to hear. This is Your Word may it impact us and change us.

  1. John Introduces His Disciples to Jesus and They Follow Him

35 The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38 Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39 He said to them, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour.

I guess you could say that the goal of John the Baptist’s ministry was Jesus. As soon as Jesus was revealed, John’s ministry shifted from baptizing for repentance to pointing others to Jesus. When John proclaims, behold the Lamb of God, his disciples knew exactly what he meant. They immediately followed Jesus. They followed because through John’s teaching, they realized that Jesus was mightier than John, more worthy than John, anointed with the Holy Spirit, the Son of God and they saw in Jesus One who would forgive sin. You see, John the Baptist, while being a good teacher, could not forgive sin only the Lamb of God could do that. So, because Jesus had exactly what they so desperately needed they followed Him.

We read these words earlier in John 1:29 where the Baptist declared to everyone that Jesus is the Lamb of God. Here, it’s different; he is showing his followers/disciples who it is they need to now be following. It’s as if John the Baptist is telling his children that they need to now look to Jesus for life. These disciples have graduated from John’s school to Jesus’ school. Now they must switch their allegiance from John to Jesus.

What we see in the next few verses is Jesus’ willingness to receive them.

38 Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39 He said to them, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour.

Can you see God working through these events? John has been mentoring these men to get them ready to meet Jesus. Now Jesus has found them and they begin to follow.

Many scholars have put forth different thoughts when it comes to this somewhat puzzling dialogue. I don’t think it’s difficult at all, especially if we keep the context in mind. The purpose and thrust of this section is found in the idea of “come and see”. Jesus isn’t so much interested in giving them the address of the place He’s been staying but mostly concerned that they come with Him. Come and see where I’m staying. Come with me and learn. Come with Me and live.

The other thing we should see in this dialogue is that they followed Jesus, they came to Jesus, they saw in Jesus the Messiah and then finally, they stayed. Followed…Come…See…and Stay. Notice how it’s reported, Jesus said come and see and John writes, they came and saw. They never left their Master’s side. They were truly disciples, following their Teacher wherever He went.

We are about to be introduced to one of the two disciples who were the first to follow Jesus. We’re given Andrew’s name as one of the two. What is amazing here is that there is purposeful anonymity. The second disciple who, for now, remains in the shadows is none other than our writer. John is the second one, who remains unnamed. I appreciate John’s humble spirit. He could have told the world that he and Andrew were the first to follow Jesus. He could have said, we found Peter but instead would rather remain in the background and be just a voice that told others about Jesus.

  1. Andrew Introduces Peter to Jesus and He Follows Him

John 1:40–42 (ESV)

40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). 42 He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).

The result of spending time with Jesus, here Andrew and John stayed with Him all night and listened to His Words, was that they saw in Jesus, the real thing. They knew He was the Messiah. Many people who are against Christianity, Jesus, the Bible, and attending Church are that way because they’ve never experienced Jesus themselves. They are not interested not based on the truth but based on something they’ve heard from someone else. Here these two early followers saw in Jesus everything John had told them. They experienced Jesus first hand. Jesus’ invitation to come and see led to their invitation to Peter to come and see.

So, Andrew brings Peter to Jesus…
42 He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).

From the moment Peter met Jesus, he realized that Jesus already knew everything about him. So much so, that Jesus said your name Simon doesn’t fit you very well. I know who you are, I am calling you to follow me, I know who you will become, so I’m going to give you a name that fits you better, Peter…the steadfast rock.

So, when we come to Jesus by faith and begin to follow Him He gives us a new name. He changes us and makes us more like Himself. Some could have been called thief or liar but know they are called beloved.

1 Peter 2:5 (ESV)

you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 2:9 (ESV)

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Jesus like a sculptor would chip away at the rock called Peter and after a time he would release the real Peter, the Peter that Jesus had formed and made. The sculpture that would be Peter, after it was all finished looked remarkably like Jesus Himself. That’s how Christ works in each and every believer who follows Him. He changes us into His image.

Jesus has the authority to change Simon’s name and person. He has that authority in our lives. Is Jesus chipping away at you? Sometimes the blows of the hammer and chisel hurt but Jesus is making us into His image…little Christs

  1. Philip Introduces Nathaniel to Jesus and He Follows Him

43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” 48 Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49 Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50 Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

Philip’s story is a little different than the others. Andrew and John came to faith as they were introduced to Jesus by John the Baptist. Peter came to faith in Christ because he was introduced to Jesus by his brother Andrew. Jesus went out and found Philip.

What’s amazing in this account is that Philip found in Jesus the One who Moses and the prophets wrote about. This was from his knowledge of the OT and what he saw in Jesus. He saw this within a few hours with Jesus. Did you know that the OT is all about Jesus? When we read and study the OT we are made ready to believe the things Jesus tells us. The greatest problem today with most Christians is their lack of Bible proficiency. That is also why cults are so prevalent today. They fill the void. Where there is no biblical knowledge a cult leader can say anything he wants and people believe it.

Luke 24:27 (ESV)

27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

From the very beginning to the very end, from the first disciples to after the resurrection Jesus was teaching others from the OT that He is the long awaited Messiah. He’s the One Moses and the Prophets wrote about. He’s the One they longed for. In just a day or two Jesus has convinced these good Jewish young men that He is the Messiah. They see it clearly.

Now as we continue we see that Philip goes and tells Nathaniel.

Nathaniel has doubts at first. He is a skeptic at first. He absolutely does not believe that anything good can come out of Nazareth. But notice what Philip says. He doesn’t try to convince him by arguing or debating. What does he say? Come and see!

Jesus shows Nathaniel something about Himself. He shows Nathaniel that He knew him before He saved him. We don’t know all the events surrounding Nathaniel under the fig tree, many scholars have given their thoughts…perhaps Nathaniel was praying and asking God to show him the truth about all the current talk of the Messiah. Perhaps he was considering John’s ministry or simply thinking about the possibility of the Messiah actually coming to Israel. Whatever it was, when Jesus mentions the fig tree Nathaniel knows…

Did you know that Jesus knows our inner thoughts? He knew us before we were called. These events are exciting. Coming to Christ is always a miracle because if you are a Christian today it is because Jesus has sought you out. You did not come to Him apart from Him working first. That’s exactly what we see here in these verses. Who sent John the Baptist to get the people ready? God did

John 1:6–8 (ESV)

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

So that all might believe through him. Here is the account of a handful of the first disciples of Jesus who believed in Him.


In this section we have seen how Jesus does evangelism and how His first followers evangelized. The first thing they had to have before they could effectively be a witness was a personal relationship with Jesus. They had to be following Him before they could witness to others. They had to be experiencing Jesus themselves, then they could invite others to do the same.

So, I would go out on a limb here to say that to the degree you’re following Jesus you are also witnessing to others about Jesus. Would you say that’s true?

So many classes about sharing your faith have been written and there was one last year and this year there will be yet another latest greatest evangelistic course. We don’t need another class on evangelism. We need to fall in love with Jesus more and follow Him more then, we’ll tell others. Then the natural outflow will be to share with others the person who brings you such excitement.

Woman at the well…

John 4:28–30 (ESV)

28 So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” 30 They went out of the town and were coming to him.

Is Jesus all you have ever hoped for? Is He amazing and glorious to you? Then invite others to come and see.

Primary Truth Taught- As John the Baptist fades away, Jesus calls other witness to tell of His glory

So we saw John the Baptist’s witness and then we saw how the followers of John became witnesses of Jesus’ glory and Messiah ship. Witnessing doesn’t stop there does it?

Acts 1:8 (ESV)

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”


Lord’s Supper…


Children’s Homework

Next week, as we close Chapter One we are going to go back a look at all the different titles and names for Jesus the Apostle John gives Him in this first chapter. I think there are ten. Your homework this week is to see if you can find all ten and then let me know what some of your favorites are.


Declaration of Grace

In the mercy and grace of Almighty God, Jesus Christ was given to die for us, and for His sake God forgives us all our sins. To those who believe in Jesus Christ He gives the power to become the children of God and gives to them the Holy Spirit. May the Lord, who has begun this good work in us, bring it to completion in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen


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