Jesus’ Life and Ministry
Jesus’ First Disciples
AFTER 40 days in the wilderness, Jesus returns to John who had baptized him. As he approaches, John exclaims: “See, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world! This is the one about whom I said, Behind me there comes a man who has advanced in front of me, because he existed before me.” Although John is older than his cousin Jesus, John knows that Jesus existed before him as a spirit person in heaven.
The next day John is standing with two of his disciples. Again, as Jesus approaches, he says: “See, the Lamb of God!” At this, these two disciples of John the Baptizer follow Jesus. One of them is Andrew, and the other is evidently the very person who recorded these things, who was also named John. This John, according to indications, is also a cousin of Jesus, being a son of Mary’s sister Salome.
Turning and seeing Andrew and John following him, Jesus asks: “What are you looking for?”
“Teacher,” they ask, “where are you staying?”
“Come, and you will see,” Jesus answers.
It is about four o’clock in the afternoon, and Andrew and John stay with Jesus the rest of that day. Afterward Andrew is so excited that he hurries to find his brother, who is called Peter. “We have found the Messiah,” he tells him. And he takes Peter to Jesus. Perhaps John at the same time finds his brother James and brings him to Jesus; yet, characteristically, John omits this personal information from his Gospel.
The next day, Jesus finds Philip and invites him: “Be my follower.” Philip then finds Nathanael, who is also called Bartholomew, and says: “We have found the one of whom Moses, in the Law, and the Prophets wrote, Jesus, the son of Joseph, from Nazareth.” Nathanael is doubtful. “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” he asks.
“Come and see,” Philip invites. When they come to Jesus, he says to Nathanael: “Before Philip called you, while you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
Nathanael is amazed. ‘Teacher, you are the Son of God, you are King of Israel,’ he answers.
Very soon after this, Jesus with his newly acquired disciples leaves the Jordan Valley and travels to Galilee. John 1:29-51.
◆ Who were the first disciples of Jesus?
◆ How was Peter, and perhaps James, introduced to Jesus?
◆ What convinced Nathanael that Jesus was the Son of God?