The first chapter of John grows longer every day, or so it seems. I set my goal for 2018, to memorize a chapter of the Bible every month, without much consideration for the length of chapters. Unfortunately, the first chapter I chose is 51 verses long. I need much longer than a month to memorize it, but I’m finally at verse 42, and, at last, I’m on the home stretch.
The time in John 1 is well spent. I read this chapter at least twice every day, in addition to all the times I quote the verses I memorize. This year alone, I’ve read the first chapter of John well over 100 times, and my understanding deepens with every reading.
There’s an important truth in this chapter I’m only beginning to understand: Everyone who met Jesus and followed Him did two amazing things. First, they testified to Who He is and, second, they invited someone else to follow Him, too.
For example, I love the moment John recognized Jesus as the Promised Messiah. God told John to watch for the person on whom the Spirit descended and remained. “He’s the One.” The day Jesus presented Himself for baptism, the Spirit descended like a dove and remained on Him. The manifestation shocked John. “I didn’t recognize Him,” he said repeatedly. (John 1:29-34)
Since Jesus was John’s cousin, they’d known each other all their lives. Only when God revealed the truth of His identity did John understand Who He was. From that day on, he gave a clear witness to any who would listen every time he saw Jesus. “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
Giving a clear and simple witness
John’s two disciples stood with him the day he looked up and saw Jesus walking in the distance. “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:35-36) The disciples heard John’s very clear witness, left his side. and followed Jesus. Those two young men followed Him for the rest of their lives.
John's witness did not contain a detailed sermon on the prophecy concerning Jesus or a high-brow theological treatise. Instead, he simply said, “Look. He’s the One.” His witness invited others to see Jesus and left the rest to them and to our Lord.
John served as a human road sign, pointing the way to Jesus, and we should be, too.
Inviting others, one by one
Andrew stood with John the day he pointed to Jesus. He left John to follow Jesus. After a day spent with Jesus, He immediately left to find his brother, Simon and invite him to come and see this man he believed to be the Messiah…and on it went. One after another, someone met Jesus and could not be contained. They had to tell someone.
This morning, I reviewed this chapter again and questions filled my mind. Who did I invite to meet Jesus recently? Ponder that for a moment. Did we tell anyone in the last month about Jesus? Did we tell anyone who didn’t know about him already? Are we so excited about meeting Jesus that we share the news with anyone who will listen?
A challenge that must be met
The life, light, truth, and grace of God Himself reside within us. Chew on that for a moment. The light of God Himself dwells in us, and the love of God compels us to share the only light capable of casting out the darkness in sin-sick souls. We dare not keep it to ourselves.
Friends, the “come and see” witness is tried and true. “I’ve met the one who’s changed my life. Come and see.” If they see Him us, they will want to see Him for themselves.
Share the light.
“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” John 1:4