It is safer to obey than to govern, foolish hearts would rather lead than follow, “and they followed Jesus.”
Let me say this, a good man is always taking opportunity to intrust Christ to others. Thus good and faithful ministers will continually be inviting their disciples to Christ.
John was standing, and two of his disciples. An audience of two. A small field; but a large harvest, “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” (Jh.4:35).
John the Baptist called upon all his hearers to “behold the Lamb of God;” to observe, consider, and depend on him to take away their sins, and to baptize them with the Holy Spirit (v,33).
It is easy to follow Jesus in a crowd, but in almost every company or family there is need for some one with courage enough to take the initiative, and step out for Christ, and as an example to others.
There was a simple testimony from John, “Johnstood and, looking upon Jesus as He walked, he said, Behold the Lamb of God” (v.35,36).
The preacher was “John. ” His attitude was, “looking upon Jesus.” (Heb.12:2) declares “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; “
The apostle had indeed called the Hebrews to contemplate the conduct of those who had patiently run the race, and to consider the perils, difficulties, and sufferings through which they had urged their course by faith to seize the incorruptible prize. Let us keep our eyes on Jesus.
We are to look to Jesus’s holy life; to his patience and perseverance in trials; to what he endured in order to obtain the crown, and to his final success and triumph.
John’s subject was “The Lamb of God.” His manner was earnest-he stood, focuing his whole soul upon the message, “the Lamb of God”
He was also practical- “Behold.” See him now. It was a short message, but it was a word spoken in season, full of power, and was immediately fruitful, “And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.” (v.37).
Happy they who, on hearing of the salvation of Christ, immediately bind themselves to its author! Delays are always dangerous; and, in this case, often fatal.
There was a act of Faith. The two disciples heard him speak, “and they followed Jesus” (v.37).
Faith cometh\by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. They heard and they followed.
They had been following John, but now, on the testimony of John himself, they leave the servant of Christ and follow his Master (v.39) “ come and see,”
John’s desire should be the desire of every herald of the Lord Jesus Christ. “He must increase, I must decrease” (John 3.30).
Christ must increase. His authority and influence among the people must grow. His doctrine shall continue to spread till it extends through all the earth.
No work is so honourable and joyful as the ministry of the gospel; none are so highly honoured as those who are permitted to stand near Jesus Christ our Lord, to hear his voice, and to lead perishing men to his cross.
“Behold the Lamb of God!” Behold that blessed Person prefigured in the Law and foretold by the Prophets; one that is all meekness and innocence, patience and resignation, without offence in his mouth, without guile or malice in his heart, without spot or blemish in soul or body; the Lamb, (I.Pt. 2:22,23) “Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:”
John preached not himself, but Christ the “Lamb of God,” and so they believed. Their faith was evidenced by their following. It may have cost them much to turn their backs upon their late beloved master, but the sacrifice is promptly made for the fellowship of Him who can put away sin.
There was no time to delay. The choice had to be made at once, for Jesus “walked,” and would soon be out of sight.
There was a heart searching question,“Jesus turned and said unto them, What seek ye? (v.38). Jesus will
test the motives of those who follow Him before He commits Himself to them, “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” (Jh.10:22).
What seek ye ? Do you expect worldly honour and advantages by following me ?
Is it some earthly gift from Me, or is it me ye seek? “I am the way, the Truth, and the Life.” In following Jesus we are seeking the Way to God, the Truth of God, and the Life of God.?
What seek ye? Let this question search our own hearts. As professed disciples of Christ, what are the secret motives that inspire our Christian life ?
Are we more anxious to be honoured by Christ than to honour Him? “If any man would follow Me, let him deny himself”
There was a eager inquiry, “Theysaid unto Him, Master, where dwellest Thou?” (v. 38). Perhaps they feel that the Master’s question is difficult to answer in full, and if they knew where He abode they might go and have a lengthened interview with Him, so that they could calmly unburden their whole hearts unto Him, (Heb 4:16) tell us this “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need”
All may approach Christ who feel their need of salvation; and they may approach with freedom, confidence, liberty of speech, in opposition to the fear and trembling. Here, nothing is to be feared, provided the heart be right with God, truly sincere, and trusting alone in the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ.
Let us obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need; that we may actually partake of the fruits of Christ’s purchase and intercession from the Father of mercy; pity suitable to our misery, pardon for our guilty souls, and relief for us under all our afflictions. Jesus “The lamb of God.”
We also find a Merciful Invitation,“He saith unto them, Come and see.” They gladly accepted His invitation, and “came and saw where He dwelt, and abode with Him”(v. 39).
This was a blessed and memorable experience, and so John mentions the very hour of the day “the tenth hour. “Come and see.” What grace and privilege those sweet words convey to their hunger souls, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (Mt.6:6).
Christ is the opening of a wide and effectual door into fullness of blessing.
How sad for them if they had failed to enter in, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Mt.11:28).
If you are seriously inquiring where Christ dwelleth, take the following words for an answer: He dwells not in the tumult of worldly affairs, nor in profane assemblies, nor in worldly pleasures, nor in the place where drunkards proclaim their shame, nor in carelessness and indolence. But he is found in his temple, wherever two or three are gathered together in his name, in secret prayer, in self-denial, in fasting, in self-examination. He also dwells in the humble, contrite spirit, in the spirit of faith, of love, of forgiveness, of universal obedience; in a word, he dwells in the heaven of heavens, “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” (Ac.1:11).