“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word ... was God (v1) ... is life (v4a) ... is light (v4b) ... was flesh (v14a) ... is the glory of God (v14b) ... is preferred (v15) ... was begotten (v18a) ... is the Son of God (v18b) ... is the Lamb of God (v29) ... is Spirit-Led (v32) ... is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit (v33).” These have been quite the descriptions of Jesus Christ! All of them are vital to understanding who He is, and what He desires to do for us. Some of them describe what He already did for us, in dying on the cross, and then rising again.
Disciple Today, we look at the verses where Jesus chooses His first disciples, or followers. John 1:35-37 says, “The next day, John stood with two of his disciples. Looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, ‘Behold the Lamb of God!’ The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.” So, the Christ’s first disciples were first followers of John the Baptist! When John realized that his ministry was coming to an end, and Jesus’ ministry was beginning, he sent his disciples to begin following Jesus. Let me stop here for a second to define disciple. At the end of Matthew (28:20), Jesus defines a disciple as a follower of the teacher who focusses on learning by listening, watching, and doing what the teacher presents. A disciple is a student who follows his or her teacher around as much as they can, to learn from that teacher.
Rabbi John continues in verse 38, saying, “Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, ‘What do you seek?’” If Jesus was to be their teacher, He needed to know how dedicated these followers would be, and what they wanted to learn. They responded, ‘Rabbi.’ This is the Hebrew word for teacher. Keep in mind, this is not the typical teacher we think of today, who teaches in the classroom, but rather one who teaches while demonstrating his lessons. Then they asked, ‘Where are You staying?’ Jesus’ answer was, ‘Come and see.’ If you wish to be a follower of Rabbi Jesus, His call to you first is to come and see. The best way to learn is to use all the senses, not just hearing.
Lessons The first lesson that these two disciples were to learn was the importance of seeking. You only learn if you search for the answers. Jeremiah 29:13 tells us, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Your primary task as a learner or disciple is to desire the learning. The second lesson that these two disciples were to learn was the active mode of learning, when finding the right teacher, to come and see. A good student not only must desire the lessons, but also be willing to sacrifice time and effort to go with the teacher. Later Jesus would invite people to ‘Come follow Me.’
Today You have been called to two things. First is to be a disciple of Rabbi Jesus, by being a disciple of another Christian. Seek the truth of God, and follow the teacher to learn the lessons. Secondly, you must make disciples of other people. Matthew 28:19-20 states what we call the great commission, or Jesus’ last instruction to His disciples. “Make disciples of all nations, baptising them, and teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Take note that being a disciple, and making a disciple, is a process that happens over time. It is not just about leading a person to Christ, but also about leading them to be with Christ. Please also note that this teaching we are all to do can take many different forms! Not all people teach in the same way, just as not all people learn in the same way. The keys are a desire to seek truth, and the willingness to go after truth. You cannot teach someone that does not want to learn.
Let us be little rabbis for Jesus!