Bible Study John 1:35-41
What do you seek?
by I Gordon
Recently, I needed to prepare a communion message for the church which
I attend. Now I like communion. I like it because it is part
celebration, part evaluation and part dedication! It is a great time to
come back again and celebrate the awesome work of Jesus for our behalf
in dying for our sins. It is also a good time to evaluate your own
heart, and where you are at with your relationship with the King of
kings. So anyway, as I was praying and looking for a passage to speak
from, I was taken by a few verses in John chapter 1. They are simple
verses about the disciples first meeting with Jesus... and yet
challenging verses at the same time. Now, I certainly don't want to be
greedy and keep these convicting verses to myself! No, no, no. Let me
share some of the conviction with you! This simple study then will be
based around three questions...
Where are you looking? What are you seeking? What are you sharing?
Let's have a look.
Where are you looking!
John 1:35-37 'The next day John was there again with two of his
disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, 'Behold, the Lamb of
God!'' When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus.
So we start our little study with John the Baptist and his two
disciples. Now I like John the Baptist. I like him because he always
has a habit of reminding us of the true focus in the Christian life...
'Behold the Lamb of God!' he cries, and in doing so, he loses two
disciples! The job of any true preacher of the gospel is to get the
hearers focus off themselves
and onto the true source of life - Jesus Christ. Any true preacher, or
Christian for that matter, must live by the principle that John the
Baptist lived out in practise - 'He must increase, but I must
But let's look at his statement in the passage before us. 'Behold the
Lamb of God!' It is a simple enough statement but I would suggest that
it is one of the most important principles in the life of any
Christian. The Greek word translated 'behold' in this passage carries a
few different ideas with it. It means 'to perceive, or take notice',
'to turn the eyes, the mind, the attention to something', 'to inspect,
examine, gain knowledge of', and 'to have regard for and cherish'. John
is saying to his two disciples 'turn your eyes upon the Lamb of God!
Perceive and understand that He is our Passover Lamb! Regard and
cherish greatly this one that God has sent to die for your behalf!
Now, I trust that you have done this very thing! I trust that you have
come to see the Lord Jesus as the Lamb of God who died for your sins.
For that is the true starting line for real life and to fail in this
regard is to miss the very reason for which you have been created. But
also let us fear that having seen this, we have not pressed on to
behold Him as the risen Lord! For our 'beholding' doesn't stop at
salvation. No, the degree to which we display the glory of the Lord in
our life is proportional to the time spent 'beholding' the glory of the
2 Cor 3:18 'But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror
the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from
glory to glory.'
So as we go on to the next section, let me ask you - Where are you
looking? Have you been looking to the Lord for not only salvation from
the penalty of sin, but also for salvation from its power? Simple
message I know but I'm amazed at how often we forget! Whatever you are
going through at the moment, hear the voice of the one speaking from
the wilderness and turn and 'behold the Lamb of God'.
What are you seeking?
John 1:38-39 'Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, 'What
do you seek?'
They said, 'Rabbi' (which means Teacher), 'where are you staying?'
'Come,' he replied, 'and you will see.' So they went and saw where he
was staying, and spent that day with him. It was about the tenth hour.
Now, it is fair to say that this is the question that stopped me in my
tracks when I read this passage. As these two disciples of John leave
to follow Jesus, Jesus turns to them and says 'What do you seek?' And
for me, that is as probing a question today as it was then! You see,
Jesus knew that people come to Him for a multitude of reasons - then
and now. So Jesus wanted these disciples to evaluate what exactly it
was that they were seeking from Him. So think about your own life for a
second. Well, a minute. What is you prayer life like? Does it just
consist of 'Bless me Lord' type prayers or have you truly desired to
know Him better?
What is it that you are seeking from the Lord?
Well, back to these two disciples and let's see their response... 'Rabbi,
where are you staying?' In other words, they wanted to be with Him!
They weren't satisfied with just meeting Him. They desired to be close
to Him and spend time with Him. You can imagine the pleasure and the
smile on the Lord's face as He says 'come, and you will see.' No one is
turned away or disappointed when they come to Him with a true heart,
desiring to know Him better. So do you still have a heart that would
long to be with the Lord? What is it that you seek from the Lord? It is
good to take a little time to evaluate the motives of our heart from
time to time.
What are you doing?
John 1:40-42 Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of the two who
heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing
Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, 'We have found
the Messiah' (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.
Finally, I just wanted to look at the response of Andrew, who was one
of the two disciples who had followed Jesus and spent time with Him. It
says in the verse above 'the first thing Andrew did was to find his
brother Simon and tell him 'we have found the Messiah!''. Can you
imagine it? Can you imagine the joy that would have been in his voice
as he told his brother? The Jewish people had been waiting thousands of
years for the Messiah to come. Each generation longed that theirs would
be the one to see His arrival... and here He was! Andrew had found Him
and actually spent time with Him! So Andrew went straight away to his
brother and told him the unbelievable news. He had to tell others... He
couldn't just keep it a secret... the news was far too good to keep to
So the last thought that I have concerning this passage is one of
dedication. We have seen that communion is a time of celebration. That
there is a Lamb of God that died for our sins is great news. It is
something to celebrate. But there is also a time of evaluation as we
examine our heart for God and what exactly it is that we are seeking
from Him. And finally, from verses 40-42, we are challenged by
dedication. That is, what are we doing now that we have found the
Messiah? Are we, like Andrew, now thinking of others who also need to
meet the Lord? Or have we kept the good news a secret?
We should offer ourselves back to the one who saved us to be used by
Him for His glory. In whatever capacity He decides is best for us is up
to Him. He is the head and you are His hands and feet. So, to wrap up,
this passage suggests to us three questions - Where are you looking,
what are you seeking, and what are you doing?