I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.
John 1:26 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;
1:27 He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose.
I have already noticed something different about the book of John. The other gospels record the strife between the disciples as to who is the greatest. John does not record this strife. John speaks about John the Baptist leading people to Jesus and not to himself. In John 3:30 John records John the Baptist saying, “He must increase, I must decrease.” I think John is focusing on what is right with the church instead of what is wrong. He is giving us some good role models. Former U.S. President, Bill Clinton, once said, “Nothing is wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.” I choose to believe that there is nothing wrong with the church that cannot be cured by what is right with the church. Of course, Jesus is what is right with the church, but let’s look at what else is right with the church.
1:40 One of the two which heard John [speak], and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.
1:41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.
1:42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.
1:43 The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.
1:44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
1:45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
1:46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.
1:47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!
1:48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.
1:49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.
1:50 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.
We have Andrew who is working hard and quietly behind the scenes to bring people to Jesus. In the other Gospels we never heard him mentioned by name, like we did James and John in the fracas as to who was the greatest. We never heard him making outrageous boasts like Peter made. About the only other time we hear of him, is when he found a boy with a sack lunch that saved the multitude from hunger. Andrew seems to work best one on one and without much fanfare. I would say he is what is right with the church.
Next we have Nathanael. Nathaniel seems to be a man of prayer. Jesus says Nathanael is an Israelite who has no guile! Wow! I pray Jesus can say that about me! That would be awesome. I do not know of a higher compliment that Jesus ever gave to anyone, and he gave it to a man the other three gospel do not even mention, and is only mentioned six times in the book of John, five of those times are in this brief story above. This tells me there are people in our church today who have no guile. We may not notice them because they are not drawing attention to themselves. They are quietly praying and bringing people to Jesus instead of arguing over who is the greatest.