The first chapter of John covers quite a bit of territory. I have to say that I love John’s conciseness as he lays out some core truths right at the outset of his gospel. Those initial verses are probably the ones of which I’m most familiar and could distinctly label them as “John 1,” but as I read through the chapter yesterday evening, it wasn’t those verses that necessarily grabbed my attention.
In the latter part of John 1, you see glimpses of Team Jesus emerging. It’s recruitment time, but Jesus wasn’t looking for the best throwing arm or the most impressive resumé or the prettiest face. John 1:40-41 records, “One of the two who…followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which means the Christ).”
Then, verse 42 outlines Andrew’s next action: “He brought him to Jesus.”
If you keep reading in the chapter, you see another member of Team Jesus engaged in recruitment. Verse 45 states, “Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘ We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.’ “ Nathanael was immediately skeptical that anything good could come from a place such as Nazareth, but Philip’s enthusiasm won him over. Nathanael accepted Philip’s challenge to “come and see,” and soon he, too, joined Team Jesus.
If you’re a believer, you can probably identify yourself as a Simon or a Nathanael. A family member, friend, Sunday School teacher, missionary, or pastor likely “led” you to Jesus or told you about the plan of salvation. Simply put, that person recruited you to Team Jesus.
But have you ever embraced the opportunity of recruiting and become an Andrew or a Philip — someone who is bringing others to Jesus? I believe that is the challenge that I come away with when I meditate on these verses in John 1.
This evening, I am headed out of town with a small group of teen girls. We’ll be going north to where the cool breezes blow to pitch a tent and eat too many S’more’s and make a few memories. One of the girls (for the sake of this post, I’ll refer to her as Maria, although that’s not her real name) is likely moving away soon, and she really wanted to go camping before she leaves. Since this trip is for Maria, I told her she could choose two other girls to join us. While both of her choices were a bit of a surprise to me, one of the girls Maria chose I barely know, having only briefly met her once. Her reasoning for her decision was this, and I am paraphrasing: “Well, I kind of want to take someone who doesn’t already go to church, and then maybe she will start coming.”
Forget Maria. Let’s just call her Andrew or Philip!