The Essence of Discipleship

The Essence of Discipleship

The Essence of Discipleship
Text: John 1:35-42

In this passage we have some who were later were to become apostles meeting with the Lord Jesus Christ. This is not the calling to the apostleship, this is the first meeting.

Andrew is named and is with someone else. Since those in the latter part of this portion became apostles, it’s likely that John is the unnamed disciple with Andrew. They were disciples of John the Baptist’s – v35-36.

They were Galileans, away from Judea where John the Baptist carried out his ministry, so to become disciples of John required a journey and reveals their dedication and hunger for Messiah. And they were there in v35-36 when John points out Christ.

With so many filled with false motives for the coming of Christ to be a great political leader, Christ asks them v38. Their answer shows their sincerity. It revealed they were after the person, not a problem-solver for Jewish political issues. 

v39 – Shows they were impressed with the Saviour, not unimportant material things.

v40-42 – Simon was also in the area, but obviously wasn’t there when John pointed out Christ. And Andrew immediately has a burden for his brother.


What is it to seek for Jesus? John is going to record that many believed in Him, sought Him, and followed Him without truly knowing Him – “followed Jesus”

To seek for Jesus is essentially to see in Him what John saw in Him

i) Christ’s preeminence – v30

ii) Christ’s preexistence – v30

iii) Christ’s power – v33
John’s baptism was a type of purification, separating the people unto God and showing the renewing of their hearts. But it isn’t baptism by water that unites a person to Christ, it’s baptism by the Spirit (1 Cor 12:13). It’s is a spiritual baptism that does the internal regeneration work in our hearts. It is a divine miracle, and no man can do this, not even John. But Christ has that power.

iv) Christ’s person – v34

v) Christ’s purpose – v36

You need to see these five things. Every Christian sees these things. You need to see them.


i) To be where He is – v39
Christ didn’t have a palace to bring them to, but that didn’t matter. We stay with Jesus whether He brings us into prosperity or poverty. Where He may lead me I will go.

“abode with him” – introduces us to an idea that is important in Christianity and will be developed in this book. The idea of abiding with or in Jesus. John 15 will depict this as abiding in the Vine. 

This idea of being where He is shows us the value and importance of prayer.

ii) To do what He says – v38
In those days disciples of rabbis would follow them around to learn from them. And that’s what we’re called to do. Stay with Jesus to learn from Him. We need to be taught by the Lord. And here we see that true believers don’t go after Christ to get an experience, but to get an education. 

The equivalent for us is getting into the Word of God. This is the textbook for life and living. Josh 1:9; Psalm 1. Christ teaches about Himself. John 17:3.


i) This is a priority “first” – do you believe nothing is more important than the gospel?

ii) This is a pursuit “findeth” – to speak for Jesus doesn’t just happen. There has to be a pursuit.

iii) This has a purpose “brought him to Jesus” – We don’t speak of Christ to win arguments. We speak of Christ to win souls. 

Close – Jesus does for us what we see Him doing for Simon. Christ gives him a new name “A stone” = probably should be translated ‘Peter’.

But this depicts what He does for those that trust in Him. He changes us. He doesn’t see what we are, but changes us to be someone with purpose and usefulness.

It doesn’t matter who you are or what you have done. Christ can change you.