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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Jesus’ Disciples

Picture of Jordan River
The first disciples of the Lord Jesus were previously disciples of John the Baptist. Once John was assured that Jesus was the one for whom he had prepared the way, he unhesitatingly pointed his followers towards Jesus. Some of John’s followers wanted to remain loyal to him, but John himself know that his work had achieved its goal. He wanted only to fade from the scene so that all attention might now be focused on Jesus Christ.

One of the first two disciples John the Baptist directed to Jesus was Andrew. The other, though not named in the story, was most likely John the Gospel writer, since John never mentions his own name in the book where this incident is recorded. When Andrew brought his brother Simon to Jesus, Jesus immediately saw characteristics in Simon that caused him to give him the name ‘Rock’. This incident apparently took place in the Jordan Valley, where John the Baptist was preaching. 

The party then moved north to Galilee and came to the region around the lake where the three disciples came from. The group soon grew in number, possibly with the addition of John’s brother James, and certainly with the addition of Philip and Nathanael.

A great moment in history had arrived. The disciples realized that after many centuries of expectation, the Messiah promised in the Scriptures and announced by John the Baptist was actually among them. He had lived in the region for thirty years but only now did he embark upon the public ministry for which he had prepared himself. If those few early disciples had any doubts about the uniqueness of this person to whom they had attached themselves, those doubts vanished when they saw his miracle of turning water into wine at a wedding feast. This one was indeed the Messiah, the Son of God and the King of Israel.

~ Following Jesus, Don Fleming


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