And when the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus.
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH LED TO THIS INTERVIEW.
1. The educational and spiritual preparation of these guests. Andrew and John were disciples of the forerunner, the Baptist. Like many of the susceptible and ardent spirits of the period, they had been attracted by John's remarkable and impressive personality, and by his stern and authoritative ministry. In the school of the herald they were prepared for the service of the King.
2. The emphatic testimony borne by the forerunner to the Lord. This testimony was undoubtedly intended to draw the attention of the two young men to him "who was to come;" and it is a proof of John's humility and disinterestedness that he should be content to hand over his disciples to One greater than himself.
3. The sacred wonder of the two, and their laudable desire for advanced teaching. It was a proof that they had profited by the lessons of their master John, when they evinced a yearning for the still higher society of Christ.
II. THE INTERVIEW BETWEEN THE DIVINE HOST AND HIS GUESTS.
1. On the part of the disciples, we observe modesty of demeanour in their silently following Jesus, and reverence of spirit and language in their inquiry, "Rabbi, where dwellest thou?" All who repair to Christ in this temper and attitude may be assured of a kind reception.
2. For we remark on the part of Jesus the response of encouragement and invitation. Observing that the two disciples were too timid to address him first, he opened up the way for conversation; and, when they expressed, though indirectly, a desire to visit him, he gave a cordial invitation.
3. Part of a day was devoted to hallowed intercourse. The grace and condescension of the Lord are thus apparent from the very commencement of his ministry. We cannot doubt that he was already resolving upon methods of Messianic ministry, and was planning the means of evangelization afterwards adopted. And he foresaw that these two ardent young disciples were to become able ministers of his gospel to their fellow men. This anticipation doubtless gave a colour to the conversation that took place during those memorable hours.
III. THE RESULTS WHICH FOLLOWED THIS INTERVIEW. Such a visit could not but be fruitful of much good. When natures so prepared by the Spirit of God came into contact with the Son of God, no wonder that the consequences were signal and precious.
1. The conviction was formed in the minds of the two guests that their Host was none other than the Christ foretold in Hebrew prophecy, and desired by devout and waiting expectant spirits.
2. The conviction which they formed they hastened to communicate to their kindred and companions. They had learned good news, and could not keep it to themselves. At once they became preachers of Christ, and. their conduct was an earnest of their subsequent apostleship.
3. They seem to have lost no time in transferring themselves from the school and following of John, whose ministry was now drawing to a close, to the school and following of Jesus, whose official ministerial work was now beginning. What they saw and heard on this memorable day led them to wish to see and to hear yet more. And in following Christ they had the opportunity of satisfying their heart's desire.
1. The society of the Lord Jesus is still to be sought as the means of spiritual good. His direction is "Abide in me, and I in you." This is feasible even to us who see, him not with the bodily eye.
2. Jesus ever welcomes to his society all who truly desire it, and especially the young and those with spiritual aspirations. None are rejected who approach him in a spirit of humility, of reverence, of faith.
3. To be much with Jesus is the best preparation for serving him. Those who would publish his love and grace must first make acquaintance with him, and allow his character, his ministry, his sacrifice, to produce their own impression upon the heart. As at the first, so now, his dearest friends become his most efficient servants. - T.
And the two disciples heard Him speak.I. THE FRUIT OF GRACE IN THESE TWO DISCIPLES.
1. They followed Jesus. When a man has become a doer of the Word, he ever seeks increased knowledge.
2. They acknowledged His high character as a Master on whose instruction they desired to wait. It is a blessed progress when the issue of outward preaching is to make men desire that inward teaching which is by the waving power of Christ.
3. They sought intimate acquaintance with Him. No short interview was sufficient.
II. CHRIST'S TREATMENT OF THE TWO DISCIPLES.
1. He took notice that they followed Him. Why did He not speak? Because He would honour His own word, as spoken by the Baptist, and give time for its proper effect. Christ knows those who are following Him, however hidden, silent, and feeble.
2. He set them on examining their purpose in following Him.
3. He gave them most welcome invitation and grateful entertainment.
(A. Beith, D. D.)I. It was not an accident that the first words which the Master spoke in His Messianic office were THE PROFOUNDLY SIGNIFICANT QUESTION, "What seek ye?" which suggests —
1. The need of having a clear consciousness of what is our object in life.(1) Most men have never answered that question, but are driven by circumstances, and whose incoherent, unreflective lives are a shame to their manhood.(2) Others are full of low, unworthy aims.(3) If we would ask this question and answer it thoroughly we should not make so many mistakes. If we knew what we were really seeking we should know where to go and look for it.
2. These words are also a veiled promise.(1) Christ asks all such questions, not for His information, but for our strengthening.(2) The condition of the fulfilment of the promise is that a suppliant is conscious of His own wants, and turns to Christ for their supply.(3) Christ has done what He has promised. No man can ask from Christ what He cannot or will not bestow.
II. The second words which Christ speaks are a MERCIFUL INVITATION TO THE WORLD. The disciples' answer was simple and timid. They did not venture to say, "May we talk to you?" "Will you take us to be your disciples?" All they can muster courage to ask now is, "Where dwellest Thou?" At another time, perhaps, we will go to this Rabbi and speak with Him. His answer is "Come now!"
1. Christ is always glad when people resort to Him. When He was here in the world, no hour was inconvenient or inopportune. He was never impatient or wearied.
2. This invitation is a distinct call to first hand knowledge of Christ.
3. This is a call to the personal act of faith. "Come" and "see" are standing emblems of faith.
III. The words of the Evangelist are A PARABLE OF THE BLESSED EXPERIENCE WHICH BINDS MEN'S HEARTS TO JESUS FOR EVER.
1. "Dwelt" and "abode" are the same words in the original, and express the close, still communion which the soul may have with Jesus Christ.
2. John had nothing to say to the world about what the Master said to him and his brother in that long day of communion. A lesson for a great deal of blatant talk about conversion and the details thereof.
3. The impression of Christ's own personality is the strongest force to make disciples.
4. The experience of the grace and sweetness of the Saviour binds men to Him as nothing else will.
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)Noscitur a sociis, and we might add, a servia. So we reason, perhaps unconsciously, in the ease of other historic names. Speaking reverently, I would say, that in a parallel manner, we recognize the "sovran" greatness of our Lord in the fact that He gathered into His service and commanded men of such varied and magnificent natures as a Peter, a John, and a Paul; not to speak of men in other times. His heroes are no less wonderful than the most wonderful in the ancient days of Israel.
(J. Culross, D. D.)
(J. Culross, D. D.)
1. That we ought to draw such a relish for Christ as will excite our desire for profit.
2. That we ought not to be satisfied with a mere passing look, but that we ought to seek Christ's dwelling that He may receive us as guests. For there are many who smell the gospel at a distance only, and thus allow Christ suddenly to disappear, and all that they have learned concerning Him to pass away.
Come and seeI. THE INVESTIGATION BY WHICH CHRIST'S EARTHLY FOLLOWERS GAINED FAITH IN HIS MISSION. Invited by Christ, they spend many hours with Him, and come away convinced of His Messiahship; He had nothing to conceal. The more they know the clearer His glory. In this He is a contrast to most of the world's heroes and an example to all teachers.
II. THE INVESTIGATION BY WHICH STUDENTS OF CHRIST'S BIOGRAPHY GAIN FAITH IN CHRIST'S CHARACTER, proving it to be —
III. THE INVESTIGATION BY WHICH STUDENTS OF HISTORY GAIN FAITH IN CHRIST'S INFLUENCE, proving its —
IV. THE INVESTIGATION BY WHICH INQUIRERS FOR PERSONAL SALVATION GAIN FAITH IN CHRIST HIMSELF. This faith can only be possessed by those who hold intelligent, devout, constant communion with Him.
(Urijah R. Thomas.)
I. AN ENCOURAGEMENT TO SINNERS. There are four ways by which persons are to "Come and see."
1. By observation. Many persons are careless; they will consider the last new novel, but concerning Christ they have no curiosity.
2. By diligent study of Holy Scripture. The worst read book is the Bible. People read a verse or half a chapter and think they understand it. But they do not read Shakespeare in that way.
3. By hearing the Gospel. What do you come to God's house for? To admire the eloquence of man? Go to the theatre or senate if that be your errand. To God's house we should resort to learn to see for ourselves the Lord Jesus.
4. By believing. The best way of knowing about Christ is to try Him. The only way of knowing His power to forgive sins is to trust Him to forgive yours.
II. AN ADDRESS TO BEGINNERS IN THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST. We ought not to be satisfied with merely being saved. Our next business is to learn more of Christ.
1. For the understanding of doctrine.
2. For the fulfilment of promises.
3. For the ripening of experience.
III. THE CRY OF THE GOSPEL TO EVERY SINNER. It is more pleasing to use the eye than the ear. You can keep children as happy as birds in the air with a picture-book, when they would probably go to sleep if you were to talk to them. Christ bids us use the eye. What is there to see? Christ —
3. Risen. Come and see.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
(J. Fawcett, M. A.)1. So humble and obscure that tradition, so industrious in marking every spot trodden by His blessed feet, fails to point it out.
2. In this lowly dwelling Christ first preached His gospel.
3. It was, the first sanctuary of the Christian faith. Where does Christ dwell now?
1. Then He is visible only to faith?
2. There He ever lives to make intercession.
1. There He is worshipped.
2. There we commune with Him.
1. In spite of their unworthiness.
2. In response to faith and love.
3. To animate hope.
(John N. Norton.)I. FOR JESUS. The first fruits of His redeeming work.
II. FOR JOHN. The beginning of a new life.
III. FOR THE CHURCH. The day of its foundation.
IV. FOR THE WORLD. A promise of its regeneration. Lesson; the importance of little things.
(T. Whitelaw, D. D.)
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