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John5 – the living ladder

On the morrow again John had stood and two from his disciples, and, seeing clearly Jesus walking about, he states, “Look! The Lamb of God!” 
John, the first-century eye-witness biographer of Jesus Christ, in now on the third day of that life story. On the first day, John the Baptist (no relation), being pressed to disclose who he really was, claimed to be merely “a voice broadcasting in the wilderness” the coming of the Israelite Messiah.

On this day he points out one person as being that man. But he uses the words “Lamb of God”. Two things about that. First, a lamb is harmless. Second, the same Greek word for “Lamb” appears over 100 times in the BC Greek Translation of the Old Testament in the Christian Bible, referring many times to lambs offered up as sacrifices. “Look and see! The Lamb of God”.  

And the two disciples heard him speaking and followed Jesus. In fact Jesus, having turned and perceived them following, states to them, “What do you seek?” In fact they said to him, “Rabbi” (which, translated, is stated “Teacher”), “Where are you staying?” He states to them, “Come and you will discern!” They came and saw where he stays, and they stayed with him that day. It was about the tenth hour.

“Two disciples” follow Jesus and he notices – but is in no way arrogant. He asks what they are looking for. He wants to know what they “seek” – to meet their needs. But where - on earth - is he “staying”?

‘God is He without whom one cannot live.’ (Leo Tolstoy, Russian author, 1828-1910)
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two hearing from John and following him. This one first finds his own brother Simon and states to him, “We have found the Messiah!” (which, translated, is “Christ”). He brought him towards Jesus. Having seen him clearly, Jesus said, “You are Simon the son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, interpreted, is “Peter”). 

These men invariably involve others - friends, relatives – in their researches. Jesus already knows each one brought to him. “You are Simon the son of John.”

On the morrow he desired to come out into Galilee, and he finds Philip and Jesus states to him, “Follow me!” 

On this fourth day, Jesus personally finds Philip. He says, “Follow me!”

In fact Philip was from Bethsaida, from the town of Andrew and Peter. Philip finds Nathanael and states to him, “The one Moses wrote in the law - and the prophets — we have found - Jesus son of Joseph out of Nazareth!” And Nathanael said to him, “Is anything good able to be from Nazareth?” Philip states to him, “Come and see!” 

Again, Philip cannot help but involve others in his following of Jesus. If they have doubts, he says, “Come and see!”

Jesus saw Nathanael coming towards him and states concerning him, “Look! Truly an Israelite in whom is no deceit!” Nathanael states to him, “From where do you know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before this - Philip having called you - you being under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the king of Israel!” Jesus answered and said to him, “In that I stated to you that I saw you underneath the fig tree, you believe. You will discern greater than these things!” 

Nathaniel had serious reservations. As with others brought to Jesus, he finds that Jesus already knows him – knows that he can’t be duped into following Jesus. Within a few minutes, he is completely convinced that Jesus is both “the Son of God” and “the King of Israel”. He discovers that Jesus knew his physical position an hour or so before (“underneath the fig tree”) and his inner thoughts and private prayers at that time. “I saw you”.

‘If one thing lies at the basis of the whole biblical teaching about God it is that God knows all things.’ (J Gresham Machen, American university Professor, 1881-1937)
And he stated to him, “Amen amen I state to you all, you will discern the sky opened and the announcers of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” 

“You will see greater than these things!” You? Heaven opened? Will you see that? And see the living ladder connecting heaven with earth?

Sinner Syvret

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