Chapter 3 - Come and See
Helen Dowd

CHRIST DID NOT FAIL. It was time for Him to begin His earthly ministry. It was time to show mankind His never failing love. It was time for Him to walk among the people, for whom He came to earth to save.

He headed back to Galilee.

I have chosen mainly the Gospel of John's version to tell the story of how the disciples were chosen, and of Jesus' beginning His ministry. Once in awhile I may dip into the other Gospels for bits and pieces; however, I urge you, please also read the accounts in Matthew 4:10-21and Mark 1:14-19...Luke jumps right in to Jesus' ministry, without mentioning the specific calling of the disciples. These accounts are not conflicting. Each writer uses his own unique point of view. This enhances the account of Jesus' ministry. Please read all the Gospels to have a complete picture. However, for this story, I am using mainly the Gospel of John.

Historical setting:
About 27 A.D.
Place: Around Galilee
Persons:John the Baptist, Jesus, Andrew, Peter, James, John, Philip and Nathanael
Scripture: John1: 35-51; Mark 1:14-19

"Repent and be baptized... The Kingdom of God is at hand… " John's voice reverberated across the shores of Galilee. As he stopped for a breath, his eyes roving through the crowd, he saw Jesus coming toward him. He raised his arms, pointing toward Jesus: "Here is the Man I have been telling you about. Behold! The Lamb of God! Some of you were around when I baptized this Man. I had not known Him previously, but I saw a dove descend from the heavenlies and land on Him. And I heard God's voice, saying: 'This is My beloved Son. Hear Him.' Since then I have been telling you that He is greater than I. He has come now to minister among you. He will tell you of great things. He will forgive you of your sins. He will become great. I will become less visible; yeah I will disappear entirely from the picture. Whereas now I baptize with water, He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit. I am just His messenger, sent to prepare the way for Him. He is the Messiah. He has come. Listen to Him. He is the only One who can save you from the wrath to come."

Andrew, and John the son of Zebedee, were two of John's disciples. They had been following this wild man from the wilderness every chance they got, hanging on his every word. And when, the previous day, John had pointed Jesus out again, shouting out the words, "Behold! The Lamb of God," they turned their eyes on Jesus, taking a close look at Him. Today, as again their leader pointed to the new "Prophet" who had suddenly come into their midst, they left following John and caught up with Jesus, pressing through the curious crowd that had gathered to listen to His teachings. They wanted to get close, to hear His words. Their hearts had been stirred by John's teachings. They had been baptized by him. And now they wanted more. They wanted to get to know this "Lamb of God" whose praises John had been broadcasting. Could He really be the promised Messiah?

Jesus, knowing that these men had made an exerted effort to follow Him, turned and looked at Andrew and his companion. "What do you want?" He asked. "What are you looking for?"

Amazed that Jesus should even notice them, and somewhat intimidated, they blurted out, "Teacher, where are You staying?" Those were the only words that would come out of their tongue-tied mouths.

Jesus looked at the eager two, knowing that their yearning to know Him was genuine. He simply said to them, "Come and see."

By this time it was late evening. The men followed Jesus to where He was staying at the time. They abode with Him that night, listening to His teaching, and wondering at all they heard.

Andrew was so excited at Jesus' message that he just couldn't keep it to himself. As soon as it was light the next day, he hurried to the lakeside, watching for his brother Peter, to come in with his fishing boat. While helping Simon Peter haul in his catch, Andrew blurted out, "We have found the Messiah! Come and see!" Scarcely waiting until the fish net had been pulled to shore, he grabbed his older brother by the hand and dragged him down the road to where Jesus was.

Simon Peter made no objection. If this quiet young brother of his was this excited about something, he was eager to see Whom it was who was causing his enthusiasm. Andrew had been so bored and fed up with fishing lately and had not always gone out with him. Peter knew that he had been following the wild man from the wilderness for a few days, but he figured that the novelty would soon wear off. But he had NEVER seen Andrew this energized about anything since they had both been children.

With scepticism, Peter approached the small crowd that had gathered around the "Prophet", so recently having caused a stir among the people. To his amazement, he saw the Man look directly at him. And then He spoke: "You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas." Peter was taken-a back. He had been called many things in his day, but NEVER had anyone called him "A Stone." For once in his life he was speechless. He would follow this Man called Jesus for a while. He would listen to His words. He was impressed! For the rest of the day Peter observed. He wanted to find out more about this amazing Man, this Man who had made such an impressing on his gentle young brother.

"He is truly too good to be true!" Heading back to the shore to attend to his fish, Peter turned to his brother and said: "We have to tell Philip about this new Prophet. You know how devout Philip is." So the brothers found their friend from their hometown, Bethsaida, and told him about the incredible Man that they had heard preaching by the Sea of Galilee.

As Jesus entered Galilee the following day, He saw Philip. "Follow Me," was all He said to him. And Philip followed.

After listening to Jesus for just a little while, Philip couldn't contain his enthusiasm. He went and found his companion, Nathanael, known to some as Bartholomew. He 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.' You just have to come and hear Him. What He teaches is astounding! Come on!"

Nathanael, always the sceptic, sneered. "I don't believe you. Can any good come out of Nazareth?" Nathanael was a student of the Law. He knew about the promised Messiah. He knew that He was to be born in Bethlehem, so this Man couldn't be the promised One. Nazareth! Pshaw! How could anyone of any importance come from such an obscure little village such as Nazareth?

"Come and see," was Philip's simple answer. He took Nathanael by the arm and led him to Jesus. Seeing his friend's passion, Nathanael reluctantly allowed himself to be taken to meet the Man from Nazareth who had caused such a surge of excitement in Philip.

Jesus witnessed Nathanael coming towards Him and turning directly to Him, He said, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!"

Amazed at Jesus' words, Nathanael shot back, "How could You possibly know me? I have never ever laid eyes on You in my life. You must be mistaking me for someone else."

Jesus simply said, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you."

Nathanael thought back on yesterday. He had been relaxing under the fig tree, reflecting on the things he had been reading in the Prophets. He had just read about how Jacob had had a dream of a ladder that reached to heaven. Vaguely he recalled that as he was sitting under the tree, a small crowd of people had passed by him. But that was nothing unusual. Groups of people often walked down the road, going from place to place. He had scarcely glanced up from his reading, so he hadn't paid any attention to anyone in particular. So how was it that this Man had noticed him? And WHY had He noticed him? He was no one of importance. He was just a quiet man pondering life. In his slow, thoughtful manner, Nathanael answered, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!"

Jesus said, "Because I said to you, 'I saw you under the fig tree,' do you believe? You will see greater things than these…. Soon you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man."

* * *

Mark's account: Mark 1:14-19

The news that John the Baptist was now in prison saddened his followers. The two men, who had been his faithful disciples and had left him to follow Jesus, had now gone back to their duties. Jesus, also saddened to learn that John was in prison, headed back to Galilee. His time had come to take up from where John had left off. "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel." The message was the same. The Messenger was new. John had fulfilled the purpose he had been born to. It was now time for Jesus to show Himself as Israel's Deliverer. But would they listen?

As Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw the usual activity, men fishing, fixing nets, mending boats, etc. Among the seaside workers he spotted Simon and Andrew casting in their nets for another day at sea. He called out to them: "Men! Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men."

The brothers needed no further invitation. They dropped their nets where they were, pulled their garments around them and left their boat, to become Jesus' disciples.

A little further down the beach Jesus noticed James and John with their father, Zebedee, busily mending their nets, preparing to spend another day at fishing. Fishing hadn't been too great lately, but it was their livelihood and they had to carry on. Jesus called out to them. "Follow Me!"

Immediately the brothers dropped their nets and ran after Jesus, leaving their father looking on. A slight smile crossed Zebedee's face. He sighed. He had heard of this Prophet who had recently come onto the scene, and he was glad that his sons had decided to follow Him. They had chosen the right path, something his mother and he had prayed for since their sons had been born. James and John had heard the call of their Master: "Come and See." And they followed Jesus, becoming His full-time disciples.

Jesus' ministry was gaining momentum. His popularity was growing amongst the people. But His time had not yet fully come to show to the people His full power.


© Helen Dowd

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