SER # 3W
FIRST UMC – NEBRASKA CITY
SUNDAY JANUARY 19TH 2020
TEXTS: JOHN 1: 29 – 42
THEME: WHAT ARE YOU SEARCHING?
In Life people search for many things. People search for wealth, beauty, carriers, a place to live, a best and affordable car, someone who can become a life partner and the list can go one.
Two of John disciples approach Jesus who was the Lamb of God and wished to know where he stayed. Jesus response was “come and see.” The students right away acknowledges him a s teacher (Rabbi). This was the disciples’ response when Jesus asked them who they were looking for. In other words, if Jesus was the Rabbi, they were willing to be his students
Jesus finally invites them to join him and experience who he was. The two that followed Jesus was John and Andrew who together with Peter later became Jesus first disciples. We read after their experience they went back to the village to invite their brothers. Andrew invited his brother Simon Peter. He leads his brother to Jesus. This is central functioning of an evangelist is to invite. When you discover something good you invite your friend to come and join you. It has been said doing evangelism is like a beggar who finds bread and after he eating, he goes and invites other beggars to come and eat. As we think about Jesus the lamb of God this morning, we should not forget that the lamb had to be perfect to qualify as a sacrifice. The lamb of God sums up the love, the sacrifice, the suffering and the triumph of Christ,
Here are some faith lessons that we can pick from our passage today. We come searching for:
- Come Searching for Ultimate Sacrifice: The people who lived before Jesus time were required by the prophets, priest and other religious leaders to offer animal sacrifices to atone for their sins. Every morning and every evening a lamb was sacrificed in the Temple for the sins of people (Exodus 29:33-42). This lamb was to pay the penalty for their sins. We read this clearly at the feast of Passover before they left Egypt. First, the lamb had to be perfect. Jesus come to us as a perfect lamb of God. The Lamb had to be one color and no illness or deformity. It had to be of a certain age. This lamb was detected early and protected for it was a lamb of hope. Before leaving Egypt, they sacrificed a lamb for whose blood they put on the door post so that when the angel of death who was coming to kill all the first born of the land will see the blood and Passover. Therefore, there was power in the blood of the lamb that they believed provided the protection at the time. Jesus then became this lamb which was to be offered once. Second, Jesus as the lamb of God his sacrifice was for the whole world. It was not just for the Jews or the people who called themselves the descendant of Abraham but to all who are willing to accept his blood. The ultimate sacrifice took place at Calvary where they crucified him. Third, Jesus as the lamb of God is the only hope, we have to take away the original sin. His blood is so powerful that even if our sins are as red as blood, he will wash them as white as snow. It is the miracle of God that uses red blood to clean something and make it white that make Jesus blood special
- Come Searching for a Rabbi: Jesus work was to invite us to him. Though John had already established himself as a great preacher he never equated himself with Jesus, he taught and believed that Jesus was the son of God and therefore much higher than him. To John we see the example of humility that must be practiced by every believer, therefore come and see: One, we are searching for the one who will meet us more than half way. He made it easy and comfortable. Two, we search for the one who is able to understand our human mind starts to see and human heart begins to long God comes and meet Jesus who is willing to meet us more than halt-way. Jesus invited John’s disciples to join him so that they could witness at a close range what Jesus was doing. Three, we are searching for the one who does not only see who we are, but also who we can become. He sees not only actualities in us but he also sees the possibilities says William Barclay. Barclays continues to say when Jesus looked at Peter, he did not only see a Galilean fisherman but in him but he also saw who he would become a rock on which the church would be built. Jesus does not only see us as we are but also what we can become. They witnessed the sick getting healed, the blind eyes open to see, the lame could walk, the deaf could hear and the dead were being raised. Today Jesus has invited us to him to be the witnesses of our own experience being with him. We have to bear the witness of what God has done for us and what he continues to do in us and through us. What more witness do we need to see so as to accept Jesus as Lord and savior of our lives?
- Come Searching for one who sends us: When we taste the goodness of the Lord that we are able to tell others. Andrew had to first experience Jesus the Christ at a close range, after which he was convinced and excited to invite his brother Simon Peter to go and meet Jesus. We know what came out of Peter’s visit. He also decided to follow Jesus and become the leader of the discipleship team that Jesus created. It is a true statement of how evangelism should be done. When we taste the goodness of the Lord, we have to make sure that we invite others to come and experience the same, Like John our work is to point people to Jesus the son of God. When people are searching for peace and security in the unsecure world let us point them to Jesus. When we decide to follow, Jesus let us do it for the right reasons. Jesus asked John and Andrew why they were following him. The more we stay close to Jesus and his teaching the better we will know him. The journey of faith is a lifelong and has challenges but we know that Jesus being on our side we will make it. we have to remind ourselves that we are nothing but Christ is everything.