Friday – February 12, 2016
Day 3 – John 1:35-51
Focus: vs 43
43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.”
The relationship of master and apprentice is an interesting dynamic. In a work environment the apprentice works with and learns from the master. He learns the ins and outs of his trade and prepares himself to, one day, become the master and take on an apprentice of his own. This is a similar concept to the disciple following the teacher.
I spent an awful lot of time in college and seminary and engaged in a lot of student/teacher relationships but none of them compare to what it was like in Jesus day. The disciple didn’t just show up to work every day and clock in. He was with Jesus wherever Jesus went and he learned from Jesus in a very organic fashion. The disciple was there to pick up on all the little details in Jesus’ life and he learned just as much about how to be like Jesus as he learned about what Jesus believed and did. He would even see the subtle facial expressions and motions that told him how Jesus felt about every little thing. It wasn’t a job the disciples were learning, it was a way of life.
This section of our Gospel chronicles the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry. It was time and He needed to invest His life in a group of disciples to accomplish what He was sent to do. He starts with Andrew, who quickly finds his brother Simon (Peter) and brings him to Jesus. The other disciple of John who started following at this point was probably John, the author of this Gospel. A few verses later Jesus finds Philip and says, “follow me.” Nathanael is then contacted by Philip.
Do you remember when Jesus asked you to follow Him? How long did it take you to realize this was more than just a momentary decision? Jesus still calls disciples today. Following Him isn’t just a job where you learn the ins and outs of Christianity; rather it’s a relationship where you are meant to learn from the Master. Jesus is calling you to go deeper and truly learn His ways in an intimate environment where the two of you are together 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Every second is an opportunity to learn from the Master. Are you watching? Are you following?
The danger in our faith is in reducing it to nothing more than a job where we are learning the trade in order to pass it along. This is important but, if that’s all you’re doing, you’re missing out on the Master/Disciple relationship that Jesus desires with you. Perhaps this is the difference between Religion and Relationship that we like to talk about so much. This is your faith, learn it as you live it. Don’t waste any of the time you get to spend with the Master.
One other point I want to bring out is how we see two instances, in today’s scripture, of one disciple bringing another disciple to the master. Andrew brings his brother Simon and Philip brings in Nathanael. Jesus has room for more disciples. There are no earthly limitations here. So don’t horde your faith all to yourself – bring others into the fold.
Prayer Focus: Dear Jesus, I will follow you. You are the Master and I am your disciple. Help me to learn how to be like you. Help me to love like you and to develop your character in my life. Amen.