Malankara World

Sermons Based on the Lectionary of the Syrian Orthodox Church

2nd Sunday After Denaho (Baptism of Jesus Christ)

Sermon / Homily on John 1:43 - 51

Found by Christ; Finding Others

by Pastor Paul

Text: John 1:43-51

Thesis: We are meant to show others what Jesus showed us.

Intro: As Christians and as a church there are many things we could do; there are endless ministries and programs to fill our days and cause sleepless nights.

But what does the Father want? What example did Jesus set for us? Is the Old Testament a manual for maintaining temple programs?

Is the New Testament just an amendment to the by-laws thus creating new ministries and bringing an end to outdated no longer fruitful programs?

The synagogue is out and the church is in.

All of Scripture is the testimony God gives us concerning him self. And all of Scripture centers on Jesus Christ who is the best and highest revelation of God.

So Scripture focuses repeatedly on knowing God and loving one another.

In Christ we find the perfect example of knowing God and loving one another. In fact, these two concepts are inseparable.

1 John 4:7 says, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.

1 John 4:12 says, “No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.”

The best way to worship or magnify something is to share your joy with others. God in three persons exists in perfect love.

The best way for each member of the Trinity to magnify or glorify each other is to share their joy with another.

So creation was born. Creation was born for the purpose of seeing and savoring and sharing the glory of the Father, Son, and Spirit.

The most loving thing for God to do is come and share himself with us. The most loving thing for you to do is go and share God with others.

People see the invisible God not because we have Sunday School and 11am worship service. People see God because we have an intimate knowledge of the Father through the work of the Son by the power of the Spirit that drive Sunday School and worship.

Programs by themselves won’t get it done so programs should not be our focus. Let’s do programs but let’s rule programs. May we never let programs rule us.

So what I am after is leading us to grow in our knowledge of God and grow in our love for one another.

In our passage this morning and next week we’ll learn that it is only when people see Jesus that lives are changed.

My prayer is that we become a church that sees Jesus and loves one another.

Let’s read John 1:43-51

In our passage we are given what I want to call two case studies; one focusing on Philip and the other on Nathanael. Both come in contact with Christ and are changed.

We’ll look at Philip today and Nathanael next week.

I) Philip is our first example because through him we see what it means to be called by Christ and then follow Him.

a) In this passage Jesus proves himself to be the Shepherd who pursues

i) Notice in verse 43 that it is Jesus who decided to go to Galilee. This is an act of intentionality.

ii) Jesus has a plan and a purpose for this new day. And that plan is to actively pursue a man named Philip.

iii) Because this was Jesus’ plan he did the work to find Philip. He searched him out.

iv) If Philip is going to follow Christ it will not be an act of coincidence. This is not a came of chance.

v) If anyone is going to follow Christ it will not be an act of coincidence.

vi) Because of Christ’s love for Philip, Christ has harnessed every action and structured every plan for the purpose of bringing Philip to a point of decision.

vii) Philip being from Bethsaida, was probably a fisherman. Bethsaida literally means house of fish. It’s a fisherman’s town.

viii) And Jesus does not catch Philip with a shiny lure and a little cunning. Jesus catches Philip with the net of his all surpassing glory.

ix) Jesus doesn’t invite Philip to a bass tournament and then force Philip to listen because of free fishing tips and a nice dinner.

x) Jesus knows that Jesus is enough. Philip doesn’t need pointers on how to have a better life.

xi) Philip needs to be confronted with the author and creator of life.

xii) “Follow me” is an imperative; Jesus is commanding Philip to follow. It’s a demand that required Philip to keep on following Jesus.

xiii) Picture it in your mind. Philip is going about his day. Possibly in the market. Possibly going to or returning from fishing on the sea of Galilee.

xiv) Jesus, the Son of God, full of glory, grace, and truth walks up to Philip and demands Philip’s life.

xv) Philip isn’t looking. Philip isn’t attending a bible study. Philip is being pursued by the Good Shepherd.

xvi) And the Good Shepherd is worthy of our lives.

xvii) Does your soul sing the praises of our God who invites us to come and see?

xviii) Do you know the joy of resting in the Christ who pursues us?

xix) I hope that right now as God speaks through His word, you are being pursued by the Good Shepherd.

xx) If you have found Christ, if you have been born of God’s will, if you have been given the power to be God’s child it is only because Christ pursued you.

xxi) No one is saved because you are smart or lovely or have some potential. Salvation is only by God’s unstoppable all-powerful redeeming grace.

xxii) And the great honor and blessing that comes with being pursued by Christ is experienced as God works through us to pursue others.

II) Philip followed Christ by inviting Nathanael to come and see Him (Read verse 45)

a) The way Philip followed Jesus was by going and finding Nathanael.

i) Jesus was intentional to go and find Philip in verse 43. Now Philip is acting like Christ by intentionally going and finding Nathanael in verse 45.

ii) With joy Philip tells Nathanael, “We found him!”

iii) Philip is the man who found treasure buried in a field then in his joy goes and sells all he has to own that field and enjoy that treasure.

iv) God promised through Moses in Deuteronomy 18:18, “I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.”

v) I had the blessing Wednesday night of hearing Sam Long teaching our AWANA boys about the One the prophets wrote about.

vi) With joy Sam read Malachi 3:1&2, “Behold, I send my messenger and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts.”

vii) Philip doesn’t understand the fullness of all he is saying but he gets what is most important. Philip understood that when he looked into the eyes of Jesus of Nazareth he was looking into the eyes of the promised One.

viii) After coming face to face with Jesus, Philip was driven to go and find others to tell.

b) Philip didn’t argue with Nathanael. Philip invited Nathanael to come and see Jesus himself.

i) Read verses 45&46

ii) Nathanael is put off by the perceived humiliation of Jesus’ origins.

iii) Nazareth is a nothing town. Nazareth is not mentioned in the Old Testament. Moses and the prophets said nothing about that little town.

iv) Many people, like Nathanael, are convinced they have figured out the way of salvation and it certainly cannot be through a poor carpenter.

v) Today with increasing regularity we find people disgusted by the truth of the cross.

vi) The Son of God hanging bleeding and suffocating on the cross is not the way of salvation.

vii) Jesus is certainly not being crushed for my sins or for any sins.

viii) Nathanael said, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Our culture says, “Can anything good from a bloody cross and a crucified Jesus?”

ix) In response, like Philip we do not argue. This is not the time to whip out your polished defense of substitutionary atonement.

x) Even though all of us should have a polished defense of substitutionary atonement.

xi) Philip’s response to Nathanael is simple, “come and see.” Philip’s testimony didn’t do the trick.

xii) Nathanael needed to be brought face to face with Jesus.

xiii) Now do not hear me saying we should not engage in apologetics. It is crucial that we know how to and actually defend the truth of Jesus Christ.

xiv) What I am saying is if all we do is feed people in the name of Jesus and explain truth in the name of Jesus and buy Christmas presents in the name of Jesus then we have failed.

xv) We don’t need more stuff or more ministry. We need more of Christ in every moment of our lives.

xvi) I am so busy being busy that I rarely go and see Jesus. I’m so set on defending truth that I rarely talk with people simply to bring them face to face with the Christ.

xvii) Life becomes about being right and doing the right thing. Read this book. Make this visit. Preach this sermon.

xviii) I’m such a legalist. I don’t have cable because it glorifies sin while wasting time and money.

xix) I have shelf after shelf of theology books so I can learn more about Jesus and become a better teacher.

xx) I do my bible reading everyday. I give my tithe. I make visits and organize the vans for AWANA.

xxi) But where is Jesus in all this? Where is the clear presentation of Christ to my wife, my children, my neighbors, and those I’m ministering to?

xxii) Where is the joy of Philip? Where is the simple message “If you want to see Jesus come and see”?

III) I want to close this morning by giving you three important ways we all need to be involved in inviting others to Christ.

i) First, the call on the Christian life is to go and live the Christian life. Through the Great Commission Jesus commands us to make disciples as we are going.

(1) Success in life does not come by doing everything you can possibly do.

(2) Success comes by doing well what God called you to do.

(3) When Jesus lived the life God called him to live people either flocked to him or they hated him.

(4) When you live and love boldly for Christ at your school people will take notice.

(5) When you do your job and raise your children and love your spouse in a Christ-centered sacrificial joy-filled way it will paint a living picture of Christ.

(6) God has called each of us to different tasks serving different people in a variety of avenues.

(7) Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Live like Jesus and it will serve as an invitation.

(8) But this is only an invitation to come and see.

(9) Faithful evangelism is not just doing and living. Faithful evangelism must involve speaking.

ii) The second and necessary way to invite others to Jesus is to share Scripture that speaks clearly about Jesus.

(1) Philip took Nathanael to Jesus by physically bringing the two together. We must take people to Jesus by bring them to Scripture.

(2) Give people bibles, encourage them to read through the Gospel of John, and follow up on what they are reading.

(3) In the process it is paramount that we take these people to the cross.

(4) We must know our bibles if we are going to bring people to Jesus. Take them to Isaiah 53; Colossians 1:15-23; Colossians 2:8-15; Hebrews 1; and Romans 3:19-26 just to name a few.

(5) Your testimony is not enough. Our testimonies are not the power of God unto salvation. We must point them to the clear gospel message of Scripture.

(6) It is there that they will come face to face and either love him or hate him.

(7) We cannot control their reaction. We must be faithful to love and share.

iii) The third way to invite people to Jesus is to invite them to church.

(1) I opened this sermon with two passages from 1 John. The point of those passages is that people see God when they see us loving each other.

(2) Do not invite people to come and sing or listen to a sermon or benefit from some ministry.

(3) Invite people to come and see you love people. Invite people to come and be loved.

(4) Church, if I loved you as God calls, if you loved me as God calls, if we all loved each other as God commands then there would be no end to our invitations.

(5) Like Andrew to Peter and Philip to Nathanael our love for what we have found in Jesus fueling and shaping our love for others would cause our mouths to speak and beg and invite.

(6) Don’t lie to yourself and say you are frustrated because of what the pastor says, the way we do things, or because of worship style.

(7) You and I are not content with our situation because we do not love God. You and I do not rejoice always because we do not love our neighbors.

(8) We love only ourselves. May God see fit to crush us and destroy our hearts of stone.

(9) May God grant repentance to a church pastored by a selfish man. May God grant repentance to a church committed to ease and comfort and self.

(10) I pray that the sovereign Christ would come in the infinite power of the Holy Spirit, stand before us in all his glory, and call us to follow him.

(11) I pray that in our joy we would give everything for the cause of following him.

(12) I pray that we would love each other, invest in each other, encourage one another, admonish one another, correct one another, and practice church discipline on one another.

(13) I long for the day when I want what God wants and you want what God wants and we all passionately and joyfully make Christ known.

(14) Let’s join together and pray for repentance and pray for revival.

See Also:

Calling of Phillip and Nathanael
by Rev. Carl E. Roemer, Th.D., STS, MA

Come and See for Yourself
by Victor Shepherd

God's Dream Team
by Dr. Philip W. McLarty

Come and See
by Jerry Goebel

The Nathanael Shift
by John Jewell

Come and See
by Pastor Edward F. Markquart

Sermons, Bible Commentaries and Bible Analyses for the 2nd Sunday after Denaha (Baptism of our Lord)

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