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Scripture Story: John 1.

Commentary: The Desire of Ages, chapter 14.

come see

Photo by Colleen Cahill

keytext

“Philip found Nathanael and 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.’ And Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.’” (John 1:45, 46)

flashlight

“Philip said to Nathanael, ‘Come and see.’ He did not ask him to accept another’s testimony, but to behold Christ for himself. Now that Jesus has ascended to heaven, His disciples are His representatives among men, and one of the most effective ways of winning souls to Him is in exemplifying His character in our daily life. . . . Men may combat and defy our logic, they may resist our appeals; but a life of disinterested love is an argument they cannot gainsay. A consistent life, characterized by the meekness of Christ, is a power in the world” (The Desire of Ages, pp. 141, 142).

what do you think?

Which of the following do you think has the greatest power to influence others for Christ? Rank them (1 being the most, 5 being the least) according to the influence you think they have over others.

to have their questions answered in a biblically clear and coherent manner
to observe joy and contentment in the way someone else lives their life
to receive help and compassion in a time of need from a believer with no strings attached
to discover the truth about Christ through a quality media form
to be invited to participate in the social and spiritual activities of a community of faith (church, small groups, socials, etc.)
to witness a believer endure faithfully through serious trials and still praise God

Which do you think would compel you to follow Christ? Why?

did you know?

Andrew and John ‘followed’ Jesus in the sense that they recognized Him to be ‘the Lamb of God’ (John 1:36, KJV). Andrew and John were the first followers. Soon Peter, Philip, and Nathanael (Bartholomew) joined them.”

“Nathanael was one of that small but devout group who earnestly waited for ‘the consolation of Israel’ (see on Luke 2:25) and aspired to the high ideals set before them by God. A true Israelite was not necessarily a literal descendant of Abraham, but one who chose to live in harmony with the will of God (see Acts 10:34, 35)” (The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, pp. 909, 911).

INTO THE STORY

“Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, ‘Behold the Lamb of God!’

“The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, ‘What do you seek?’

“They said to Him, ‘Rabbi’ (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), ‘where are You staying?’

He said to them, ‘Come and see.’

“They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour).

“One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which is translated, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.

“Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, ‘You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas’ (which is translated, A Stone).

“The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, ‘Follow Me.’ Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and 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.’

“And Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’

“Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.’

“Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, ‘Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!’

“Nathanael said to Him, ‘How do You know me?’

“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.’

“Nathanael answered and said to Him, ‘Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!’

“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Because I said to you, “I saw you under the fig tree,” do you believe? You will see greater things than these.’ And He said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.’”

(John 1:35-51)

OUT OF THE STORY

As you read this story what do you think are the key events or moments portrayed in the text?

Why do you think this scene was mentioned in the Bible?

In this passage, is there . . .
a truth to believe?
a challenge to accept?
a prayer to pray?
an example to follow?
a decision to make?

What words or phrases are repeated in this story?

How does the challenge “Come and see” contribute to the meaning of the event? What is significant about this saying?

How did Jesus’ response to Nathanael impact this honest seeker after the truth?

What do you think it means when Jesus says, “You shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man” (John 1:51)?

What do you think is the message God has for you in this passage?

punch lines

“I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me” (Proverbs 8:17).

“Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons” (Mark 3:14-16).

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me”(John 6:37, 38).

“Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?’” (John 11:40).

further insight

“No sooner is one converted than there is born within him a desire to make known to others what a precious friend he has found in Jesus” (Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 141).

“A consistent life, characterized by the meekness of Christ, is a power in the world” (Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 142).

connectingtoLIFE

Sabbath

Read Matthew 25:31-46.

When we serve others with genuine love and caring, the love of God transforms and enables us to grow in Christ.

“As we give ourselves in loving service to those around us and in witnessing to His salvation, His constant presence with us through the Spirit transforms every moment and every task into a spiritual experience” (Seventh-day Adventist Beliefs, Growing in Christ).

Read and respond to the activity in the What Do You Think? section of this week’s lesson. Which do you think causes people to become interested in following Christ?

Scan through the four Gospels or think of three people who were motivated to follow Christ by different means. Even though everyone responds to different aspects of who Jesus is, Christ in Matthew 11:28 calls everyone, saying: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” What kind of rest does Jesus bring? Read also John 14:27. How is the peace that Jesus offers different than the peace that the world gives?

Sunday

Read Psalm 1:1, 2.

As you read the Into the Story section and use the questions in the Out of the Story section to prompt your study of the text, pay attention to the different types of people who are drawn to Christ. What does Christ do to endear Himself to would-be disciples? Why do you think Jesus said, “Come and see”? Why does Philip repeat the appeal when Nathanael raises the question of where Jesus is from?

What is the message for you in this week’s lesson?

Monday

Read Colossians 2:6.

The Key Text from John 1:45, 46 conveys the conversation between Philip and Nathanael about whether Jesus could be the Messiah. What do you think Philip was certain about when he said that if Nathanel would just meet Jesus (come and see) that he would be compelled to follow? When in your life have preconceived ideas about a person turned out to be wrong? When have they been correct? Whom do you know that models the simple way in which Andrew and Philip are found bringing people to Jesus?

Tuesday

Read Psalm 77:11, 12.

Read the quote from The Desire of Ages in the Flashlight section of this lesson. Think about the effectiveness of a person’s personal story. When have you been touched by someone’s story about how they came to know Christ? If you were to tell one story from your own life about what God has done for you, what story would you tell? Why?

Wednesday

Read Romans 8:38, 39.

As you read the passages listed in the Punch Lines section of this week’s lesson, what message speaks most prominently to you today?

Thursday

Read Galatians 5:22-25.

Reflect on the interactions Jesus had with the many different types of people throughout the Gospels. Why do you think people were so drawn to Him? If Jesus were here on earth in the same way today, what would draw people to Him? How would He be received?

Friday

Read Ephesians 6:12-18.

Whom do you know that is not a disciple of Christ but you sense it may be the right time in their life to respond? Begin to pray for that person specifically each day and be ready to share your story about why you have chosen to follow Christ. Your testimony has power! Look for an opportunity to invite them to “come and see” for themselves.

this week’s reading*

The Desire of Ages (or Humble Hero), chapter 14. *Humble Hero is a special adaptation of The Desire of Ages, created by the Ellen G. White Estate and Pacific Press. Get more information about it at http://www.cornerstoneconnections.net/article/191/about-us/conflict-of-the-ages-companionbooks#.URlhF1rBO9s. By following the weekly reading plan, you will read at least one book of the Conflict of the Ages Series each year.