Today we start reading the Gospel of John. It is evident Jesus made an immediate impression on those who met him, from the time Jesus was baptized. John’s Gospel, the last to be written, several times fills the gaps in the first three Gospels. Taken together they provide us with a multi-dimensional picture of the life of the Son of God. As the personality of Jesus opens out, we see the impact he made on individuals and we see why even those sent to arrest him said, in excuse of their failure, “No one ever spoke like this man” (7:46).
When John the Baptist said, “Behold the Lamb of God” (1:36) it caused at least two to follow Jesus. Jesus perceived their character, and knew his Father was at work in causing this. At the climax of his ministry he would say in prayer, “I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them is lost except the son of destruction” (17:12). Judas failed to see who Jesus really was.
In today’s chapter we read how Philip told his friend Nathaniel, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also in the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth …” (verse 45). So they knew their Bible! Nathaniel questions, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see’”. We cannot go and see Jesus physically (not yet!) but we can ‘Come’ to God’s word and after careful examination ‘see’ what it means, comparing scripture with scripture: only God’s word gives us the real reason for being alive – and, wonderfully, gives us a real hope for the future.
An interesting example of what God’s word inspires men to do is in today’s reading in Numbers. We are not living under Moses’ law with its system of offerings, but we can take the lesson that “day by day … you shall offer in the morning and … you shall offer at twilight …” (28:3,4). Today, God-fearing people should, “Through (Christ) … continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name” (Hebrews 13:15). Do your lips bear such fruit? Have you “come” to “see” what “the Lamb of God” means in your life? Do you offer praise as a result? The older we get we should be able to “see” this more fully.