What Are You Looking For? – John 1:29-50

“When Jesus turned and noticed them following him, he asked them, ‘What are you looking for?’ They said to him, ‘Rabbi’ (which means ‘Teacher’), ‘where are you staying?’ ‘Come and you’ll see,’ he replied. So they went and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day. (John 1:38-39, CSB).

Jesus’ first two disciples were actually disciples of John the Baptist before becoming Jesus’ followers. One of them was Andrew and the other was not named but perhaps was John, the author of this gospel.

Nevertheless, the two left John the Baptist to become followers of Jesus.

John the Baptist didn’t seem to be grieved by the two abandoning him and following after Jesus. In fact, John actually encouraged his disciples to follow Jesus: “The next day, John was standing with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God!’ The two disciples heard him say this and followed Jesus” (vs. 1:35-37, CSB).

Then the dominoes started to fall.

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The Gospel According to John 3:16

ForGodSoLoved-JesusOnCross

The way we sometimes present the gospel would make this verse read more like this: “For we sinned so much that God gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will quit sinning.”

We make the gospel out to be about our sin rather than God’s love. We send people down the Roman Road–“all have sinned” (Romans 3:23)–instead of up the Via Dolorosa–“He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16).

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Just Sayin’ – 1 Timothy 2:7

justsayin“And I have been chosen as a preacher and apostle to teach the Gentiles this message about faith and truth. I’m not exaggerating—just telling the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:7, NLT).

The Apostle Paul was certain about his calling from God and the message he was supposed to teach and preach.

Paul understood that all his efforts were a part of God’s plans and purposes and so he did it because God called him.

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Paul’s John 3:16 – 1 Timothy 2:3-6

John316_Tim_Tebow“God our Savior…wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and humanity, Christ Jesus, Himself human, who gave Himself–a ransom for all, a testimony at the proper time.” (1 Timothy 2:3-6, NLT).

If you are one of those laconic people who likes things stated simply, concisely, and succinctly, then you definitely like this summation of the gospel written by the Apostle Paul in his first letter to Timothy.

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The Pretender – Galatians 1:6-7

pretending “You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ” (Galatians 1:6-7, NLT).

We know from explanations later in this letter to the Galatians that some were teaching that Gentile Christians had to follow the Mosaic law.

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Truth Management – 2 Corinthians 13:6

pinocchio“For we are not able to do anything against the truth, but only for the truth” (2 Corinthians 13:6, HCSB).

The Apostle Paul is telling the Corinthians in this verse that regardless of their opinion about him, the truth of the gospel will prevail.

Paul said that as an apostle he had exercised no power over those who received the truth of the gospel. And any apostolic power he had exercised was to defend the truth of the gospel by instructing, reproving, or censuring those that opposed, denied, or contradicted it.

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Finding Common Ground – I Corinthians 9:22-23

finding-common-ground“Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings” (I Corinthians 9:22-23, NLT).

In 1 Corinthians 9 the Apostle Paul describes in various ways how those who work in the ministry of the gospel have the right to share in the blessings of the gospel.

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Be a Volunteer Not a Recruit – Isaiah 6:8

raised_hands“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8, ESV).

Isaiah had a vision of being in the presence of God in His heavenly temple.

Isaiah became fearful because he was a sinful person standing in the presence of a Holy God.

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The Kingdom Journey – Luke 4:43

pathway_cross“I must preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God in other towns, too, because that is why I was sent.”

Christ’s coming inaugurated His Kingdom on Earth.

Jesus taught that the Kingdom of God is a spiritual nation that is active in this world now to prepare its citizens for an eternal, heavenly Kingdom that is to come.

The gospel of Jesus is a message of an everlasting Kingdom that extends its reign from the creation of the universe to this present age and into the ages to come.

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What’s the Message? – Luke 4:36-37

text_message“Amazement came over them all, and they kept saying to one another, ‘What is this message? For He commands the unclean spirits with authority and power, and they come out!’ And news about Him began to go out to every place in the vicinity” (Luke 4:36-37, HCSB).

After Jesus was baptized by John and then tempted by the devil for forty days, He officially began His ministry. Jesus started out by teaching in synagogues in Galilee near His hometown of Nazareth..

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