All of us at some point in our life will question why we’re here, why was I born? What is my meaning, my purpose? My calling?
This passage John 1:19-51 shows us what the calling of John the Baptist was, the calling of Jesus Christ, and the calling of some of the first disciples and it gives us a bit of an idea as to what part of our purpose and calling on this earth should be about.
John 1:19-28 – John’s Calling
We start off with John’s testimony with the priests and Levites who were sent by the suspicious Jewish leaders questioning him on who he was and why he was here
John is clear and confesses straight away that he is not the Messiah, he disowns himself to be Christ who at the time was expected a lot
He also shares that he is not Elijah who he came in the spirit and power of, and that he is not the Prophet to whom Moses said the Lord would raise up.
He then goes on to answer their question by quoting Isaiah 40:3 almost as a command but just as much what he feels he has been called to do being ‘Make straight the way for the Lord’
Then, asked why he baptises with water, he replies with how he baptises with water and is not worthy to even to tie the Messiah’s shoes, that’s how important and special Christ is and why his purpose is only to make way for the Lord so that he may be able to fullfill his purpose.
John 1:29-34 – Jesus’ Calling
Next we have John’s testimony of when he saw Jesus coming towards him.
John points Jesus out to be the Lamb of God, the first time this is used in the Bible. This is in reference to Christ being the Paschal lamb later mentioned in 1 Corinthians 5:7 by Paul. Christ was to be known here as the Lamb of God who would one day be slain as a sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins, a foretelling of what was to come.
John then continues this proclamation by calling Jesus the one who ‘takes away the sin of the world!’ who had eagerly been expected.
Here we are given a glimpse of what Jesus’s calling would be for now and the future where he knew that it was his purpose to one day die on a crucifix so that others would be saved because of what he had done.
Again, in v31, John understands the importance of Christ and how the way must be prepared for Jesus to undergo this calling and so we are told that, by John baptising with water, that this would help this Lamb of God to be revealed to Israel and the World who going on into v33 is shown to be the one who baptises people with the Holy Spirit.
V34 ‘I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One’. Jesus is God’s Chosen One and he has become flesh for this purpose so that he may, by the power of God, take away our sins.
John 1:35–51 – Our Calling
John is again here at the same place, probably telling more people about the Messiah, when again he sees Jesus and tells those watching to ‘Look, the Lamb of God!’
On hearing this, both of John’s disciples left him and immediately stated following Jesus, literally walking after him.
They acknowledged Jesus as Rabbi – Teacher and after he had asked them what they wanted, he welcomed them to ‘Come’ to the place he was staying so that they could see and spend the day with him.
Encouraged by what they had heard, one of them – Andrew found his brother Simon to tell him that they had found the Messiah which would have been incredible news to hear.
On meeting Jesus, Simon is literally called by Jesus as his name Peter along with its meaning of a rock.
Moving onto v43, Philip is called by Jesus and here Jesus actually says to him ‘Follow me’, from this moment on, not only does Philip accompany Jesus but he will go through a process of learning to follow his every command being a disciple to him.
After having told Nathanael, we have a confrontation between him and Jesus where Nathanael is left saying ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel’ which is absolutely incredible.
In following Christ, do we seek the favour of God and eternal life? He invites them to come without delay. Now is the accepted time, 2 Corinthians 6:2. It is good for us to be where Christ is, wherever it be.
Those who come to Christ, must come with a fixed resolution to be firm and constant to him, like a stone, solid and steadfast; and it is by his grace that they are so.
The question put to us is, are we ready to accept the calling on our lives? Just as Jesus started calling the disciples here in this passage so too are we called to Follow Him, and in every aspect of our lives.
The true nature of Christianity is in the following of Jesus, devoting ourselves to him and treading in his steps knowing that he is the one who has taken away the sins of the world.
Are we ready to follow him wholeheartedly and embrace the calling on our lives?