Have you ever wondered who the first members of the church

which Jesus organized during His personal ministry?  This text

gives the record of the first disciples of Jesus and, therefore,

tells us who the first members were.


I.  The influence of John the Baptist upon the first disciples of



    John the Baptist is the man who influenced these men to

follow Jesus.  You will recall that John the Baptist had told the

delegation from the Sanhedrin that his mission was to prepare the

way for the ministry of the Christ.  That delegation had thought

that John just might claim to be the Christ, but John was quick

to inform them that he is not the Christ.  They asked if he is

Elijah come back to life again and John told them, "No." They

asked if he is one of the other Old Testament prophets come back

to life and again John said, "No."

    So the delegation asked, "Who art thou then, if you are not

the Christ nor Elijah nor one of the other Old Testament

prophets?" John said, "I am the voice of one crying in the

wilderness, Make strait the way of the Lord."  John the Baptist

was a voice, a herald, sent ahead to urge the people to get ready

for the coming Christ.

    John did that very thing.  John announced that the Christ

would soon come on the scene and appear among the people.  John

preached that the people were to repent of their sin and get

ready for the coming Christ.  They were to put their faith in the

coming Christ.  Those who showed evidence that they had repented

and trusted in the coming Christ were baptized by John in the

River Jordan.

    Many people were saved under the preaching of John the

Baptist and were baptized by him.  These would be ready for the

Christ to come and were potential candidates for membership in

the church which the Lord would organize.  Not all who were saved

and baptized under John's ministry would hold membership in the

church, but some would.  According to Acts chapter one, all

twelve of the men who would be apostles had been baptized by John

the Baptist.

    The men involved in our text were such men.  They had already

made claims of repentance.  They had already made professions of

faith in the coming Christ.  They had already been baptized by

John the Baptist.  They were ready to be used by the Lord in

establishing His church.

    On the day prior to our text John had pointed Jesus out to a

crowd of onlookers and identified Him as the Christ.  He declared

that Jesus is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the

world.  He bare record to them that Jesus is the very Son of God.


II.  The influence of John the Baptist on two of his own



    V. 35, "Again the next day after John stood, and two of his

disciples..."  Apparently John is not in a crowd at this time.

He and two of his disciples were all alone.

    Note that the two men with him were not said to be disciples

of Jesus.  Rather, they were disciples of John the Baptist.  They

had professed to repent of their sins under John's ministry.

They had professed to John that they believed in the Christ which

he preached.  They had already been baptized by John.  They had

returned frequently to hear John preach.  They had been under his

teaching.  They were John's disciples.

    There is a possibility that these two men had been present on

the previous day when John identified Jesus as the Christ.  Even

if they were not been present at that time, they had surely heard

by now about the announcement that John had made.  In all

likelihood, that is just exactly what John was talking to them at

this very time.  They, perhaps, needed and wanted some kind of

personal reassurance from John that Jesus of Nazareth is really

the Christ.  John they knew, but Jesus they did not know.  They

had trusted in the Christ, but they had not heard until now that

Jesus is the Christ.  They wanted to be sure they understood John

correctly and that Jesus of Nazareth is really the Christ.

    As they talked with John, they looked up and saw Jesus

walking toward them.  Once again John identified Jesus as the

Christ.  V. 36, "...And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he

saith, Behold the Lamb of God!"

    This was just what these two disciples of John needed.  They

needed this additional word from John addressed personally to

them assuring them that this man, this man Jesus of Nazareth, is

the very Christ of God, the Son of God dwelling in human flesh.


III.  The experience which John's disciples had with Jesus on

      this occasion


    V. 37, "And the two disciples heard him speak, and they

followed Jesus."  Immediately the two disciples turned away from

John and started following after Jesus.  We should not think that

they were breaking away from John in any way.  They were not

angry at him.  They were not let down in him.  They were not

expressing displeasure in John the Baptist in any way.  It is

just that they were accepting what he said about Jesus that Jesus

is the Christ and they were turning now to follow Jesus.  They

would now listen to what Jesus has to say as earlier they had

listened to John.  They wanted to find out all they could about

Jesus the Christ.

    Neither was John angry at them for following Jesus.  John was

not jealous of Jesus in any way because of the attention they

were showing to Jesus.  This was the purpose of John's ministry.

This was what his ministry was all about.  He had come to

persuade men to believe in the Christ and to follow Christ.

Since Jesus is the Christ, then he had come to persuade men to

follow Jesus.

    V. 38, "Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith

unto them, What seek ye?..."   I strongly suspect that those two

disciples were caught by surprise when Jesus suddenly whirled

around and asked, "What seek ye?"  It was as if to say, "What do

you want?  Why are you following me?"

    (V. 38), "...They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say,

being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?"  Now they knew

that He was from Galilee and did not live in Betharbara and so

they were not asking about His home or permanent dwelling.

Rather they were asking, "Where are you staying?  We just want to

see where you are staying."

    In am sure that Jesus knew that there was more to it than

just idle curiosity.  He knew that they had this special interest

in Him because they were convinced that John was telling them the

truth.  They were convinced that He is the Christ and they wanted

to learn as much about Him as they could.  They wanted to learn

from Him whatever He might teach them about God and God's will.

V. 39, "He saith unto them, Come and see..."  Jesus welcomed the

opportunity to have these men become His disciples.  It was a

part of His mission here on earth to gain a following of saved

people and to organize a New Testament church.  So He invited

them to come to the place where He was staying to spend some time

with Him and get acquainted with Him.

    Never-the-less, the simple words which the Lord uses here can

be beneficial to us today in dealing with people who might be

interested in knowing more about Jesus.  We can bid them, "Come

and see!  Come and hear!  Come and learn!  Come and investigate

for yourselves and get personally acquainted with Jesus Christ of

Nazareth!  Get personally acquainted with the Jesus Christ, the

Son of God!  Come and see!"

    (V. 39), "...They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with

him that day: for it was about the tenth hour."  So the two

disciples of John the Baptist follow Jesus to the place where He

was staying there in Betharbara.   The Scripture does not tell us

who it was that opened up their home to Him, but somebody had.

The two disciples of John were welcomed in and they spent the day

visiting with Jesus in that home.

    V. 40, "One of the two which heard John speak, and followed

him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother."  For the first time, our

writer gives us the name of one of those two men.  One of them

was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter.  Simon Peter is the

better known of the two brothers.  There were other men by the

name of Andrew, but this particular Andrew was the brother of

Simon Peter.


IV.  Simon Peter brought to Jesus


    V. 41, "He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith

unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted,

the Christ."  Simon Peter was another disciple of John the

Baptist.  According to his own statement in Acts chapter one he

had been baptized under the ministry of John the Baptist.  No

doubt he was in Betharbara right now for the purpose of hearing

John preach.  However, he had not been present when John

identified Jesus as the Christ.

    But now Andrew come to Simon Peter all excited.  I can only

imagine how excited Andrew must have been.  "We have found Him!

We have found Him!  We have found Him!"  I can imagine Simon

Peter looking at Andrew and asking, "You have found who?"  Andrew

says, "We have found the Messiah, the Christ!"

    Andrew must have also borrowed an expression from Jesus right

here.  Remember that when the disciples asked Jesus, "Where

dwellest thou?" Jesus answered, "Come and see."  Now Andrew says

to his brother, Simon Peter, "We have found the Messiah, the

Christ.  He is Jesus Christ of Nazareth!  Come and see!  Come and

see!"  V. 42, "And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld

him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be

called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone."


V.  The great honor and privilege of being the first disciples


    There a lot of things of interest right here that I am not

going to take the time to get into.  What I want you to see is

that from this time forward these men were followers of Jesus.

Both Andrew and Peter became followers of Jesus.  The unnamed

disciple who had been with Andrew and heard John the Baptist call

Jesus the Lamb of God made a total of three disciples of Jesus

at this point of time.

    These were the first disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.

They were the first members of the New Testament church which

Jesus established.  There was Andrew and his brother, Simon

Peter.  Then there was an unnamed disciple who had been with

Andrew talking with John the Baptist.

    It is commonly believed that John, the writer of this book,

is that unnamed disciple.  That may or may not be so, but I

strongly suspect that is that other unnamed man.  Peter and

Andrew were brothers.  James and John were brothers.  All four

men were later called from their fishing industry to become

fishers of men.

    What a privilege it was to be the first disciples of our Lord

and Savior, Jesus Christ!  What a privilege it was to be the

first members of our Lord's church!  What a privilege to sit at

the feet of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and be taught by Him!

It was both a privilege and an honor to be the very first

disciples of the Lord!


VI.  The privilege that we have today


    It is, of course, much too late for us to have that privilege

and honor.  It is too late for us to be counted in the number of

first disciples of Jesus.  It is too late for us to be counted in

the number of charter members of the Lord's church which He

established in His personal ministry.  It is too late for us to

have the privilege and honor of sitting at the feet of Jesus and

listening to Him preach and teach.  It is too late for us to have

the privilege and honor of being among the very first workers in

the cause of Christ in this world.

    But it is not too late for us to be saved!  It is not too

late for us to stay out of hell-fire!  It is not too late for us

to repent of our sins and call upon the Lord Jesus Christ and

place our faith in Him for the salvation of the soul!  If there

is any man, woman, boy or girl here this morning who is lost and

headed for the fires of hell, it is not too late for you to be

saved.  What a privilege it is to be saved!  What an honor it is

to have the Lord God of heaven to love you so much that He is

willing to cleanse you from every sin and save your soul!

    Neither is it too late to be a member of one of the Lord's

New Testament churches.  After you are saved, you will have an

opportunity to follow Jesus in baptism and become a member of one

of His New Testament churches.  Let me say to you, "What a

privilege this is!  What a privilege to be a member of one of the

Lord's churches!  What an honor to hold membership in a church

that belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ!  What a privilege and

honor it is to be counted among the present day workers for the

Lord Jesus Christ!  I personally count it a privilege and an

honor to be a member of the Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist

Church which has been carrying on work for the Lord in this

community for 150 years.

    I thank God for those first disciples who followed Jesus and

served Him back in the early days of Christianity.  I thank God

also for the first members of the Pleasant Hill Missionary

Baptist Church of Jesus Christ.  But I also thank God for the

present members who are saved by God's grace and who are still

carrying on the work of the Lord.  I count it a privilege and an

honor to be counted in the group.




    If you have never been saved and you want to be saved, I am

going to call on you to come during this invitation hymn and

place your faith in Jesus Christ to save your soul.  I want to

assure you that just as surely as you trust Jesus to be your

Savior, just that surely Jesus will save you.  If you will trust

Him to do so, Jesus will save you and keep you out of hell and

make sure that you make it to heaven.  Will you trust Him to be

your Savior?  Will you trust Him now?

    If you are already saved, will you come forward in this

invitation and place your membership in this church for the

purpose of serving the Lord?