The First Followers (John 1:29-51). John the Baptizer publicly identified Jesus as the Messiah of Israel,
“Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! . . . This is the Son of God.” On this
testimony, the inner circle of disciples begins to form:
Andrew and John the Son of Zebedee follow Jesus
Andrew brings his brother Simon, whom Jesus calls Cephas (Peter)
Jesus finds Philip and said to him, “Follow me”
Philip finds Nathanael (Bartholomew) and brings him to Jesus
The pronouncement about Jesus as “the Lamb of God” was a prophetic utterance, and prophets did not
always understand their predictions. Especially was this true in relation to the sufferings of Christ (1
Peter 1:10-11). It is possible that John did not understand his own prophecy.
The First Miracle (John 2:1-11). The third day (foreshadows the resurrection) after leaving the Jordan,
there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee, which gave Jesus the opportunity to present Himself as the Son
of God, the one who by the word of His mouth created all things that exist. Jesus’ mother suggests that
He make a public manifestation, but Jesus who had been subject to His parents from the time of His birth
to His public presentation to Israel repudiated Mary’s right to dictate to Him. He replied, “My time has
not yet come.” His time to bestow messianic benefits on the nation had not yet come. Wine represented
the joy of salvation; wine would find its deeper meaning in the Cup of the Last Supper, which is His
blood of the New Covenant. In the OT, water was changed to blood (Exodus 7:19), which indicates
judgment. But Christ turned water to wine, which speaks of grace and joy. Christ’s miracle of turning of
water to wine revealed His glory and His disciples believed in Him.
Miracles were “signs” that authenticated His person and message. Only in three brief periods of history
were miracles performed by men and each time new revelation came from God.
Moses and Aaron – Law
Elijah and Elisha – Prophets
Jesus and Apostles – Gospel
The Possession of the Temple (John 2:12-22). Following a brief visit at Capernaum with His family
and disciples, it was time to go to Jerusalem for the first Passover of His public ministry. The temple had
been dedicated as a place of meeting between God and His people. Because they made God’s house a
market-house, Christ made a whip out of cords and manifested His righteous zeal. The disciples and the
Jews who witnessed this event both interpreted Christ’s actions as a demonstration of messianic authority.
The Jews responded by demanding of Him, “What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your
authority to do all this?” In proof of His authority, Jesus gave the sign of His death and resurrection.
The first sign given in response to the demand and the last sign given in response to such a demand were
the same (Matthew 16:1-4). The resurrection would be God’s vindication of the Person of Christ.
The Attraction to Jesus (John 2:23-4:45). Beholding His signs, many believed in His name, but Jesus
being omniscient and aware of human depravity realized the people were attracted to Him for basically
selfish reasons. One very prominent person, Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews and the teacher of Israel, was
attracted to Jesus. A scholar hedged about by customs and social barriers, sought the truth, he came to
Jesus by cover of night. Christ explained to Nicodemus the necessity of new birth by the Spirit for seeing
the kingdom of God and receiving eternal life. New birth comes by believing in the Son of Man, who
descended from heaven, is crucified on the Cross, and ascends into heaven. Thus, Jesus revealed that
God’s plan of salvation is in the Person of Christ.
John the Baptizer’s ministry decreased and Jesus’ increased over the next eight months in Judea. More
disciples were being attracted to Jesus than John. Herod reproved by John locks him in prison, ending his
public ministry, and Jesus under the control of the Holy Spirit departs for Galilee (Luke 4:14). On the
way, Jesus and His disciples pass through Samaria. They stop at Jacob’s well at Sychar. The Jews had
rejected the Samaritans for hundreds of years as an impure race. Jesus shows that He is not prejudice and
offers living water to the unsavory women at the well. The conversation leads the woman to discern that
Jesus is fulfilling the messianic role. Jesus’ first plain announcement of His Messiahship was made to a
non-Jew and a women at that! A belief among Samaritans was that the Messiah would reveal the Father
to men. And Jesus affirms the women’s faith declaring, “I who speak to you am he.” Because of the
women’s testimony, many from the city of Sychar believed in Him and many more Samaritans believed
because of His word as they recognized the Person of Christ to be the “Savior of the world.”
After two days, Christ departed for Galilee to begin His Greater Galilean Ministry. There he was received
by the people who saw the things He did in Jerusalem. The Samaritans believed in the Person of Christ
without one sign, but the Jews would keep seeking signs (John 4:48).