Reading the Gospel of John again, I was struck by the fact that the first disciples of Jesus Christ had known about Him even before they met Him. Well, may be they had met Him before but they only recognized who He was after they had had a personal look at Him.
The Jews were all schooled on the Law of Moses which prophesised the coming of the Messiah, the Christ. They were taught and were familiar with who the Messiah is. They knew He comes from God and is the Son — not “son” as we understand it but “Son” as of God and equal with Him. They were waiting for the Messiah to come and deliver them from the shackles of foreign dominion.
So, when John the Baptist came along he created a buzz among the Jews in Jerusalem. They sent their priests and Levites to ask who he was and knowing what was on their minds, he openly declared: “I am not the Christ.” (John 1: 20) But he said “… among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.” (John 1: 26,27)
John points to Jesus as the “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1: 29). It was John the Baptist who drew the attention of his disciples to Jesus as the Lamb of God (John 1: 36). When they heard John refer to Jesus as the Lamb of God, two of his disciples followed Jesus and spent the day with Him (John 1: 37-39).
It was only after that personal encounter with Jesus that Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, who was one of the two disciples who first followed Him, started talking about who Jesus is. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Peter and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). (John 1: 41) And he brought him to Jesus (John 1: 42).
Then Jesus saw Philip and told him to follow Him. Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” (John 1: 45) And word got around as to who Jesus is and continues to go around up to this day.
A lot of people know about Jesus Christ. But, it is only those who take a closer look at Him who really recognize who He is. Andrew, Peter and the other disciples knew about the Christ, but they only recognized Jesus as the Christ after they had spent some time with Him.
When you take a closer look at Jesus, something happens — quite out of the ordinary! You may sense a beckoning from Him and when you respond, you begin to see Him differently, as who He really is, the Christ, the Messiah, the Lamb of God. It is an inexplicable revelation. And one that will change you forever.