“Again the next day John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as He walked, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God!’ The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus” (John 1:35–37).
John looked at Jesus as He walked nearby, and repeated to his disciples what he had proclaimed to the crowds on the previous day: “Behold, the Lamb of God!” Having heard their teacher speak again those powerful words, the two disciples followed Jesus. John’s willingness to unhesitatingly hand them over to Him is further evidence of his self-effacing humility and complete acceptance of his subordinate role.
That the two disciples followed Jesus does not imply that they became permanent disciples of His at this time. It is true that the Greek word for “followed” is used in John’s gospel to mean, “to follow as a disciple.” But it can also be used in a general sense. Andrew and John here received their first exposure to Jesus. Later, they became His permanent disciples (Matt. 4:18–22).
Since the Messiah, the Son of God—the Lamb of God—is here, the only proper response is to follow Him.
Having served his purpose as a witness to the true identity of Jesus, John the Baptist now fades from the scene (apart from a brief mention in John 3:23). The rest of the gospel focuses on the ministry of Jesus, something the Baptist himself would have approved of.
You can have the same kind of influence that John did by making sure that in addition to following Christ you also point people to Him.
What does “following” Jesus entail—not just in general terms but in real life? What does it mean on Friday nights when you’re alone with your free time, or on Tuesday morning when you’re busy with the usual routine? Think of what needs to change in moments like these if you’re to be a full-time follower.
From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610