His First Disciples

John’s Gospel 1:35-51 records Andrew, Simon (Cephas/Peter), an unnamed disciple, Philip and Nathanael (Bartholomew).  Jesus has already been baptised, (Mt 3:1-17), and has been through a 40 day fast, and has been strengthened by angels (Jn 1:19-28),  and now John sees Jesus at Bethany (Bethabara) the other side of the Jordan river (Jn 1:29-34).  While John is preaching, he points Andrew, & the unnamed disciple toward Jesus, later on near the Sea of Gallilee, we see them being called again. He makes more disciples later & much later gives 12 of them a commission.   For now, he starts with five, we suppose that the unnamed disciple is John the writer of the Gospel, elsewhere referred to as the disciple whom Jesus loved, 13:22-25. In Luke 5, is recorded the calling of Peter’s fishing partners, James & John the sons of Zebedee, and soon afterwards Matthew is called with the other 5 disciples listed as apostles in Luke 6:12-16. 

Three miracles are recorded which help convince the new disciples to leave their past and follow Him. Firstly the ‘water into wine”, Jn. 2:1-12, secondly the ‘catch of fish’, Lk 5:1-11 and thirdly the ‘personal insight from a distance’ of Nathaniel, Jn. 1:43-50. Since not every miracle of Jesus is recorded, we can safely assume his miraculous ‘insight’ Jesus expressed, must have affected other disciples. The reason Jesus calls them, is not because they accepted the miracles as genuine but because they have accepted His titles as genuine. Spiritually this should happen to everyone who becomes a Christian, because we are not Christians which are truly disciples unless we can accept and believe in the first titles appended to the character of Jesus.

THE LAMB OF GOD, v29,36.  God’s Sacrifice for sins.  Ex 12:1 13, Isa 53:7, Ac.  8:32, IPt 3:17 19.

THE MESSIAH or CHRIST, (The anointed), implied divine healing & triumphant restoration,  Mat. 11:1-3, Lk 2:8- 11, 26.  Acts 9:22.

THE SON OF GOD, v34, 49.  Promised & fulfilled in the resurrection.  Psa 89:24 28, Jn 6:68 69, 11:25 27, 20:27 31.

THE KING OF ISRAEL, v49.  Royal Leader of sinners.  Jn 12:12 15, Zeph 3:13 17.

THE SON OF MAN, v51.  Dan. 7:13-14, Ac 7:56, Rev. 1:13.  (His favorite name for himself, he used over 80 times) synonym for Divine & Royal Spiritual King.

Who Is A Disciple?

People who believe Jesus proved the titles appended to Him, v36-37.  

People who believe Jesus can show them the whole truth, v38. 

People who try to introduce Jesus to other people, v41.    

People who respond to critics with an invitation to investigate Jesus, v46.

People who claim to have only one Teacher, being the Spirit & Word, v49. (Mat 28:8)

People who believe Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, Heb. 13:8

People who accept baptism as from God and not the church, Jn.1:25.

Psalm 119

All 176 verses of Psalm 119 is a prayerful act of praise about the power, beauty and usefulness of God’s word, there is no doubt that David the Psalmist drank of the Spirit in praise and prayer in writing this long song. It’s length is an indication of God’s biggest promise. To make the Word become flesh,  and be our Saviour & Christ.

v97-112, shows his heart, his feet and tongue are being ‘inclined’, to rejoice and perform God’s laws!

v99, ‘sichah’, meaning meditate with deep devotion, and v148, …”meditate in thy word”…  and also 1Timothy 4:15. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.

v105, The word of God is a light to help guide our walk in life.  Our obedience to this faith is actually using that light and getting us where we most want to be.   Closer to God and content with our Creator. While Jesus was on earth, He claimed to be the light of the world, John 8:12. Today, His Spirit is truly shining in a dark world, Eph. 5:8-9, Php. 2:15-16, Dan. 5:14 & 1Pt. 4:14.

v160, showing us the nature of truth is not one particular point or saying, but rather the summation or whole embodiment of everything the word of God must say about any given subject. Psa. 139:17, ref. John 8:30-32.

Psalm 119 is divided into 22 sections, each stanza or section begins in sequence with the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, being acrostic in form. It is one of the few Psalms which has a rhyming cadence in each stanza of 8 lines, when singing it in Hebrew.
In praising God’s word, he uses 8 terms for God’s “Ordinances”, which likely gave our Lord the reason for calling the Psalms part of the law of God, Matthew 22:39-46, 5:17-18, Lk. 24:44.
1. “Word” 119:25, kidbaarekaa
2. “Sayings” 119:103,  ‘imraatekaa
3. “Statutes” Psalms 119:5, chuqeykaa
4. “Judgments”, Psalms 119:39, mishpaateykaa
5. “Law”, 119:18,  uwbtowraatow
6. “Commands”, Psalms 119:4, tsiwiytaah  (verb)
7. “Testimonies”,  Psalms 119:79, `eedoteykaa
8. “Precepts”, Psalms 119:159, piquwdeykaa
How much do we value and praise the living Word, and view Jesus as active and authoritative in our lifestyle?

His First Miracle

Key Text: Jn. 2:1-12

The last time God showed power over the world was through Daniel in the lion’s den, appx. 580 years before Jesus went to a wedding, Dan. 5:25, Jn. 2:7-11. With Daniel, God had saved the truth of prophecy from the jaws of lions, but with Jesus, God was fulfilling prophecy in the face of Satan as a roaring lion. If the people with Jesus had an open heart, this act of turning water into wine, would indeed give faith in the truth of exactly who Jesus was! The agent of universal change, from overcoming evil with good.

Notice the first sign signaling his Messiahship was perfect in making the best wine, no practice was needed. Jn.10:10 reminds us that he came so that we can have real life with him. 1st Pt. 3:10-12 points us to a better life. Repentance is what this first miracle taught. His disciples learnt that when your out of anything good, God takes your weakest effort and transforms it into something wonderful and eternal.

Mary said it all in verse 5. It is important to note that Jesus did not insult his mother by calling her “woman”, the term was then a term of respect, the NIV is wrong to insert ‘dear’ and make it sound like a term of endearment. He uses it in Jn. 4:21 & 8:10. Jesus uses it like we would use “lady”, the NEB uses “mother”.

Notice Jesus didn’t ask his disciples to manage the waterpots, but he employed the servants, this shows it’s wise to try and involve outsiders in what Jesus is doing with our lives, if we want to be like him. It gives others the opportunity to see God’s work through the Christian, Jn. 2:7-10. Jesus is in control of our world and can take care of any of our problems. As long as you are like the servants and do as he does and think as he thinks, you win with him! This is the kind of Messiah he was, is and always will be, our Christ is The Servant, remember Jn 13:1-14, where Jesus is the foot-washer. Remember even our physical bodies will be changed by him. ICor. 15:27-58.

Good wine, “oinos”, Jn. 2:10, was typically just fresh juice. This shows that what he made was not encouraging drunkenness, but was encouraging life. Even the MC of the banquet knew it was non-alcoholic, being the best fresh wine which was traditionally laid out at the beginning of banquets, then when everyone had their fill, at the end, perhaps traditionally, the older possibly fermented wine was brought out, “gleukos” or new wine, Ac. 2:13. This was boiled grape juice, when fresh was non-alcoholic, but when left for awhile, or when put under pressure, would easily ferment with alcohol.

Jesus was good at making the most of every opportunity and his time was always used wisely and he did it in a BIG way. Jn 2:6 has “firkin” (KJV), or metretes in Greek, in English it should be a 9 gallon unit of liquid measurement called a ‘firkin’. There were six of these pots which held 2 or 3 firkins. That equals a total of appx. 135-150 gallons of water turning into juice instantly! It is ridiculous to speculate that Jesus would have made that much alcoholic beverage, especially towards the end of the feast as is implied, it would only encourage abuse.

John recorded this miracle to increase our faith, Jn. 20:30-31. Is our faith strong enough to do whatever he says to do? What about Mt. 28:18-20? Can you go? Can you make disciples? Can you baptise? Can you teach them to observe all things? Whether it is “Going”, “Teaching”, or “Baptising”. There is something you can do for Jesus. Just do it in faith ! In going, we need support to transport the messenger. In teaching we need research and resources to present the message. In baptizing we need mature Christians to encourage the new Christian. Where do you fit in?

40 Days Fasting

 Key Text: Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, Luke 4:1-13

Jesus went straight into war after His baptism, and Satan knew who he was up against.  Messengers of Satan are defeated and used against Paul, 2Cor. 12:7ff.   Sometimes when it seems like Satan has the advantage in our life, remember God has allowed it, only to show His power through us, which is a privilege!  WHY BE TEMPTED?  God wanted Jesus to be proved, Ezk 40:2, he was forced by  the Spirit, just as Ezekiel was taken by the Spirit.  God led him to be tempted but didn’t do the tempting, Jas. 1:13.  We can benefit by overcoming and being exposed to  temptation ICr 10:13, we should pray that we do not FALL into temptation, Mt  6:13.  Jesus wanted to show us and give us the power to resist even when we are capable of falling, Hb 2:17‑18, 4:15‑16.   

40 is in connection with sin and responsibility for strength to overcome it.

Noah, 40 nights & days of rain because of sin, Gen. 7:4,12. 

Moses (Ex.34:28) because of his leadership against sin in mediating the 10 commandments, 40 days Moses intercedes in prayer for sinning Israel, Dt 9:25. 40 years of wilderness wanderings for sin, Num.14:33.  40 stripes sinning offenders were to be beaten Dt.25:3.

Elijah, (IKg19:1-8) because of his fight in killing false prophets and trying to protect Israel, he finished running from his enemy Jezebel and fasted 40 days. He also appeared with Moses in the  transfiguration (Mt 17:3). 

Ezekiel, 40 days Ezekiel bears Judah’s transgressions, Ezk 4:6.

Jonah, 40 days Ninevites proclaim a fast, Jon  3:4.

Jesus, Jesus wants us to know that he was tempted to the degree that he takes on the battle against our sinful state and puts himself in it. 40 stands  in connection with sin. He made fasting to be from our own volition and was to help us, not harm us, Mat. 6:16-18, to be closer to God or when we feel the strength of Jesus isn’t in our life. When we want to be active and closer to him again, it can be used as an act of preparation for a ministry. Jesus actually wants us to fast and said so, Mat. 9:15. The church used prayer and fasting to prepare themselves for service, Acts 13:1-3, 14:23, it was an obvious attempt to show God, not man, that they were serious about relying on Him for their strength to do the job. Faith is powerful, IJn 5:4.  We need to be humble enough to say we need stronger faith, so that what we need done can be done or provided for.   

The fact of weak faith in the church today is because of the lack of prayer and fasting in our lives, Mk 9:23‑29.  Faith comes from Gods word, Rom 10:17, but if Gods word is spoken to us all day and night, it will not increase the faith given unless we pray in the Spirit! Jude 20-21, Eph. 6:18.   Prayer and fasting to increase our faith is  just as important as the Bible in providing faith in the first place. Never forget the father of the  sick child came kneeling, Mt 17:14-21. We must mix faith with the word so that we can profit, Heb. 4:2.   Satan left Jesus for a time, until another opportunity  came, Lk 4:13, Satan didn’t give up even on the cross, Lk 23:39ff.  Satan will  not give up on us, and as long as we have Christ as our goal, we won’t lose.

His Baptism

Key Text: Mat. 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21-22

When Jesus was going to the Jordan river with John’s baptism in mind, he was responding to a divine appointment. Every human being should hear this calling, it is good news. John revealed it to everyone he could and Jesus reverberated the same call, John 3:22-24 & 4:1-2. His apostles echo it today, Matthew 28:28-29. The reason Jesus Himself refrained from baptizing people, but encouraged his apostles to baptize is because He did not us boasting in WHO baptized us, but rather we should boast in WHY we are baptized. Paul anticipated this problem in 1Corinthians 1:11-15. 

The purpose of Baptism for Jesus, is different, but not the act itself in obedience. His purpose was “becoming to fulfill all righteousness” and be identified with the Holy Spirit Mt. 3:15-16.

The voice made everyone aware that God was pleased with Jesus, therefore putting him into service.  See Isa. 53:11; Mark 10:38; Luke 12:50. Jesus said he was to be about his Fathers house or business, when John the Immersionist started preaching the Kingdom was at hand, Jesus went straight to the  initiatory rite of baptism in order to fulfil all righteousness. Mt 3:1‑2. 

Notice how John’s administration of Baptism had no connection or link to the Holy Spirit of Christ for his disciples, Acts 19:2-4, but for Jesus it was the defining mark and official declaration of His Divine Sonship in the Trinity.  

The purpose of baptism for us, is to receive forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:38-39, 22:16. Children of God have put on Christ  in baptism, Gal 3:26‑27, which is our identity.  Having God’s Spirit in us, puts us  in service to love one another, ICor. 6:19‑20, which is our responsibility. People fearing God and doing what is right makes OUR SOUL acceptable to God, Acts 10:34‑35. God’s righteousness makes our SOUL, eminent, distinguished, proper, becoming or fitting, not  necessarily in the eyes of man, but certainly in the eyes of God.  For the Bereans,  THEIR MIND was more noble for searching the Scriptures, Acts 17:11.

God’s approval by the voice & dove. When this is done, God speaks and acts as prophesied in Psa. 2:7 & Isa. 42:1.   

The Voice: This is my beloved son, today I’ve begotten you, Ps 2:7, showing that announcement to be a beginning of service.  Note, “agapetos” means Beloved,   Three times in the Gospels the Father’s voice is heard by those who had ears to hear (at the Baptism, at the Transfiguration, and before the Crucifixion week (Mat 3:17 & 17:5 & John 12:28)

The Dove: Behold, my servant, who I uphold, my chosen one, who my soul delights, I’ve put my Spirit upon Him, Isa. 42:1. This shows the Son to be serving from  this act onwards.  In “My soul delights”,  Eudokhsa, means “delights” – it is in the aorist tense, conveying to us that  God has constantly found delight in the Son from  eternity. He is  the Son of God, God’s own proper Son, not by creation, nor  by  adoption, nor by office; He is the natural, essential, only-begotten Son of God, note that we have the Trinity of God mentioned in Mat 3:16-17. Jesus refers to His own place in the Trinity when He quotes David from Psalm 110:1-4 in Matthew 22:42-45.


The 17th century Poet, John Milton said, “Loneliness is the first thing which God’s eye named not good ”.  Since the beginning we have not evolved to remedy our problem of loneliness, even with over 6.5 billion people on earth together at the same time, we still have a suicide rate that staggers the imagination, fuelled by the ancient problem of loneliness.  God from the start of our existence has worked to help us solve it, yet we still ignore the very answer to the problem. Even with greater communication skills and transportation technology, loneliness still sometimes gets the better of us. When God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone, I will make a helper who is right for him” (Gen. 3:18).  He gave us the answer in preventing loneliness. That is, admit we need help! It is our prideful arrogance that suggests we need no help, which can put us out on a limb without a friend. Can we admit that there is no better friend than Jesus? Solomon’s insight proclaims, “a man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Prv. 18:24). Jesus promised everyone His eternal presence, if we obey him in making disciples. 

Jesus said “…I am always with you until the end of time”. Matthew 28:20 God’s promise to give Himself to everyone who obeys Him, should be a delightful prospect for us, Acts 5:32, but sadly many of us lack faith in His promise of fellowship, sharing Himself with our spirit. Herein lay the root cause of our loneliness, that is a lack of faith in God and each other. If we do not believe that God or even our spouse doesn’t really want to be with us, then the pain of loneliness sets in. The world we live in today, is bent on convincing us that God doesn’t want to be with us. There are more agnostics and atheists in our Media than Christians, and we are influenced by them when we give more time to them, than to God’s word. The apostle John writes, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world, and this is the victory that has overcome the world, our faith”, 1John 5:4.  Worldly people often deny God’s presence in our life, but a Christian should never even dream of the Spirit of Christ not residing in our body. The apostle Paul ratified the divine promise when he wrote to Christians, “…you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God abides in you, Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His” (Rm. 8:9). A sense of belonging and being wanted, conquers loneliness. God doesn’t want us to live our life here on earth, feeling like orphans. He wants to be an ever present loving Father, giving Christians the Spirit of Christ, defeating the ever encroaching problem of loneliness which this world of sin shoves upon us from time to time in our life.  

In 1935, the novelist H.G. Wells at age 65 on his birthday, wrote, “I am lonely and have never found peace”. Why? Because H.G. Wells never found Jesus as his personal Savior and friend! It does not matter how famous we are, or how rich we are, or how smart we are, if we do not know Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, we never get to experience peace with our Creator & Judge. There is a divine friendship which God wants every human spirit to explore and enjoy. Jesus equals peace because peace is friendship with God our Creator & Judge.  A favourite phrase of Jesus was to say, “Peace be unto you…”, He used it several times, but we should learn exactly what He meant when He said, “ My peace I give unto you, not as the world gives…(Jn 14:27). 

Ancient Gideon testified that God is peace, Judges 6:24, do you believe this?


This big word was a theme of John the Immersionist and Jesus the Christ. Mark 1:4, Matthew 4:17. Repentance means change!  Is this present and ongoing in our lifestyle? In the parable of the Prodigal Son, both the younger son and older son had to change. The younger son showed change in coming back to the Father, the older son had to change in his attitude towards the Father. Luke 15:20-28. Would the older son, come in? Repentance should constantly affect every Christian throughout the whole of our life long walk closer and closer to God.  One day we will be changed to be like “Him” in every aspect and in all of His glory. 1Corinthians 15:52.  Changing from being foolish to being wise, Matthew 6:19-20 

Changing from being less physical to being more spiritual. Acts 28:27. Changing from being short-sighted to being joyful, hopeful and long-sighted. Philippians 4:4 

Changing from relying on my righteousness to relying on God’s righteousness. Hebrews 6:1-2, Romans 3:26. Changing from being taught to teaching others. Hebrews 5:12

The result of not changing can be … …to perish, Luke 13:3.  …to bring upon us the wrath of God, Matthew 11:20, Romans 2:5.  …frustration or discouragement from not growing the fruit of the Spirit, Gal. 5:18-23.   

Without begging for God’s strength in our bodies by prayer, we cannot expect to change towards God, because the strength to change, lay with God, not in our body.  Remember, Hebrews 12:4-12, divine discipline should not be self-inflicted, but we should be expecting consequences for our sins, and it is our responsibility to show appreciation for God’s loving forgiveness in our confession. Faith is powerful, IJn 5:4.  We need to be humble enough to say we need stronger faith, so that sin can stop in our lifestyle and changes can be made. The late outdoor evangelist Leonard Ravenhill from Britain, often said, “Men give advice, God gives guidance.” God knows repentance is the hardest thing we must do.  It is like moving a mountain, and sometimes we feel like nothing short of a miracle is going to make us change.  So what must we do to make ourselves available for God changing us?  

Matthew 21:21 shows us that the hypocritical fig tree Jesus killed, symbolizes the mountain we must move in our own life. Drastic action is commanded by Jesus, read Matthew 5:29.  Paul wrote twice, the command to mortify or crucify the desires of the flesh, Galatians 5:24 & Colossians 2:11-13.

Jesus put it this way, “Pick up your cross, deny yourself and follow me daily” Luke 9:23.