“The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Phillip, he said to him, ‘Follow me.’” John 1:43
They had no idea what adventure lay ahead of them. They had just got acquainted with this new preacher man. His words intrigued them. His countenance inspired them. They were curious. Who was this man from Galilee? Their friend John the Baptist had testified about him. John had called him, “The Lamb of God.” John had been convincing. So they went. They checked Jesus out for themselves. He spoke with authority, so when Jesus told them, “Follow me.” They went. They consented to follow Him. Jesus had enchanted them by His wisdom. As of yet Jesus had performed no miracles. Their decision to follow was based solely on Jesus’ request. They decided to follow because of the testimony of their friend and teacher, John the Baptist. It had only been four days since they had met Jesus, but Andrew, Simon, Phillip and Nathaniel left for Galilee with this Rabbi who had just appeared on the scene. All they had were Jesus’ words at this point. He had just told them, “Truly, Truly, you will see heaven opened…” Jesus had confidently told them that they would see the Angels of God descending and ascending on the Son of Man. His words and the force with which he said them instilled in them a belief that they would experience the blessing and favor of God that lay before them if they would but obey. These four men were the first of millions upon millions to follow Jesus. Andrew, Simon, Phillip, and Nathaniel were the first to respond to John’s witness that this man is truly, “The one Moses wrote about in the law.” Andrew had encountered Jesus firsthand. Andrew responded and brought his brother Simon to meet Jesus. Phillip was another who had heard what John had said and he discovered this Jesus from Nazareth. Phillip was so enamored from his encounter; he found his friend Nathaniel, “Come see Jesus of Nazareth.” It had only been four days, but these men had been compelled to follow this new Rabbi named Jesus. They were not yet ready to leave and forsake all, but they were ready to trust him and follow him. They had no idea about the power they would witness. They were clueless that they would soon see water turned to wine; yet they allowed Jesus to lead them.
They were going home. They were from Galilee. Nathaniel was heading back to Cana. He was going to see his family. Andrew and Simon were heading back to their occupations as fishermen. They had left their father to attend the family business so they could hear the wild preacher man who wore clothes made of camel skin and goat hair. John the Baptist had taught a message of repentance and they had listened to him. Now they were going to follow this Jesus back to their familiar stomping grounds. They were going back to cast their nets hoping to bring in pounds of fish, but before they cast another net, Jesus had a miracle for them to witness. Each would don their Sunday best and head to a wedding. Jesus was about to turn water to wine. They would witness the Son of Man and the Son of God take authority over the elements of nature. Wine would be produced without grapes and without fermentation. This would be done simply at His command. When they set out for Cana that day they had no idea the power they would witness from this man named Jesus, but because He said, “Follow me,” with such authoritative speech they followed. Just His Presence was intoxicating to them. Where He led they were going to follow. Jesus was now their friend, their confidant, and their leader. They would soon learn though all may fall away, Jesus would never leave them or abandon them.
Jesus came to restore man’s relationship back to the One who created them. He did this by building relationships. He began with these four men. His public ministry was just beginning. He was four days into it. He called them they followed. They didn’t know what lay further than these first few steps they took with Jesus toward Galilee, toward their homeland, but they put one foot in front of the other and set out.
A few years ago, Jesus asked Kevin, me and some family members and friends to follow Him and start a ministry in a country named Ethiopia. I had no clue what to expect. I had never even been to Africa. I didn’t exactly know where Ethiopia was located on this continent. I went the first time with huge anxiety in my heart. I didn’t know as soon as I landed I would be praying for those with leprosy. I had no idea I would be invited into a tent made of plastic tarp found in the dump. I didn’t know I would be asked to wrap my arms around a woman whose feet had been consumed by a disease that eats away flesh and bone. Jesus didn’t lay all that information and knowledge out before so I could read the whole roadmap. All He asked is that we follow so we did. We have discovered as Andrew, Simon, Phillip, and Nathaniel did, we have a Savior that loves with a love so deep that He sends us to the hopeless, the forgotten, the sick, and the dying. He sends us to tell them they are not forgotten. They are remembered. They are chosen. They are adored. They are restored. The Great I AM knows them by name.
Jesus doesn’t give us the whole roadmap. He doesn’t tell us everything we will experience before we set out to follow Him. He just asks us to come on a grand adventure with Him. Trust Him. Take up His yoke and rest in Him and just enjoy the ride. I don’t know what escapade He is calling you too. I am doing all I can to navigate my roadmap He has laid out before me. Sometimes I take detours and I go off road. I land up in unmarked areas and I have to back track to get back on my own personal road to Cana. But when I get to the wedding feast, I know I will drink the blessing of water turned to wine.
Jesus has implored each of us, “Follow me.” Will you do it? I don’t know what you will witness but it will be amazing!