Lesson Thirty Four


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Memory Verse: John 2:5
Further Study: John 1:35-51; 2:1-12; Desire of Ages, 132-153; The Bible Story, vol. 7, pp. 119-133

Wheaton College is a private evangelical college located in Wheaton, Illinois. Gary Burge, now retired, was a New Testament professor there in the 1990s.* He reported that the students who attended at that time were some of the best and brightest from strong, conservative evangelical churches. The campus was alive with enthusiastic and passionate followers of Jesus.

The campus was alive with enthusiastic and passionate followers of Jesus.

The college decided to test their students to determine their depth of knowledge of Scripture. To their great shock, they discovered that while the students were absolutely “in love with Jesus,” they knew very little about Him, His mission, or Scripture, in general. Burge reported “they failed miserably” in answering basic questions about people in the Bible, where books of the Bible were located, or Bible events. When asked why Jesus was called the “Lamb of God,” one student answered, “Because He’s gentle and nice.”*

We might also find this surprising until we discover this may be closer to home than we realize. I personally have found this increasingly to be the case at least with some Adventists I encounter. And I’m not restricting this to our younger members, but mature ones as well. Yes, they love Jesus; yes, they are Christ-followers, but personal knowledge of Him or the Scriptures is lacking. 

Personal knowledge of Him or the Scriptures is lacking.

An exchange between Jesus and two early disciples helps us understand that following and knowledge are equally important. As Jesus walked through the crowd, John the Baptist cried out, “Behold the Lamb of God!” Immediately two of John’s disciples left and literally followed Jesus. At some point, Jesus turned and asked, “What do you seek?” They replied with a question of their own—“Where are you staying?” (John 1:38)

This may seem like an odd response until we recognize theirs was not an interest in housing, but teaching. They were asking Jesus’ permission to sit at His feet, to learn more. What did John mean when he called Him the “Lamb of God”? To inquire about where He lived was to say, “We want to spend time with You so we can learn more about You.”

Each day, as followers of Christ, we are presented with the same question: “What do you seek?”

Each day, as followers of Christ, we are presented with the same question: “What do you seek?” Our response, like those two early disciples needs to be the same—to learn more of You. It isn’t enough to sing praise songs if we don’t understand who is being praised. It isn’t enough to attend church each week if we don’t understand who we worship. It isn’t enough to simply follow Jesus; we also need to learn of Him through the reading and studying of His Word.

Jesus bid the two disciples, “Come and see” (verse 39). They stayed with Jesus the rest of the day. They sat at His feet. They listened to His words. And then they did what comes naturally when followers of Jesus become knowledgeable disciples, they went to find others. “Come and see! We have found the Messiah!” (verse 42). 

Let us daily answer Jesus’ invitation to “Come and see.” Passionate followers, who sit at His feet and learn of Him, will be renewed.

*Gary M. Burge, The NIV Application Commentary, John, (Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI, 2000), pp. 83-86.

Digging Deeper 

Following Jesus is often a step-by-step process. It is interesting to note that the disciples had three follower opportunities.

The first one is in our text for this week. In John 1:37, after hearing John’s exclamation, Andrew and John followed Jesus because they were interested in discovering what John meant. They wanted to know more about “the Lamb of God.” Later they were joined by Peter, Philip, and Nathanael. But none of these men left their occupation to fully commit to following Jesus. 

The second opportunity came more than a year later in the Spring of A.D. 29. This was when Jesus met them on the beach and told them to cast their nets in full daylight after a discouraging night of fishing. After almost sinking two boats with the catch, He called them again. Then they “forsook all and followed him” (Luke 5:11).

But the actual official appointment of the Twelve came even later that summer (Mark 3:13).

Making it Real

Make learning about the Bible fun with your children this week. Play some games that teach Bible knowledge. Some Bible games can be purchased or play some that don’t require anything, but a Bible. Some examples are:

  1. 20 Questions: This is a fun Bible version where you think of a person, place, or thing in the Bible. Those playing must ask only “yes” and “no” questions until they figure out the response.
  2. Where am I reading?: Everyone playing must have a Bible in the same version. One person begins to read and the others must find where they are reading and join in when they do. The first one to find it is the winner of that round. Note: This is hard, but when practiced can be fun. When doing this with children, begin with common Bible stories or select and announce the book ahead of time. Our girls loved this game and were able to successfully play it as children.
  3. Charades: This is an all-time favorite. One person thinks of a Bible story and acts it out without words for others to guess.
  4. Memorization: This isn’t as much of a game, but certainly important. Do you or your children know the books of the Bible in order? Use this week to memorize at least the Old Testament if not, both. If they do already know them, select a verse to memorize this week.



Merle Poirier writes from Silver Spring, Maryland, where she works as the operation manager for Adventist Review and Adventist World magazines as well as the designer for KidsView, a magazine for 8-12-year-olds. She enjoys spending time with her family including being a grandmother to two active little boys, who greatly enjoy Starting With Jesus, and a granddaughter, born in 2023. She is blessed to have all three living close by, continually bringing joy and delight.


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