And He Brought Him to Jesus
January 20th, 1963 @ 7:30 PM
AND HE BROUGHT HIM TO JESUS
Dr. W. A. Criswell
1-20-63 7:30 p.m.
As with us in the auditorium, on the radio, turn in your Bible to the first chapter of John, the Gospel of John, beginning at verse 35, and we shall read to the end of the chapter. This is the First Baptist Church in Dallas. This is the pastor bringing the evening message entitled And He Brought Him to Jesus; our introduction to the Lord Jesus. And we shall read together the first chapter of John, beginning at verse 35 to the end of the chapter. Now all of us reading together:
Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;
And looking upon Jesus as He walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto Him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest Thou?
He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where He dwelt, and abode with Him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.
One of the two which heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.
He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.
And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, He said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A Stone.
The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow Me.
Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.
Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!
Nathanael saith unto Him, Whence knowest Thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.
Nathanael answered and saith unto Him, Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God; Thou art the King of Israel.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.
And He saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.
Upon a veritable Jacob’s ladder [Genesis 28:12-13], leaning against the highest parapets of heaven, and the angels of God ascending, descending upon the Son of Man, our Savior [John 1:51], ah what a blessedness, what a preciousness! “And he brought him to Jesus” [John 1:42].
In this introduction, here is John the Baptist introducing our Lord for the first time openly, publicly, to the world as our Savior, “Look, look, the Lamb of God!” [John 1:29]. Then the invitation of Andrew to Simon his brother, “Come, come and see” [John 1:37-42]. Then the invitation of Philip to his friend Nathanael, “We have found the Messiah, the Christ, the Lord!” [John 1:43-45].
“It is Jesus from Nazareth” [John 1:45].
“Why, could such a thing be?” And Philip replied, “Come, come and see” [John 1:45-46]. These blessed Johns and Andrews and Philips, without them the world would never know our blessed Savior; but with them how many come to know Jesus!
There was another Philip who went down to Samaria, and he told the Samaritans about the Lord Jesus; and with one heart they turned to the things spoken by Philip of the Lord, and there was great joy in that city as they received Jesus as their Savior [Acts 8:5-8]. Then later on there was Aquila and Priscilla, who took Apollos, a young, eloquent, Alexandrian orator, and instructed him in the way of the Lord [Acts 18:24-26]. And he became one of the most eloquent preachers of all Christendom; I think the author of the Book to the Hebrews. These Andrews, these Johns, these Philips, all through the Bible introducing people to the Lord Jesus, and in these centuries since, still winning others to Christ, telling others about the Lord, introducing them to our blessed Savior. Did you know sometimes the whole turn of a century and the whole forward movement of Christianity sometimes is wrapped up in a simple, humble invitation of a man to a friend or a people to accept Jesus as Lord?
Down in the city where Brother Melvin Carter comes from, hard by Scollay Square, there is a beautiful bronze plaque on a building; and it is dedicated to a memorable incident that happened there some time some years ago. That plaque is on a building where a shoe store stood. And on the inside of that shoe store, there worked a young fellow who belonged to a Sunday school class taught by a humble layman Sunday school teacher named John Kimball. Well, the Sunday school teacher began to pray about his pupil that was lost.
And upon a day, he made his way down to the street that runs there by Scollay Square, and proposed to go inside the shoe store and tell the young clerk that he was praying for him and invite him to accept Jesus as his Savior. Well, when he got down there to the door of the shoe store, his heart failed him; so he walked up and down in front of the shoe store, asking God for strength and for help and for courage, just to go in and talk to that young fellow about his soul and invite him to Jesus. Well, he finally got God’s help and enough courage to walk in the store and ask for the young fellow. They said, “He’s back in the stack room.”
So the Sunday school teacher went back, and there was the young fellow on the top of a ladder working with the shoe boxes there in the stack room. And he stood at the bottom of the ladder and spoke to the young fellow, and said that he’d come to talk to him about Jesus. The young fellow came down from the ladder, and the Sunday school teacher told him of his praying and of his hoping and invited him to accept the Lord. And the young fellow did; and the young fellow did. Why, how simple and how plain, how unobtrusive, how unostentatious, how without fanfare, just a simple, humble Sunday school teacher praying God for strength and courage to invite a young man to come to the Lord Jesus. And how God blessed it!
Why, there’s not a Christian in this whole world that doesn’t know the name of that young fellow. It was Dwight L. Moody. And once a year, in Boston, they all gather, the Christian people of Boston, will gather on that street, and they’ll have a little service out there in the street, commemorating the day that John Kimball, the Sunday school teacher, went into the store and invited the young fellow to come to Jesus. “And he brought him to Jesus,” our Andrews and our Philips and our Johns.
Ah, we need it! We need it! For you know to us who have been all our lives taught of the Lord, our mothers taught us and our fathers taught us and our pastors and our Sunday school teachers, we’ve known nothing else since we were children, but oh, there are many, many who grow up in homes that are not godly and not Christian! There are so many who have never been taught in the way of the Lord, and they are the ones to whom God hath sent us. And they need us; they need us.
I could never know anything about astronomy except some man should teach me. I could just look at the sky and look at the sky and look at the sky, but those things of so much glory and greatness, I have to have an astronomer to listen to, as I have done, and sit there in the observatory and just, and just see things and hear things that I never could know without his learnedness and his introduction to them.
I one time sat at the feet of a botanist; and he opened up the whole world of plant life to me. I never dreamed of the glory of God’s creation until I sat at the feet of that botanist and learned the things of the whole world of God’s plant life. These things are introductions that bless our souls forever. I never will forget in New Delhi, India, my companion was a preacher, and I was a preacher, and somehow a gemologist, a man who had a store selling precious stones, learned that two rich Americans had blown into town and were staying at the Cecil Hotel, and that one of them was interested in buying a sapphire because it was the birthstone of his wife.
So they came and they introduced themselves to us, and they got a limousine and picked us up and brought us down there to his store. Well, I thought it was a foolish waste of time, but he was going and I went along with him. Man, for two days we sat on a little bench, while he sat on the floor with his companions. And he spread before us the most gorgeous outlay of jewels, I didn’t know they existed! Why, I never heard of such, I didn’t know such, I didn’t, they just are different colored stones to me; but for two days we listened to that man. It was the most fabulous introduction I ever saw or heard in my life!
The great and preciousest of all gems is an emerald, and the next is a ruby. And then they just use diamonds, which is the third, just to decorate the emeralds and the rubies. Ah, so he brought them out and he said, “Now this one here is $275,000; but for you, we make them $250,000!” Oh, oh! I thought, “Man, nobody’s going to be surprised in his life as this fellow is when he gets through with us.” After the second day, I think he bought a little teeny weensy star sapphire about that big, and paid about eleven dollars and a half for it; I think that was the sale. But oh, I never forget, I never forget, not if I were to live forever would I ever forget the introduction to the jewels! I didn’t know such things existed. They were beautiful beyond compare.
Why, bless you, it isn’t theologically correct to speak of our Lord as “the pearl of price” [Matthew 13:45-46]; we don’t buy Jesus, and we don’t sell all we have to possess Him. He buys us. But to refer to Jesus as the jewel of all heaven and the precious One of all God’s creation is eminently and theologically correct. And to be introduced to Him, and to know of Him, and to find Him, is the most immeasurable treasure that a man could ever possess! And that is our glorious, incomparable opportunity! “And he brought him to Jesus” [John 1:42].
Ah! What a preciousness and what a blessedness. “And the next day, two disciples, hearing John speak, followed the Lord” [John 1:35-37]. Now this was written in John’s old age, and he remembered the exact hour that happened. John says in his old age, “It was about ten o’clock in the morning, when I first saw the Lord” [John 1:39]. And Nathanael, oh, what a wonder and what a gladness! Nathanael just opened his heart to the Lord when the Lord said, “Nathanael, before Philip called you, and said, Come, I saw you under the fig tree” [John 1:48]. Evidently Nathanael was there in prayer, and looking unto God, and asking God for salvation. “I saw you and heard you.” And Nathanael said, “Lord, Lord, You are the Son of God” [John 1:49]. And Jesus replied, “Nathanael, because you have opened your heart to Me, I will open heaven to you. Verily I say unto thee, you are going to see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man” [John 1:50-51]. What a marvelous vista, what an incomparable vision! Opening our souls to God and letting the glory of heaven pour in! Oh, to miss it, to miss it, what a loss, what a loss, what a loss!
In your music books, you’ll read about a incomparable world-famed violinist by the name of Ole Bull, from Norway, a Norwegian artist of incomparable gift. He came to America and was scheduled to give a concert in the city of Philadelphia. In Philadelphia he had an old childhood friend. They were boys together in a little village back in Norway. He was the famous inventor John Ericsson. So when Ole Bull came to Philadelphia, he went to the shop, to the laboratory where John Ericsson was working with his patents, and with his inventions, and in his engineering genius.
And after they had reminisced about things in childhood in Norway, why, the violinist asked his friend John Ericsson to come and to hear him play. And he had two tickets for him. “Ah!” John Ericsson said, “thank you, thank you, but you know I just, no need for me to go, no need for me to go. I just, I just never have understood that music, and I just don’t enter into it, and it would mean nothing to me. Thank you, but I won’t be there.” Well, after about a day had passed, why, Ole Bull came back to the shop where John Ericsson was working with all of his engineering gadgets and mechanical contrivances, and he made as though, you know, he wanted to see something about that fiddle that he had.
So he took it out of the case, and he began to talk to the great engineer, and genius, and mathematician. He began to talk to his old friend John Ericsson about that violin, and about the overtone, and about the resonance, and about how it could be improved. And they got to talking about the mechanics of that violin. And then as they began to talk, why, Ole Bull took out the bow, and he drew it over the strings, and then in a moment, why, he did it again, and pretty soon he was playing.
And when he began to play, all the other men in that shop where John Ericsson was busy with his inventions, they began to lay down their tools, and they began to stop work, and they began listening to the most heavenly music they’d ever heard in their lives. And Ole Bull, as he played and God sang through the bow and the strings, pouring fourth such melody as John Ericsson, the inventor, had never heard, and when he had finished, and when he had done, [John Ericsson] said, “Oh, why, I didn’t know it was like that. I didn’t realize it was like that.” He said, “Ole, you know all my life there’s been a, there’s been a vacantness, there’s been a lacking in my heart; and I have found it in this beautiful music. It spoke to my soul.”
I have people in this congregation who would say to me, “You know music feeds my soul.” And for them to say it and to listen to glorious music is like touching God. It is a language of heaven.
This is Jesus to us; all of the celestial beauty of heaven, all of it in Him, all of the glory of the angels’ choirs in Him, all the meaning and the revelation of God in Him, and for us to miss Him is to be empty and to lose God’s great purpose for our lives: to be introduced to the Lord Jesus.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
[“Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus,” Helen H. Lemmel, 1922]
“And he brought him to Jesus [John 1:42]. Come and see” [John 1:46]. As the psalmist cried, “O taste and see that the Lord is good” [Psalm 34:8].
I have about three minutes left. May I compress a sermon in three minutes? Looking at the Lord Jesus, finding the Lord Jesus, introduced to the Lord Jesus; here He is on the sacred page. One of the most magnificently beautiful of all of the prefaces ever written in language or literature is that of Erasmus to his Textus Receptus, the Greek text out of which, on which this King James Version of the Bible is translated. And in that preface, Erasmus says, “You will find the Lord Jesus on these pages more fully delineated than if you were to see Him with your naked eye — the Lord Himself living, speaking, dying, buried, raised for our sins, ascending into heaven, the whole Lord Jesus.” What a wonderful thing to say! And there He is, written large on the page of the Bible. And we find our Lord in the Holy Scriptures.
And we find our Lord as He visits with His people, as He is present in the assembly of His disciples. We find our Lord in the congregation of God’s Christian church. And He is here. Why, I could not tell you the number of times I have so felt the presence of the blessed Lord here in this place until I couldn’t keep from my soul’s overflowing.
You know there are a thousand times I fight against crying, against tears. I used to fight against it when I was a boy. There are many times I still fight against it, try to steel myself. I hate, I hate to be classified as being those who sob and cry about the gospel. And I just somehow, I admire men—this is a foolish thing I guess—men who can just stand up and preach; and we may cry, but he doesn’t. But I just a long, long time ago, I just confessed to the Lord, and I’ve confessed a thousand times to the people, I cannot help it; I’m made that way. And when the Lord moves among the people and His presence is felt in the souls of the people, oh, it just means so much to me, and I’m so moved. And the Lord is found like that among His people. He is found in the congregation of His church. And a true church of Jesus will always experience that moving of His presence in our midst.
And a last and hasty brief word, when so much could be said: and we find the Lord as our great High Priest and Savior in heaven, before whom we can bow in prayer, in intercession, in confession, talking to the Lord, the great Mediator [1 Timothy 2:5], who can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, in all points tempted and tried as we are, though without sin [Hebrews 4:14-16]. And there He stands at the right hand of the throne of God [Acts 7:55-56] to be our helper in time of need. That was a beautiful prayer; to be our helper, to have grace and mercy abounding, overflowing, reaching even to us in our time of need [Hebrews 4:16]. Finding Jesus in the Book, in the congregation, and maybe with the door shut and nobody see and nobody hear, but He sees, and He hears. Oh, the blessedness!
“And he brought him to Jesus [John 1:42]. And Jesus said, Look, look, because thou hast opened heart to Me, I will open heaven to you” [John 1:51]. My brother, we not going to heaven to see Jesus; we see Jesus in order to go to heaven. Our first step is, “Lord, I come. Here I am, here I am” [Ephesians 2:8]. And all of the blessedness and all of the preciousness and all of the celestial wonder and glory is ours when we make that step. Come, come and see. Try it. Taste and see [Psalm 34:8]. Come. If God does not abundantly bless beyond anything you’ve ever known in your life, then the Word isn’t true and all of us have failed in our testimonies. Come, and see. This is our blessed Lord. Make it tonight. Make it now.
While we sing our song of appeal, somebody you, to take Jesus as Savior [Romans 10:9-13], a family you, to come, as God’s Spirit shall lead in the way and shall say the word, make it tonight. Make it tonight. “Pastor, the couple of us, we’re coming. The family of us, we’re coming.” One somebody you, “I am coming.” Make it now. Make it tonight, while we stand and while we sing.