We Are Called to Be His Witnesses

January 17, 2021
by Pastor Charles

Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 3:1-20, John 1: 43-51

Today’s message is on the call of Samuel, Philip, and Nathaniel. It is a story of Witnessing. May this message help us to accept our calling as God’s witnesses. The story begins with Jesus finding Philip and saying to him, “Follow me.” Notice that: Jesus finds Philip. Just like He finds us. He seeks us out, even when we were not looking for Him.  But Jesus came and sought us out. He found us and brought His gospel to us and placed His call on our lives.

Jesus calls us, even as He called Philip. “Follow me,” Jesus says to each one of us. “Come on along! Find out what you will discover on this adventure of faith. Follow me, learn from me, as my disciples. Grow in your knowledge and faith.” Jesus calls us to keep on following Him, in a lifelong journey of faith. He leads the way, every step of the way, all the days of our life. “Follow me.” Hear the authority in His voice. Hear His personal care for you. Jesus is calling you to be His disciple.

In the same way God called Samuel who was staying with Eli the Priest. Samuel hears God calling him three times, but thought it was Eli calling him. He finally knew God was calling him. How many times has God called us, but we did not know it? Samuel accepts his call and became one of the greatest prophetic voices of the Jews.

Likewise, Jesus finds Philip and calls him to follow. Now, what does Philip do next? Philip finds Nathanael and tells him what happened. Notice that: Jesus finds Philip, and then Philip finds Nathanael. And so, it goes. Our Lord uses us as His instruments to invite others, so that they can hear Christ’s call to faith and discipleship. Today I want you to see yourself as a Philip. Jesus has found you and called you to follow Him. That is wonderful and life changing. In fact, it is your life! Jesus finding you and saving you and leading you day by day, all the way into eternal life–this is what life is all about. And what is more, this new life does not stop with you. Your changed life, your verbal witness, your faith evident in your life–this becomes a witness to others. You too will be a Philip, “filled up” with the joy and excitement that comes from knowing the Lord. When you know the Lord, it affects the way you speak and act and live.

That is how it was for Philip. He went and found someone he could share his joy with. He found Nathanael, presumably someone he knew or had a relationship with. Excitedly, he tells Nathanael, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote.” In other words, Philip is telling his fellow Jew, Nathanael, “We have found the Messiah.” The Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One–the promised deliverer prophesied in the Scriptures, the one who will fulfill all the promises God made to our fathers: “Guess what, Nathanael? We have found Him! We have met Him! The Messiah has come!”

How about you? Do you have the excitement and joy of Philip? Think of it this way: Think of where you would be without Jesus. You would be lost and helpless and hopeless. You would have no meaning, and no purpose in life.

My friends, this is surely good news! This is as good as it gets! If anything will put some excitement and joy into your life, this will. I cannot think of anything better. So, yes, you do have something to tell others about, something exciting and joyful! May the story about Samuel’s call and that of Philip and Nathaniel help us to say YES to God calling us to be His witnesses today.

Jesus is here, present in our midst. He is here to open heaven for us. And at the same time, our Lord calls us to follow Him in faith. “Follow me,” He says to each one of us. And so, we follow, as He guides us out into the highways and byways of life, where we will find people for us to talk to–where we will find our own Nathanaels. Yes, the Lord just may use our mouth to do the inviting! That is how it went with Samuel, Philip, and Nathanael. Same with you. Invite the folks you know–your friends and neighbors and your family members–invite them to come and see. And when they come, they will find Jesus Christ. Amen.