Monday Lesson – Come and Follow
Scripture Story: John 1:35-41
Spiritual Focus: We have found the One we have been looking for.
On Monday, campers will focus their attention on the story of Jesus beginning his ministry as recorded in John 1:35-41. The depth of their study and the nature of their group discussions will of course depend upon their age and grade.
Please take a moment right now to pray for your camper(s), the other campers in their camp family group, and the staff who lead them and care for them. AMEN. Now, open your Bible to the gospel of John, to chapter 1, and to verse 35. Please take the time to read John 1:35-41. This is John’s story of Jesus beginning his ministry.
Campers will be learning some basic Bible study techniques that will help them to see more than words and hear more than stories. One of those techniques is to look for the clues that are pointing to more. For example, a great many translations begin verse 35 with this phrase, “The next day…”. This is a literary clue indicating that the important events happening today are a continuation of important events that happened yesterday. So I wonder what happened the day before.
The day before begins in verse 29. Looking back we discover that the story of the previous day begins the same way, “The next day …”. Something important must have happened the day before the day before. The real beginning of this story starts in verse 19. On the first day of this story we find God’s people looking for someone and they think John the Baptist might be the one. John says, “I’m not the one.”
On the second day of the story, verse 29-34, John recognizes Jesus as the expected one sent by God. As a descending dove falls on Jesus, John identifies him as the “Lamb of God” and as the “Son of God”. Campers will be thinking about other biblical stories about lambs and doves in order to understand the significance of these images.
On the third day, Jesus begins his ministry with his “Come and See” invitation. Can you think of another event in Jesus’ life that took place on the third day? Through the “Next Day” clues, John the gospel writer makes the connection between the beginning of Jesus’ ministry and his resurrection. Your campers at this point will do a search of this first chapter of John to see the many ways Jesus’ identity is referenced. If you have the time, you may want to give it a try.
Can you find a dozen?
Their last exercise will be to follow the chain of witnesses to see how fast Jesus’ ministry took off after his “Come and See” invitation. By the end of the second day of Jesus ministry, his group of disciples had grown to 5: Andrew, the 2nd not identified follower (John the Gospel writer), Simon Peter, Philip, and Nathanael.
Thank you for taking the time today to join your camper in this Bible story. We hope that by doing this quick study, it might lead to some conversation about this part of their camp life.
Tomorrow’s study will focus on Matthew 8:1-10.