“January 21–27. John 1: We Have Found the Messiah,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: New Testament 2019 (2019)
“January 21–27. John 1,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2019
Record Your Impressions
Have you ever wondered whether you would have recognized Jesus of Nazareth as the Son of God if you had been alive during His mortal ministry? For years, faithful Israelites, including Andrew, Peter, Philip, and Nathanael, had waited and prayed for the coming of the promised Messiah. When they met Him, how did they know that He was the One they had been seeking? The same way all of us come to know the Savior—by accepting the invitation to “come and see” for ourselves (John 1:39). We read about Him in the scriptures. We hear His doctrine. We observe His way of living. We feel His Spirit. Along the way, we discover, as Nathanael did, that the Savior knows us and loves us and wants to prepare us to receive “greater things” (John 1:50).
John was a disciple of John the Baptist and later became one of the first followers of Jesus Christ and one of His Twelve Apostles. He wrote the Gospel of John, several epistles, and the book of Revelation. In his Gospel, he referred to himself as the disciple “whom Jesus loved” and the “other disciple” (John 13:23; 20:3). John’s zeal for preaching the gospel was so strong that he asked to stay on the earth until the Savior’s Second Coming so he could bring souls unto Christ (see D&C 7:1–6).
John began his Gospel by describing the work that Christ performed before He was born: “In the beginning … the Word [Jesus Christ] was with God.” What do you learn from verses 1–5 about the Savior and His work? You can find helpful clarifications in Joseph Smith Translation, John 1:1–5 (in the Bible appendix). As you begin your study of the Savior’s life, why is it important to know about His premortal work?
See also “Jesus Christ Chosen as Savior,” Gospel Topics, topics.lds.org.
John was inspired to seek the Savior because of the testimony of John the Baptist, who declared that he “was sent to bear witness of … the true Light” (John 1:8–9, 15–18). John himself also bore powerful witness of the life and mission of the Savior.
It might be interesting to make a list of truths that John included in his opening testimony of Christ (verses 1–18; see also Joseph Smith Translation, John 1:1–19 [in the Bible appendix]). Why do you think that John began his Gospel with these truths? Consider writing your witness of Jesus Christ—what would you want to share? What experiences have helped you come to know and follow the Savior? Who might be blessed by hearing your testimony?
Though we are all spirit sons and daughters of God, when we sin we become estranged or separated from Him. Jesus Christ offers us a way back. Through His atoning sacrifice and our obedience to gospel covenants, He “[gives us] power to become the sons [and daughters] of God” once again. We are born again and become reconciled to our Father, worthy of His eternal inheritance and heirs of all that He has (see Romans 8:14–18; Jacob 4:11).
The Old Testament records examples of people who saw God (see Genesis 32:30; Exodus 33:11; Isaiah 6:5). So why would John the Baptist say that “no man hath seen God at any time”? The Joseph Smith Translation of this verse (see John 1:18, footnote c) clarifies that God the Father does appear to men, and when He does, He bears record of His Son. For example, when He appeared to Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove, He said to Joseph, “This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” (Joseph Smith—History 1:17; see also D&C 76:23). There are several other recorded instances where people saw God the Father in vision (see Acts 7:55–56; Revelation 4:2; 1 Nephi 1:8; D&C 137:1–3) or heard His voice bearing record of the Son (see Matthew 3:17; 17:5; 3 Nephi 11:6–7).
The Jewish leaders wondered if John the Baptist was fulfilling ancient prophecy about prophets who would someday come among the people. They asked him if he was Elias, which is a Greek form of Elijah, the name of the prophet who was prophesied to restore all things (see Malachi 4:5–6). They also asked if he was “that prophet,” which may refer to the “Prophet” mentioned in Deuteronomy 18:15. John explained that he was neither of these but that he was the prophet whom Isaiah said would prepare the way for the coming of the Lord (see Isaiah 40:3).
See also Bible Dictionary, “Elias.”
As you read the scriptures with your family, the Spirit can help you know what principles to emphasize and discuss in order to meet the needs of your family. Here are some suggestions:
How might you help your family visualize what they read about light in these verses? You could let family members take turns shining a light in a dark room and sharing how the Savior is the Light of their lives. Then, as you read John 1:4–10, family members might have additional insight into John’s testimony of Jesus Christ, the Light of the World.
Notice John the Baptist’s testimony in verse 36. What were the results of his testimony? (see verses 35–46). What does your family learn from the people described in these verses about how to share the gospel?
What did Nathanael do that helped him gain a testimony of the Savior? How have we gained our testimonies?
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.