“January 16–22. John 1: We Have Found the Messiah,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: New Testament 2023 (2022)
“January 16–22. John 1,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2023
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 Doctrine and Covenants 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 Gospel Topics, “Jesus Christ Chosen as Savior,” topics.ChurchofJesusChrist.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). 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?
Although we are all spirit daughters and sons of God the Father, when we sin we become estranged, or separated, from Him. Jesus Christ offers us a way back through His atoning sacrifice. Ponder what John 1:11–13 teaches about becoming daughters and sons of God. Consider also what these scriptures teach about how we receive this gift: Romans 8:14–18; Mosiah 5:7–9; Doctrine and Covenants 25:1. What does it mean to you to have “power to become” a daughter or son of God?
John 1:18 states that no one has seen God. However, the Joseph Smith Translation of this verse clarifies that “no man hath seen God at any time, except he hath borne record of the Son” (see John 1:18, footnote c). Consider reviewing the following instances in which God the Father was heard bearing record of the Son: Matthew 3:17; 17:5; 3 Nephi 11:6–7; Joseph Smith—History 1:17.
Why is it a blessing to have these accounts? What do they teach you about Jesus Christ’s relationship with His Father?
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.
Why might John the Baptist have called Jesus “the Lamb of God”? What do we learn about this title from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s message “Behold the Lamb of God” or Elder Gerrit W. Gong’s message “Good Shepherd, Lamb of God”? (Ensign or Liahona, May 2019, 44–46, 97–101)
What were the results of John’s testimony? What can your family learn from the people described in these verses about how to share the gospel? See also the video “Inviting Others to ‘Come and See’” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
What did Nathanael do that helped him gain a testimony of the Savior? Invite family members to talk about how they have gained their testimonies.
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested hymn: “The Lord Is My Light,” Hymns, no. 89.