Good news is hard to keep to ourselves. When an exciting event happens in our life or we meet someone extraordinary, we can’t wait to tell everyone about it. We celebrate it and share photos with the world on social media. The better the news, the greater our desire to share it.
Reading the last half of the first chapter of the Gospel of John is like reading a modern-day social media feed. Snapshots and good news are followed by more images with even more exciting news! The first “post” is a photo of John the baptizer at the Jordan River, accompanied by Jesus on whom the Holy Spirit is resting in the form of a dove. The caption: “Here he is! This is the man I’ve been talking about, God’s Passover Lamb! This is the Son of God!”
Next up is an image of Andrew, one of John’s disciples, talking to his brother Peter. The post contains only four words, but these four words would forever change Peter’s life. “We’ve found the Messiah!” Peter’s response is immediate as he too follows Jesus.
The news feed continues with a snapshot of Jesus calling Philip to follow him, followed immediately by an image of Philip talking to Nathaniel. Jesus, Andrew, and Peter are visible in the background as Philip shares the news with Nathaniel. The caption reads, “We’ve found the one Moses wrote of in the Law, the one preached by the prophets. It’s Jesus, Joseph’s son, the one from Nazareth!”
The final image is of Jesus in deep conversation with Nathaniel as Nathaniel discovers he has been seen and intimately known by Jesus all along. With news this good, of course Nathaniel will drop everything and follow Jesus.
There’s an urgency to these accounts of meeting Jesus and wanting to share news of him with family and friends. What was so spectacular about this Jesus that everyone felt compelled to invite others to come and meet him too? John reminds us earlier in the chapter that no one has ever seen God, but because Jesus exists at the very heart of the Father and is a unique expression of the Father, he reveals to us what God is like. And what is he like? Generous inside and out. True from start to finish. Exuberant in giving us gift after gift. The light that brings us life.
This is what the early disciples saw in Jesus and what Jesus revealed to them of God the Father. How could they not be enthusiastic about sharing this kind of news with everyone they knew?
Jesus is the same today, still revealing to us the heart of the Father. Our friends are also the same today—in desperate need of meeting Jesus. There is nothing more important than for us to rekindle an urgency to introduce our friends to Jesus.
Alpha is a place where your friends can meet Jesus, face to face. Not religion. Jesus. Alpha is a judgment-free opportunity for your friends to ask the complex questions of life—Why am I here? Who is Jesus? What’s the big deal about Jesus’ death? Why is the world such a mess? Is there more to life than this?—all in a safe space and in the company of other seekers.
As we move into the summer, will you join me in asking God who you might invite to Alpha this fall? God is already drawing people all around you to himself. Will you ask him during these next three months to show you where he’s already at work so you can join him there?
Imagine the social media post John would write of you as you share the good news with your friends and they come to know your Jesus!