Day 17 – Jesus’ First Disciples

John 1:35-51

Daily Devotionals for Families

John the Baptist had a group of disciples with whom he was very close. They were men who were very excited that the Messiah was about to appear, and John shared with them everything he knew about spiritual things. Together, they were anticipating that they would soon meet the Savior of the world.

When John saw the Holy Spirit come upon Jesus, he knew that Jesus was the one they’d been waiting for, and he undoubtedly told his disciples soon after. Jesus, however, departed for the desert immediately after He was baptized, where He spent forty days. Thus John never had the opportunity to point at Jesus and tell anyone who He was. After the forty days, Jesus returned to a place where John was baptizing, and John began pointing Him out as “the Lamb of God.” Two of John’s disciples were the very first people who learned this wonderful news. One of those two was Andrew, and the other is unnamed in today’s reading, but many people think he may have been John, who became one of Jesus’ twelve disciples and who wrote the Gospel of John.

When people find out that Jesus is the Son of God, they naturally want their friends and families to know also, and so Andrew went and told his brother, Simon. Then he brought Simon to Jesus, and amazingly, Jesus already knew his name! Jesus also told him that one day people would call him a different name, Peter, which means “rock.” Jesus knew the Holy Spirit would change Simon into a man who would be firm in his faith and hard to move, like a rock. God would use him in a mighty way to lay the foundation of the early church.

When Philip brought his friend Nathanael to meet Jesus, Nathanael was surprised that Jesus also knew some things about him. Jesus knew he was a very honest man, and He apparently had a vision of Nathanael sitting under a fig tree where Philip found him. Because of this, Nathanael was immediately convinced that Jesus was the Son of God. Jesus promised him that he would one day be in heaven and see angels. That’s something to which everyone who believes that Jesus is the Son of God can look forward!

Q. As we learned from reading about Peter and Nathanael, God knows everything about you, including your personality, your past, present and future. How should that affect your relationship with Him?

A. It should motivate you to obey Him, trust Him, and want to get to know Him better. It should encourage you to seek His direction for your life.

Q. All the men we read about today, except Nathanael, became members of Jesus’ band of twelve disciples. Many people think that Nathanael was also called Bartholomew, and if he was, then he, too, became one of the twelve. Can you think of any reason why Jesus may have chosen those men rather than others?


A. One obvious reason Jesus chose them was because they were very interested in Him. God chooses and uses spiritually hungry people.

Application: Like Peter, the more we get to know Jesus, the more we’ll be changed to become like Jesus. We can trust that Jesus is going to complete the good work He’s begun in us.