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Jesus - A Blending of the New Testament - Ch. 4 - Jesus gathers disciples
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John's denial that he is the Messiah  -  Jesus calls Andrew, Peter, Philip, and Nathaniel  -  the wedding in Cana.


The leaders of Jewish community of Jerusalem sent a delegation of priests to John to question him as to his identity. One day they put the question directly.

"Tell us who you are," they said.

"If you're wondering whether I'm the Messiah," he said, "I'm not."

"Are you reincarnation of Elijah?"


"Are you the prophet?"


"Well, who are you? Tell us straight-out so that we can report back to the people who sent us."

"All I am is a voice," he said. "Just as Isaiah foresaw, I'm a voice calling out in the desert, Prepare a highway for God!"

"But if you're none of these - the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet - why are you baptizing people?"

"I do baptize," he said, "but only with water. Out there in the crowd, standing among you, is someone you haven't yet recognized: the man who's going to take over from me and whose sandal I'm not worthy to untie."

The following day, John saw Jesus approaching and called out to the crowd, "There he is - God's lamb, the one who will cleanse the world of sin. He's the one I was referring to when I said, 'my successor existed before I was born.' I didn't recognize him at first, didn't realize who he was, but the God who told me to baptize you with water told me that the one on whom I saw the Spirit descend would baptize with the Holy Spirit. And when I baptized this man I saw just that. I'm telling you, he is God's son."

Again the following day, as John stood talking with two of his disciples, he saw Jesus walk past.

"Look," he said, "there goes God's lamb!"

The disciples set off after Jesus. He saw them following and turned around.

"What do you want?" he asked.

"Where are you staying, Teacher?"

"Why don't you come and see."

They went with him, and since it was already around four in the afternoon, they stayed on through the day.

One of the two was called Andrew. When morning came he went looking for his brother, Simon.

"Simon," he said, "we've found the Messiah!"

He brought Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked him full in the eyes for a moment.

"So you're John's son, Simon," he said. "I'm going to give you another name - Cephas." Cephas translated means Peter, and Peter means "rock."

The following day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. Before leaving he sought out Philip, who was from the town of Bethsaida, the same town from which Andrew and Simon Peter had come.

"Join me, Philip," he said.

Philip left to search for a friend by the name of Nathaniel.

"We've found the Messiah!" he told Nathaniel when he found him. "The man Moses and the prophets wrote about. His name is Jesus the son of Joseph, and he comes from Nazareth."

"From Nazareth! Can anything good come from Nazareth?"

"Come and see for yourself."

When Jesus saw Nathaniel approaching he called out, "Look there, an Israelite if ever there was one, and a man without an ounce of deceit in him."

"How do you know about me?" Nathaniel asked.

"Nathaniel," he said, "I saw you before Philip even spoke to you. I saw you when you were sitting under that fig tree."

"You are God's son, "Nathaniel exclaimed. "You're Israel's King!"

"You have faith in me because of a little thing like that?" Jesus said. "That's nothing to what you will see. You're going to see the skies open and God's angels coming to me and returning to heaven."

Two days later, Jesus, his mother, and his disciples went to a wedding in the town of Cana, some fifteen miles from Nazareth. During the festivities the wine ran out.

"They have run out of wine," Mary told Jesus.

"Woman," he said, "that's not our responsibility. My time to act hasn't come yet."

Nevertheless, Mary spoke to the servants. "Mind now," she said, "whatever he asks you to do, do it."

There were six stone water pots there, each with a capacity of twenty to thirty gallons, for the Jewish custom of ceremonial washing. Jesus called the servants and told them to fill them. When they were filled, he said, "Take some to the master of ceremonies."

The man tasted it and spoke to the bridegroom.

"Everybody I know serves his best wine at the beginning of the party. Then when his guests have had a few drinks, he brings out the second-rate stuff. But you've kept your best until now."

This was Jesus' first public miracle, first open demonstration of his power, and it deepened his disciples' faith.
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