Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;…
I. DISCERNING THE LIGHT. Galilean fishermen, of deep religious susceptibilities, perhaps belonging to those who were waiting for the consolation of Israel. Leaving their boats, they repaired to the national rendezvous, where they received the rite of baptism at John's hands. When Christ was pointed out, they felt themselves, by personal consistency, intellectual conviction, and spiritual aspiration, shut up to seek his further acquaintance. So will the light still be discerned by all who prepare for it by penitence and faith (Isaiah 66:2; Zechariah 1:3; Malachi 3:7; Matthew 4:17; Acts 20:21; 1 John 5:9-12). Faith is the organ by which Christ's glory is discerned; Repentance the tear-drop that keeps the soul's eye pure and clean.
II. FOLLOWING THE LIGHT. Many discern the Light who neither rejoice in it (John 3:19) nor walk after it (1 Thessalonians 5:5). Not so these, who no sooner beheld than they followed.
1. Promptly, as men who —
(1) Realized their need (2 Kings 7:3).
(2) Knew the value of their discovery (Matthew 13:44-46).
(3) Recognized the danger of delay (2 Corinthians 6:2; Hebrews 4:7).
2. Humbly: walking respectfully at a distance behind (Psalm 31:1).
3. Sincerely: their reply to Christ's question teaching that openness and frankness which is indispensable in true religion.
4. Earnestly: embracing Christ's invitation at once, since the King's business requires haste, and Christ's kingdom brooks no delay, and becoming so absorbed that they heeded not the lapse of time.
III. FINDING THE LIGHT. Their judgments were convinced that Christ was the Messiah, and so will all those who turn towards the Light (John 8:12; of. Hosea 6:3). In the order of nature, seeing goes before believing; in the realm of grace, a soul believes to see (John 11:40; Psalm 27:13).
(T. Whitelaw, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;