What does John 1:38 mean?
ESV: Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?”
NIV: Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, 'What do you want?' They said, 'Rabbi' (which means 'Teacher'), 'where are you staying?'
NASB: And Jesus turned and saw them following, and *said to them, 'What are you seeking?' They said to Him, 'Rabbi (which translated means Teacher), where are You staying?'
CSB: When Jesus turned and noticed them following him, he asked them, "What are you looking for? "They said to him, "Rabbi" (which means "Teacher"), "where are you staying? "
NLT: Jesus looked around and saw them following. 'What do you want?' he asked them. They replied, 'Rabbi' (which means 'Teacher'), 'where are you staying?'
KJV: Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?
Verse Commentary:
Jesus has a habit of cutting right to the most important questions. In this case, His question is the same one God asks everyone who claims to seek Him: "what are you looking for?" The reasons a person seeks Jesus are just as important as what they find. What a person wants affects what they're willing to believe. It's often more important to find out why a person is asking a question than to answer it right away. What the other person seeks is critical to how they will interpret the answer. John and Andrew are very cautious towards Jesus. Referring to Him as "Rabbi" was a gesture of respect. Notice that verse 38 defines the term "Rabbi" for the reader, something John does often in this gospel. Asking Jesus where He was staying suggests that John and Andrew didn't expect to talk much with Him, right then and there. They expected Him to be busy, or on His way somewhere else. So, they skipped right to asking where they might have a chance to meet Him later. Jesus' willingness to spend time with them, in verse 39, is not only gracious, but surprising.
Verse Context:
John 1:29–42 is a conversation between Jesus and John the Baptist, and records the moment when Jesus recruits His first two disciples. Jesus is identified as “The Lamb of God,” and “The Son of God.” The Baptist describes his vision of the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, landing on Jesus. This confirms that He is the Messiah. The Baptist tells two of his followers, John and Andrew, to go and follow Jesus. They, in turn, introduce Jesus to Peter.
Chapter Summary:
The first chapter of John introduces Jesus as “the Word,” from the Greek Logos. This chapter clearly describes Jesus as identical to God. After this prologue, the chapter describes Jesus recruiting the first of His disciples, as well as a conversation between John the Baptist and the Pharisees. There are seven names for Christ in this chapter, including “The Son of God,” “The Word,” and “The King of Israel.”
Chapter Context:
The first chapter of the gospel of John equates Christ with God, and introduces John the Baptist. The Baptist specifically points to Jesus as the Promised One. Jesus collects the first five of His disciples. In this chapter, Jesus is given seven descriptive names, including “The Word,” “The Son of God,” and “The King of Israel.” This chapter sets the stage for the rest of the gospel, by giving the reader a sense of who Jesus truly is, and why He has come. The rest of the gospel is an exploration of the claims made in this initial passage.
Book Summary:
The gospel of John was written by the disciple John, decades later than the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The author assumes that a reader is already familiar with the content of these other works. So, John presents a different perspective, with a greater emphasis on meaning. John uses seven miracles—which he calls “signs”—in order to prove that Jesus is, in fact, God incarnate. Some of the most well-known verses in all of the Bible are found here. None is more famous than the one-sentence summary of the gospel found in John 3:16.
Accessed 4/17/2024 9:49:44 PM
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