Baffling the Textbooks, Laughing at the Rules

As I’ve gone through the cameo of witnesses in John 1.29-51, thanks to G. Campbell Morgan’s excellent insights, I’ve been struck by the variety of men that come to faith in Christ.  Morgan points out that Andrew, John?, Simon Peter, Philip, and Nathanael, are all introduced to Christ here and all of them have different characters.  Morgan:

Thus we see them, the first men, the pioneers striking the trail in the wake of the footsteps of Jesus.  Andrew, the cautious; John, the poet; Simon, the elemental; Philip, the shy; and Nathanael, the guileless.

Jesus handles each one of them perfectly for their character.  To Andrew the cautious he said: What are you seeking?  To Simon Peter the elemental he said: “You shall be rock; you shall be a man men can build on.  Our Lord captured him.  He never lost him again” [Morgan]. To Philip the shy, whom no one when after, Christ went and found him.  About Nathanael the guileless, Jesus pointed out to those around him: Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile.

Morgan points out [and oh, how I wish I had seen it like he does!]: “Let those who have the cure of souls in any form, not stereotype their methods.  If you have somewhere a book giving mechanical instructions as to how to deal with souls, go straight home and burn it!  Why? Because the next soul you meet will baffle your text books, and laugh at your regulations. Humanity is infinite in variety; and our Lord is always changing his method” [emphasis mine].



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