Clara Virgin – John’s Gospel, Chapter 1 – Capetown, South Africa

We read in John 1 verse 40 that one of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon and saith unto him, “We have found the Messiah,” which being interpreted is the Christ and brought him to Jesus. Then in verse 45, Philip findeth Nathaniel and saith unto him, “We have found Him of whom Moses and the prophets wrote. Jesus of Nazareth the son of Joseph.”


I was very encouraged by these verses and the thought of those first men who found Jesus and I loved the expression that they said, “We have found the Messiah, the One that Moses spoke about in the law and in the prophets. We have found Him.” One brother found Him and he told his brother about Him and it says that he took him to Jesus. He knew that this is the One that can help my brother so he brought him to Jesus. We are glad for the privilege that we would ever have of telling someone about the One we found but the best we could ever do for anyone is to bring them to Jesus, not that we can help but to bring them to Jesus because He is the one that can help. I was thinking about Jesus always having been as we read about Him being from before the foundation of the world. God had a plan through Jesus but it was a matter of people finding Him. It wasn’t that He wasn’t already there but people had to find Him.


A few years ago, it was my privilege to go to the eastern part of my country, the farthest east in our country, in North America and that place is called Newfoundland. If you say it slowly, it is new found land. Well there on that coast, there was a statue of one of the first explorers that came to our continent and I had great admiration for him. When I stood there and looked at him and thought of a day that he and others left a land and a country that they were familiar with and ventured across the Atlantic ocean because they believed that there was something more. They would hardly know what they were going to find but they believed that there was something more. They jeopardised their lives in crossing that ocean but they believed there was more. It just made me think about those of our ancestors who believed that there was something more than what they had and they set out to find it. It cost them a lot but they felt there was more so they left behind the things they were comfortable with and the traditions that they were raised with and they left that behind because they felt that there was something more and they found the Truth as it is in Jesus. I had a great thankfulness for those first ones, also.


The same thing happened here, those first workers that came here. When we were in school, we learned and were told about the Cape of Good Hope. I never thought it would be my experience to come here to Capetown. We had just heard about it and learned about it but there was a day that those first workers came here also. They left behind what was comfortable to them and they came to this place. We have heard South African friends mention those early workers that came and we are glad for the South African friends that we have in our country and their appreciation for those first workers that came here and brought the Truth of the Gospel as it is in Christ Jesus and opened up this country also. It wasn’t that the Truth wasn’t always alive but it had to be found. I just loved thinking of those that found it as it was simply, in Jesus.


It reminds me of the children of Israel in Deuteronomy 11 when they were to go into the Promised Land. In verse 24, it says that every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours. That land was there but it needed to be possessed. It was there but it had to be walked on and stepped on and possessed and isn’t that like the Truth and our finding it? It was there and it always has been there but we have to find it and possess it and make it our own. When I stood on the shores of Newfoundland, the thought came to me that those explorers that first came here, came to a rugged land, a rugged shoreline. It wasn’t a sandy beach but it was a rugged shoreline but further inland was a land that was fertile, waiting to be found, waiting to be cleared, and waiting to be plowed so that there could be fruit, that there could be a harvest. One feels that the Truth is very much like that, when we first find it, we’re glad that we found it. Possibly it is like finding that new land, like finding a rock but we have no idea what is further along, what is further inland. As we journey in, we have no idea what is going to be ours. Maybe it is like the line of that hymn that we have just sung, about this fellowship that is growing deeper and stronger. It is not changed by time or space. We would have to say the same that this fellowship is growing deeper and stronger as we journey inland, so to speak, and possess more of it, it is becoming more precious to us.


I liked what Paul wrote to the Ephesians in chapter 3 and verse 17, that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith, ye being rooted and grounded in love may be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, length, depth, and height and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge. That ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. Isn’t that just what it is? That Christ could dwell in our hearts by love and that we could get to prove what is the length of this thing. The breadth of it, the height of it and the depth of it. It is only as Christ is dwelling in us that we can prove that. We have heard about just being onlookers but it is when we actually have Christ dwelling in us. Having found Him and Him dwelling in us and only then we prove the length, height, breadth, and depth of this and that we get to know the love of God, how much it really is, and how deep it is. It says that you could be filled with the fullness of God. Jesus was the fullness of God and we have tasted it in a measure.


I love thinking about people in the Bible that really knew about feeling God’s love in their life and the man that comes to my mind is Joseph in the Old Testament. It seems to me that there was a deep love in his heart that was much greater than any human love. He had brothers that sold him, deserted him, and hated him and when the opportunity came for Joseph to meet up with them again, there was a deep love in his heart for his brothers. It was much greater than any human love would ever be. It was God’s love that was in Joseph’s heart. He proved the fullness and the depth of the love that was only from God. We read in Genesis about him and he said, “Fear ye not, I will nourish you and your little ones,” and he comforted them and spake kindly to them. That is not human to do that, that is God’s love within a heart and he proved a depth to it that was very deep. He wanted to return kindness for the evil that they had done. He wanted to speak comfortingly and kindly to them. His spirit was one of love and that was God’s love, He proved it in a deep, deep way. I just felt so glad for the thought of what God has given us through Jesus. Having found Him, having met with Him, we experience a depth that we would otherwise never know. I would like to keep proving the depth of God’s love with me and that in some small measure, I could show that to others.