As we look deeper into the relationship between Jesus and John the Baptist, the question of their respective disciples stands right before us. Why did John still have disciples after he proclaimed Jesus is the Son of God (John 1:34)? And why is there a perceived tension between the disciples of Jesus and the disciples of John? In fact, you can almost feel the tension when John’s disciples confront Jesus and chastise Him for not doing what they, and the Pharisees, were doing regarding fasting.
Then the disciples of John came to Him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?” (Matthew 9:14)
Or, to put it another way, “Why are we doing things right, and You are not teaching Your disciples to follow us?”
The Tension Between the Disciples of Jesus and John
But there is more here than meets the eye. When John proclaimed Jesus to be the Son of God, only two of John’s disciples followed Jesus. The rest, it appears, remained loyal to John and continued with him in the ministry of baptism. How is that even possible?
Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. (John 1:35-37)
We will also see the blessings that come from following Jesus into the great faith adventure, like these two did, rather than remaining in our comfort zone with John. There is much to learn about the difference between the good, and the best, for each of us.