John 1:35-42 Changing Masters

35 The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38 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?” 39 He said to them, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. 40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). 42 He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).

Changing Masters

Andrew and John had a master, John the Baptist.  He had prepared their hearts and now the one who is greater than John had arrived.  They seem to take their first master’s teaching seriously as they move on to a new master.  Jesus can take them further on the way that they can go than John can.  I wonder how John the baptist felt losing his namesake and Andrew.  The text doesn’t tell us, because life is not about movement toward John or a baptism of water.  The important thing is that when the time came, those who encountered Jesus went with him and brought others along too.  Andrew and all of Israel had been looking for the Messiah, and although they have found him they do not know really what a ‘Messiah’ is. 

They think they know what they have found, but in reality Jesus is the one who knows their identity better than they know themselves.  Jesus invited people into a relationship where they would come and see.  They dwelt with him.  A friendship developed.

Good counseling and self-help move us into understanding our limitations and our strengths.  Great friendships can help us reform on a superficial level, but the changes are real.  However, any positive change in life should lead us to the One who can complete our transformation.  Jesus knows who we should be and he calls us to come and stay with him, but we must leave our previous understandings and walk in the path where he leads.


Jesus, I am struck by your mentorship as a master.  You take disciples and you take them through disciplines so that they become more the rounded and complete people you created them to be.  The call is not primarily about feeling comfortable, receiving joy in our calling, or fulfilling our own dreams.  We are to harmonize our will and our dreams to your dreams and find a life of peace through discipline that is sometimes painful and also infused with joy.  Help me to commit my entire being to your training as my sensei and to let go of false masters I have tended to serve.


  1. Who changes allegiance in the passage?  How do you know the name of both characters?
  2. What are the results of their approaching Jesus?
  3. Why is this passage in scripture?
  4. To what disciplines or ways do people submit?
  5. How can one be encouraged to move away from one master to a new master?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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22 Responses to John 1:35-42 Changing Masters

  1. Jessica Lewis says:

    1. Andrew and John change allegiances. I am only making a guess as to who the second disciple was. It isn’t stated in the passage.
    2. Jesus asked them to come with him to the place that he was staying. He wanted to have a relationship with them.
    3. This passage shows that Andrew and the mystery disciple’s friendship and discipleship with John ultimately led them to their ultimate master. They went with Jesus and allowed him to change everything about them.
    4. So many Christians today believe that they have made Jesus their master, but they are still serving two masters.
    5. Go with Jesus to the place that he invites us into. It is there that he will teach us and show us how much he cares for us. We must be willing to go with him though and leave everything else behind.

  2. Lacy says:

    1. John and Andrew are the two disciples who formerly followed John the Baptist and left to follow Jesus. The author tells us that Andrew was one of them, and John (the author) is usually speaking of himself when he mentions an unnamed disciple.
    2. Jesus invites them to follow him and stay with him at his lodging.
    3. This passage, like others in Scripture, gives a picture of seeking after and following in Jesus. In this case, the disciples had been prepared by a godly teacher, John the Baptist, whose job was not to draw the attention to himself but to point them to Jesus.
    4. People submit to lifestyles such as “successful career,” “honorable character,” “household supporter,” and “reliable friend.” Being such a person can be a key step in the Christian life, but can also become a stumbling block if seen as an end in itself.
    5. People need to realize that each of these is only praiseworthy because it reflects an aspect of God’s character. If such lifestyles are used to draw attention to oneself instead of Jesus, they lose all benefit. The true goal of life should be to draw closer to God (and thus reflect him more and more).

  3. Karas says:

    Andrew and apparently John change allegiance, and Peter too. Andrew and Peter are specified but I’m not sure how we know the other is John. I noticed it in the commentary on the passage but I wouldn’t have picked up on that alone.
    As a result of approaching Jesus, they have come to dwell with Him and become His disciples, changing masters. I think this passage is here to show the importance of leaving even the good for the ultimate, Jesus. He is to be our master. People submit to exercise, military, education, reason, business, works-oriented religion, and more. We can be encouraged to move to a new master as we see the benefit and wisdom of having the new master. If we see that we have found someone so great He is worth following more than any other, we should be motivated to follow Him. So, what is needed is to know Jesus.

  4. Jenna says:

    1. John’s two disciples (one of whom is identified is as Andrew) change their allegiance and follow Jesus. I’m not sure how we know that the second disciple was John. The Moody Bible Commentary mentions that the second disciple was probably John, but it doesn’t give any explanation of why.
    2. Jesus notices them and calls them to follow Him.
    3. This passage is an example of the fact that Jesus already had followers, even before He started performing miracles.
    4. We make many things first in our lives, like our image, our relationships, our need for “me-time,” and many others.
    5. What John’s disciples realized was that Jesus wasn’t just another teacher like John the Baptist; Jesus was infinitely better. We will never want to move from our temporary, earthly masters to Christ unless we understand that Christ is better than anything else!

  5. Rachel says:

    I thought that Simon Peter and his brother Andrew changed allegiance from following John the Baptist to following Jesus, but apparently one of them was named John. I am confused about the names in this passage! What I do know is that there were two disciples who chose to follow Jesus and that Jesus renamed one of them. They approached Jesus and were challenged to follow Jesus. I think this passage is included in Scripture because it shows how willing a few people were to lay down everything and follow the true Master. People submit to a myriad of beliefs and ways of life. Some people have these ways chosen for them, but some choose for themselves or follow in the footsteps of their parents. When one recognizes that a new master is a better fit or has a new teaching, a change can be made from the old master to a new master. One must believe that the new master is worth following.

  6. Sara Cavitt says:

    1) John’s two disciples change allegiance from John the Baptist to Jesus. Andrew was one of the disciples mentioned, but the other one is not named.
    2) Jesus talked to them, and He invited them to follow Him.
    3) It shows that Jesus is to be our master, guide and friend above all else.
    4) People submit to many fleshly desires, which block them from having a genuine relationship with Jesus. Some of these involve selfish desires, false religions, other people, and themselves.
    5) We can be encouraged in knowing that Jesus is in control of all aspects of our lives, and He will guide us in everything if we submit to Him and pursue a relationship with Him.

  7. Kathleen says:

    1. Andrew changes allegiance and according to the Moody Commentary the other disciple mentioned is probably John.
    2. They find the Messiah and begin to follow Him.
    3. I think this passage shows the how the disciples left everything to follow a man they had only heard about. The disciples took an incredible act of faith stepping out to follow Jesus. We need to take steps of faith like this too.
    4.The first thing that comes to mind is submitting to authority whether that be professors, employers, or police officers. People also submit to trends in culture: clothing, hair, music, etc.
    5. In the passage the new master had so much more to offer than the first. If the disciples hadn’t stepped out in faith, they would have missed the opportunity. They knew Jesus was someone worth following. They believed they had found the Messiah and this made switching masters worth it.

  8. Amy McCashen says:

    1. Andrew and Peter. Their names are stated in the text. Jesus even changes Peter’s name.
    2. Jesus told them to come and see where he was staying and they became his disciples.
    3. This passages in Scripture because it shows us the willingness of the disciples to follow Jesus. It informs us that the Jews were looking for a Messiah.
    4. People submit in a lot of ways and to a lot of things. One example of people’s personal disciplines would be submission to authority.
    5. People change masters because they find a better master, or a master that they preferred to follow. However, not everyone who changes “Masters” changes for the better.

  9. tim pruiett says:

    1. The first disciple was andrew and the other one is John.
    2. Jesus calls them to Himself.
    3. these men become Jesus disciples and get to personally know Jesus.
    4. This passage I believe is in Scripture to show us how people were coming to Jesus and that they knew Him to be the Messiah.
    5.people submit themselves to all sorts of things be it, money, pleasure, entertainment, etc.
    6. By showing them that the one master is greater than the other and the benefits of serving the greater master.

  10. J_Alban says:

    1. andrew and Peter do
    2.They seem to fully believe! As if they were trained well by their previous mentor.
    3. to Show how easily we should follow Jesus Spiritually. And in the case that Jesus returns in the flesh, we must know fully and follow even more so.
    4. work, school, parents, anything that teaches
    5. New seasons of life!

  11. Ashley says:

    1. Andrew is the first one to change allegiance in this passage as he tells his brother, Simon, that they have found the Messiah. I know the names of both the characters because Andrew is stated as Simon’s brother and later Simon, too, is mentioned.
    2. The result of their approaching Jesus is Jesus knowing exactly who they are and changing them. Simon’s named is changed to Cephas (Peter).
    3. I think this passage is in scripture to show us a bit of Jesus’ personality. He knows all thoughts, yet asks the men who they are seeking, which is interesting. He is curious and wants people to tell them their thoughts and actions themselves. I also think that this passage beautifully portrays Jesus’ intentionality and the intimacy that he shares with his followers as he looks them in the eye and tells them who they are. He then takes authority as a master and renames his people. This is there to remind us that Jesus looks at us and knows us as we have been, yet renames us and changes us to become who he would like us to become.
    4. In our day and age, those who are not devoted to God or a type of religion like to think of themselves as free beings—free from the bindings of religious obligation. However, all men are worshipping something. Everyone is seeking something or someone greater to be adored. Therefore, people submit to all sorts of disciplines or ways other than the only one to whom we should ultimately submit—God. They submit to their own desires, their bodies, their emotions, time, money, fame, fortune, sports, music, and art. They submit to anything and everything under the sun!
    5. I think people are sometimes kept from Jesus since they do not understand what kind of Master he is. They think that they are not good enough for him, or that they won’t be accepted. They don’t realize that Jesus knows him fully and that he has come to give us life fully. He is not a Master to shun, but to embrace warmly. He does not keep us in our current states, but changes us and renames us as he did in changing Simon to Peter.

  12. Janice Lee says:

    1. John and Andrew change allegiances. John is the author, and he refers to himself and Andrew in the passage as John the Baptist’s two disciples who followed Jesus.
    2. As a result of approaching Jesus, they find that He is the Christ, the Messiah.
    3. This passage explains how Jesus’ first disciples began to follow Him.
    4. People submit to the disciplines or ways of what or whom they love. For example, some people submit to the disciplines of academics, athletics, fine arts, and religion.
    5. One can be encouraged to move from one master to another master if they come to love the other master more.

  13. nataliaria says:

    At the beginning of this passage two of John’s disciples, one of whom is named Andrew, leave the leadership of John in order to follow Christ. As I read the text, Andrew’s brother Simon (later renamed Peter) was not one of the original two, which would mean that three individuals begin to follow Christ in this brief account.

    When they approach Jesus, He responds to them by welcoming them. He does this by inviting the first two to follow Him to where He is staying, and then He welcomes Simon by actually renaming Him on the spot. This passage could have been included in Scripture for many reasons, but I believe it has been included here to show Jesus’ preeminence over other rabbis or leaders, as well as His welcome to those who will follow Him, and a taste of the plan that He holds for each individual.

    People submit to those things that are familiar, valuable, or important to them. Just as we saw in class today when we discussed what people value most- to that will they submit.

    I believe that whoever holds a person’s heart will be his or her master. One way that hearts are gained is through praising a person, recognizing and validating their individuality and unique gifts and talents. Additionally, people are drawn to masters whose acquaintance benefits them in some way, be it monetary, status, or otherwise.

  14. Nick says:

    Andrew and John were the two disciples that changed allegiances. Andrew is named explicitly, but the other disciple is not named. John did not refer to himself in the passage possibly because of his authorship. Jesus saw them following Him, and he invited them to come and see where He was staying. This passage shows the passing of the torch from John the Baptist to Jesus. John the baptist had been their master, their teacher up until now, but now it was Jesus’ time and He was the ultimate teacher. It was time for them to follow Jesus. When we submit to something, we make that thing our master, our focus. We can be encouraged in moving onto a new master, as the disciples were, if that master is Jesus, and He is full of all wisdom and power. He is the greatest master of all time.

  15. Sarah Deurbrouck says:

    1. Who changes allegiance in the passage? How do you know the name of both characters?
    We know that one of the disciples is Andrew, but it doesn’t seem to be clear who the other one is.
    2. What are the results of their approaching Jesus?
    They recognize him as the Messiah and follow him.
    3. Why is this passage in scripture?
    My guess is that it is to show how Jesus acquired his disciples and how they believed him to be the Messiah, the Son of God.
    4. To what disciplines or ways do people submit?
    As sinful people, we submit to ways that benefit ourselves. For example, we follow a strict diet so that our own body feels and looks good.
    5. How can one be encouraged to move away from one master to a new master?
    You must strive for the same goal as your master. When your goals align with the master, you follow them. We must learn that submitting to Christ is not going to benefit us personally as the world believes and desires. We must see the goal of the kingdom of God as higher and more important than ourselves.

  16. Michael Huber says:

    I think the changing of masters happens when existential crisis arises. When you are forced to ask big questions about life and death and when you see that your master is either unfulfilling or completely false altogether. Christ is the Master who still lives on.

  17. Beth Coale says:

    Read it.

  18. Mary says:

    1. Andrew and John. Andrew is listed (vs. 40) and the commentary in my NIV Study Bible says it was probably the author of the book of John.
    2. They believed Jesus to be the Messiah, and then went to tell others.
    3. It is transitioning from John the Baptist to Jesus; John’s role was to just point out who the Messiah was and prepare the way for him. I also think it is interesting that Jesus gave Simon a new name, and wonder what exactly it means.
    4. Whatever people spend most of their time on is what they make lord in their life. I am grateful for my pastor who occasionally gives us a visual reminder of books on a bookshelf entitled with what our priorities are, and how we need to reevaluate and rearrange them sometimes, to make sure God is at the top, then family and friends, then work, and so on. It makes me stop and ask myself, how much time did I spend with God today? How much time did I spend with my husband today? How much time did I spend on schoolwork today? How much TV did I watch today? Do my priorities show that God is lord in my life? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It is a continuous reevaluating and rearranging.
    5. See above.

  19. Rebekah Thompson (Bekah) says:

    1) Andrew and Peter, they were both mentioned in the text there is a little confusion. But it can be assumed that it is peter because they mention him as well in the text.
    2) He asked them what they were searching for and He was able to form a relationship with them and asked them to follow him.
    3) To show what it looks like to follow Jesus and let him transform your life
    4) By not being selfish and giving up their own desires and sometimes contentment and comfort for others who were put into a higher position.
    5) To leave the sin and bondage that has trapped you and move forward and trust the Lord daily with all the things you have. To know that in the bad and in the good God is there for you

  20. Austin Brose says:

    Andrew and a nameless person change their allegiances, Andrews name is stated, but the other person could be either John or Peter. The result of them approaching Jesus, is that Jesus saw that they were seeking Truth, and they were answered with a life changing experience when Jesus changed their whole identities. I would think that this passage is in scripture because it goes to show that when we come to Christ, with a willing heart, He will change our entire identity. People submit by offering their plans, their goals, their identity, over to the calling that Christ offers. One can be encouraged to move away from one master to another by the fact that we can shed our old sinful skin, whatever we have done is irrelevant when we approach Christ and become a new creation.

  21. This is obviously extremely late, but last week started reading John during my devotions. I noticed this “change in masters” and thought, “Hmm these 2 were being discipled by John the Baptist and then left to go with Jesus Christ. How did they know that this is what they were to do?” It’s clear that God stirred up their hearts, even though they were not entirely certain about what would happen next.
    I also thought about John the Baptist as a mentor and what I should be striving for as a mentor: recognizing and being so in tune with God so that I strive to proclaim Him and guide others toward Him and also recognizing when to “back off” and simply allow Jesus to reveal Himself and transform lives.
    I pray that God would have this in my heart at all times and make me sensitive to His will and His calling and expectations for me.

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