A humble recluse is baptising people by the river when he sees a man approaching; one whom he perceives a spirit descend upon. The next day he looks up and behold, the same man. His companions, curious, follow this hitherto strange man once the recluse has identified him by title.
The man suddenly turns and speaks, for the first time. Firmly and unapologetically he says:
What seek ye?
They ask of him where he lives. His response is immediate and straightforward:
Come and see.
One of the two followers darts off a side alley only to return quickly with another, his brother, before being stopped in their tracks by the proclamation:
Though art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas.
In Galilee they see Philip. He is addressed by the man, who says to him knowingly:
[Barely five sentences spoken – and already five followers.]
To Nathanael now:
Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!
“How do you know me?”, cries Nathanael:
Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig, I saw thee.
Nathanael praises the man but he is steadied:
Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believe at though? Though shalt see greater things than these.
And the man continues:
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
Later at a wedding feast and to a request from his mother, he pre-empts her:
Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come.
Then to the hosts:
Fill the water pots with water.
Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast.
Having left the feast, he becomes angered by the situation at the temple-front:
Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.
Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of heaven.
This is how the Gospel of John introduces us to this great man – the Messiah.