“And He Brought Him To Jesus”

Detroit Free Press – Saturday, November 30, 1935


Sermon by Dr. J. Frank Norris, Sunday Morning,

Dec. 1, 1935, Century Theater, Detroit, Mich.

(Stenographically Reported)

DR. NORRIS: I want this happy audience to stand and sing one of the greatest hymns ever sung by any audience, “We are Marching to Zion” – I want everybody to stand, and I want these instruments to play it through before we sing, then everybody sing the first note come on all you deep voices as well as the high tenors and let’s have a great song service; it will be a better message than I can bring you.

(Song service).

Every time I see this great congregation, and feel its spirit, I can understand in part something that must have thrilled the great Apostle Paul when he walked up the Appian Way, he caught sight of the Christians who came out to meet him – it is said, Whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage.”

Here are some verses of Scripture that have gripped my soul this past week as never before: John 1:35-42, “Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master), where dwellest thou? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two which 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 Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus.”


There is the beginning of the New Testament Church, there are the first members of that church, and it wasn’t organized that day, and it has never been organized since, and the day that there is an effort to organize the church that Jesus established, it then and there ceases to be a New Testament church. So often you hear that it was then that the church was organized. The answer is, it never was organized. Organized is a human term; you can’t organize life. It begins; it is manifested; it is a growth.

What a sublime spectacle! – John, the forerunner, the one who baptized Jesus, standing out there in the wilderness somewhere, near the Jordan River, with two of his disciples, the name of one we do not know, the other is Andrew – these three standing together – they look and see Him walking. The world has never seen such a Man before. No one ever compared with Him in majesty, in glory. Oh, there is something about Him – even little children recognized it – Nicodemus saw it the rich young man beheld it – the Greeks, who came from the West, as the wise men from the East, to behold Him, beheld His glory. All nations desire Him – all the prophets foretold Him. He is the theme of the whole Book, the heir of all things, the fairest among ten thousand and altogether lovely!

When they saw Him, John said, “Behold the Lamb of God.” His disciples, the two standing with him, heard him speak – they understood him. What did they do? What do people do when they hear you? They turned, and without a word they followed Him; and Jesus – He knew they were following Him. He knew the woman would be at the well before He got there. He knew Zacchaeus would be on the limb of that sycamore tree before He saw him. He knows all things. He turned and saw them. What did Jesus see in Andrew and the other disciples, as He saw them following Him? He begins His earthly ministry by drawing men to Him. Have we lost faith in the power of Jesus to draw men? That’s why preachers and churches are going off after so many vagaries and side issues, that’s why they are asking if churches should close – they will not close if Jesus is there.


He asked, “What seek ye?” Here is all there is of the methods of personal work. Here is all there is of approach to the human heart, “Rabbi, where do you live?” “Where is your home?” – “We want to go home with you and see the place where you live, where you eat, where you sleep. We want to be your guest.”

Oh, how courteous Jesus was. He turns, and how tenderly, “Come” – “Come” – I will show you – not a mansion; not an earthly palace – “Come and see where” – maybe under the shade of a great tree, or, under the shadow of a large rock, but just a place. How simple the place where Jesus lives. How tragic that in this twentieth century, we have so many cloud reaching cathedrals and instead of showing the world where Jesus lives they shut the world out from Jesus.

How simple to reach Him – not through some robed priest and gowned choirs, or through some cut and dried ritual, but He says, “Come out and see me under the shade of the tree.” We are looking as the Greeks, when they said, “Sir, we would see Jesus.”

And they both followed Jesus. Wasn’t that a great day to spend with Jesus? – spend a day with Jesus! Beloved, let’s go spend a day with Him. Let’s stop from the crash and rush of the world, let’s leave off so many of our foolish social engagements, and let’s go over and spend a day with Him – maybe out under the shade of the trees; maybe in the kitchen where we work and sweat; maybe in the shops where we toil, for was He not brought up in a carpenter’s shop? Maybe in the cab of a fast moving engine at midnight; maybe with the pilot as he sweeps through stormy clouds; maybe with the miner down in the bowels of earth; maybe the busy clerk, or the stenographer, busy at the typewriter – let’s spend a day with Him!

What conversation did they have, what visions filled the souls of those two disciples? They were never the same. And immediately,one of them – what was the first thing he thought of when he saw that He was the Messiah? “My brother at home.” So he goes and finds his own brother, “Simon, Simon, you know we have been looking for the Messiah.” In every Jewish home father and mother told their little children, “Messias is coming,” as they read the inspired prophets’ writings from Moses to Malachi. They foretold of Him who would come as the desire of all nations. “Simon, we have found Him!”

What did Jesus tell Andrew that convinced Him? What did Andrew say? “No man ever spake like He did” – I have seen into His soul, no prophet ever had a soul like His, the light of heaven in His eyes. He is the Messiah. He satisfies my soul’s deepest aspirations. He is the answer to my guilt. He is the answer to my sorrows. He is the answer to my heart’s longing – Simon, come and see Him with me.”

And the climax of it all, “And he brought him” – “And he brought him to Jesus.”


I had one of the greatest rebukes of my life two weeks ago when a hard wicked sinner tried to get hold of me and couldn’t, but he got hold of one of the workers and said to her, “I want you to tell your preacher – give him this message from me – you tell him I said that our country is on the rocks, and that the world is doomed, and you tell him to call that church to prayer.” I say to you when I knew who did it – I have no hesitation in telling you – it broke my heart.

Then that very day I walked into a store in Fort Worth, and the proprietor now 70 years of age, having lived in sin all his life, was talking, and a group of clerks gathered, and some customers – we just had a religious meeting – this man who fears neither God nor man, took me aside and he said, “I want to ask you a question” – He said, “Now, you preach about hell and heaven, do you believe Or do you just it? Tell me do you really believe it? preach it because you happen to be in the ministry?” That was a very pertinent question – he had a right to ask that question – you have a right to ask any preacher, or believer, any time in the world what they believe.

I said, “No, I don’t believe it; I don’t believe there a life on the other side; I don’t believe there is a hell or heaven.” He looked at me. I said, “I KNOW there is such a life.” I said to him, “If I had entered the ministry a rank infidel, and witnessed the death bed scenes that I have witnessed the souls who leave the world and go out without God, how they cried for help, I would be compelled to say that there is something beyond this life.” And I said, “I have sat beside those who saw the light from the glory world and heard the songs of the angels as they came to bear them home.” I said, “If I started out an infidel and witnessed that, I would be compelled to say, ‘I know there is a life on the other side.'”

Then here is what he said, “I have been listening to you through the years over the radio – I don’t go to church – and I have been terribly bothered, and I want to talk to you about this sometime.”

I said, “Talk now.”

He said, “I confess to you I have been distressed, and I have come to wonder, is there anything in it? If there is, I have lived all my life missing it.”

I said, “There is something in it, there is all in it; I am glad you are bothered.”

“Oh,” he said, “don’t say you are glad, why I have come to the point where I can hardly sleep – it has taken my appetite.”

“I thank God that’s true,” I said, “And I am praying that you can’t eat or sleep until you fall on your face and say, ‘What must I do to be saved?'”

And there we talked in his office. I am going to baptize that man in the not distant future.


“They followed Jesus.” Here is the text I want to emphasize. “Come and see” – He didn’t say, “Come to the party”; no. He didn’t say, “Come to the Ladies’ Aid Society”; no. He didn’t say, “Come to our fine church”; no. He didn’t say, “Come to our fashionable choir”; no. He didn’t say, “Come to the entertainment”; no. He said, “Come and see” – “Come and see where I dwell.”

That’s what we need, beloved. You can say all you want to, argue all you want to, that’s all on earth Jesus Christ set you in the world to do.

Here is the thing I want to call your attention to, just as soon as the church undertakes to follow the platform of Jesus, he is going to meet with opposition. One opposition is the devil, the other is some church people. The devil will do everything in the world to destroy the testimony of Jesus Christ. Rev. 12:11, “And they overcame him” – The Devil – by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their own lives unto death.

They overcome the devil with three things: (1) “By the blood of the Lamb,’ (2) “By the word of their testimony,” (3) “By their sacrificial giving.”

Oh, if there was ever a time when the church of the Living God should have this sacrificial giving spirit, giving of time and money, that time is now.

Here is a strange thing – not to me any longer – but when I first met it twenty-five years ago it broke my heart; that is, that the very minute you go yonder and stand with John near the Jordan river, and two of his disciples and look upon Him – the very minute you accept the invitation and say to the world, “Come and see Jesus,” you will find the hardest, most stubborn, often times the meanest opposition right on the inside of the church.

Where did Jesus meet opposition? Not in sinners, publicans, harlots or grafters, but in the church members. “They drew near unto him” – Who? the sinners and publicans for to hear Him. That’s what happened! You would have thought the whole world would have rejoiced as the poor sinners gathered around Jesus. But no; the Scribes and the Pharisees, the preachers of that day, the ecclesiastics, the leaders – What did they do? They murmured, they criticized Jesus. What for? For receiving sinners.

I think we have missed the meaning of the elder son – we always emphasize the younger son, but that was not the purpose Jesus had – the younger son left home, spent all he had in riotous living, and at last he was helpless, friendless and in rags, but he came home, and the old father’s heart was happy, and they made a feast for him, put a ring on his hand, shoes on his bleeding feet, and a robe over his rags – they killed the fatted calf. And everybody was rejoicing – no, not all his elder brother was mad. Why? Because his younger brother had come home. Jesus said that was the spirit of ecclesiasticism – denominationalism.

There are people on the outside of the Fundamentalist movement who hate it so – and I mean some Baptists – that they would rather a soul would die and go to hell, than to be saved in a church that stands one hundred per cent for the whole Gospel.

Now, that’s the one thing he is calling for today – not for an organization, but He is calling for men and women who will join this Holy, happy band of crusaders to go throughout this great city and say, “Come and see” – “Come and see the Messiah; He will forgive you all your sins,” Tell the one who has crepe on the front door, or the withered flowers on the new made grave, “Come and see” – “Come and see Him who is the Resurrection and the life.” Tell the prodigal boy “Come and see, there is bread enough and to spare.” Tell the prodigal girl, “Come and see – start your life over again.”

“Come and see” – let’s go out afield this afternoon and say, “Come see Jesus” that is our only work, our only thought, our only plan.


Just briefly this and I close. I am glad Jesus, while on earth, prophesied of that hour when He is going to be here again. As He walked on the banks of the Jordan, out there in the wilderness, and John and his two disciples saw Him, praise God, we are all going to see Him!

He said, “Come and see” – “Come look at the place where I live” – another prophecy of the home in the skies above; that’s why Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.” “Come see where I live now” – Where will you be after life? Out of this body into His presence. “In my Father’s house” – “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

Isn’t it wonderful folks that we have a heaven; that when this old body has gone to dust, we will have a new glorified body!

“Then Jesus turned, and saw them following” – He saw them coming and said, “Come on spend the day with me” – I want us to go out of this place today, and we never did before say, “Come and see.”

“Stand up, my soul, shake off thy fears.
And gird the gospel armor on;
March to the gates of endless joy,
Where Jesus, the great Captain’s gone.

Hell and thy sins resist thy course;
But hell and sin are vanquished foes;
Thy Saviour nailed them to the cross,
And sang the triumph when he rose.

Then let my soul march boldly on,
Press forward to the heavenly gate;
There peace and joy eternal reign,
And glittering robes for conquerors wait.

There shall I wear a starry crown,
And triumph in almighty grace,
While all the armies of the skies
Join in my glorious Leader’s praise.”

Let us stand. Who will accept Him? Who will come today? (Thirty-one came into the church during the day).