One day John was standing with two of his disciples. They saw Jesus walk past, and John said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” (John 1:35-36 NET). This incident took place after John immersed Jesus and after Jesus’ time of temptation in the wilderness. The previous day John had seen Jesus and identified him as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” and “the Chosen One of God” (John 1:29, 34). If these two disciples had not been with John the previous day it seems that they had at least heard what he had said.
“When John’s two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus” (John 1:37). These were disciples of John. They had been travelling around with John as John preached and baptised. They would have been aware that John had identified himself as “the voice of one shouting in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord’” (John 1:23). He was the one to prepare the way for the Messiah. And now he had identified to them who the Messiah was. No wonder they were willing to leave John and begin to follow Jesus.
What is wonderful is what one of these disciples immediately did. “Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two disciples who heard what John said and followed Jesus. He first found his own brother Simon and told him, ‘We have found the Messiah!’ (which is translated Christ). Andrew brought Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, ‘You are Simon, the son of John. You will be called Cephas’ (which is translated Peter)” (John 1:40-42).
Andrew had found the Messiah, the one the Jews had been looking for – longing for – for centuries! But he couldn’t keep this good news to himself. He had to tell someone! So he went searching for his brother Simon, found him, told him who they had found, and brought him to meet Jesus, the Messiah.
An interesting word in this text is the word “first” (John 1:41): “He first found his own brother Simon.” This word can mean one of two things. It could be that the first thing that Andrew did was to find his brother – and it seems that this was the first thing that he did. Or the word could mean that Andrew first found his brother and then the other disciple did the same thing. Some suggest that the other disciples was James or John and they also went to find their brother.
One thing that is obvious from this encounter with Jesus, is that he knew Andrew and Peter (and possibly James and John) before he called them to be fishers of men (Matthew 4:18-22). No wonder they were willing to follow Jesus, as they had already identified him as the Messiah!
Throughout John’s gospel, when we see Andrew, we see that he is bringing someone to Jesus: in John 6 it is the boy with the lunch and later on it is a group of Greeks (John 12). What a wonderful picture: every time we see him he is bringing someone to Jesus! If that could only be said of each of us!
Do we have the same excitement that Andrew had when he found Jesus? Do we search and find those we love to bring them to get to know Jesus? Are we as convinced as Andrew was that Jesus is the promised Messiah? Are we willing to be a “fisher of men”?
Think of all those who were influenced because Andrew brought Peter to Jesus. What impact might we have through those we bring to Jesus?
Let us always remember our mission: to seek and save the lost.
Readings for next week:
10 October – John 2
11 October – John 3
12 October – John 4:1-38
13 October – John 4:39-54
14 October – John 5