The notes today have been prepared by Bethan.
We have a tendency, when we discover something new and useful or exciting, to want to tell everyone about it. If I discover that my phone can do something that I didn’t realise it could, I want to tell people who have the same phone. If I read a great book, I want to tell my friends and family who enjoy reading about it. In today’s passage, Andrew discovers Christ the Messiah and his immediate response is to tell his brother, Simon called Peter.
In yesterday’s passage we saw John the Baptist declare in public that Jesus is the ‘Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’. In today’s passage, he declares the same thing but to a smaller audience: his two disciples. What strikes me here is that John the Baptist couldn’t stop talking about Jesus. He knew he was the Lamb of God – it had been revealed to him by God himself (1:32-33) – and he wanted everyone to know, in public and private.
Also, John the Baptist seems to always be on the look-out for Jesus; he sees him passing by (1:36). He was watching Christ; he was fixed on Him. He was his focus.
What I love most about John the Baptist in this passage is that he was happy for his disciples to follow Jesus instead. John had a very important role: he is preparing the way for the Lord and fulfilling prophecy at the same time. Yet, John the Baptist never becomes arrogant; he always remembers that he is supposed to be pointing to Christ and so when his disciples leave him in order to follow Jesus, the Messiah, he doesn’t mope or feel sorry for himself or become bitter, he knows it is the right thing to do. His sole purpose is to point people to the Messiah, the Lamb of God and he has done his job well if his disciples want to leave everything and follow Jesus. He can rejoice.
When the disciples saw and heard about Jesus, they immediately followed Him. They had probably been there the day before when John had declared to a crowd that Jesus was the ‘Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’ and so the repetition of it the following day was enough. They were going. There seems an urgency from the disciples; they have been looking for the Messiah (and they’d been looking in the right place, disciples of the one chosen to prepare the way) and now they’d found him, there are no questions asked, they go. We don’t know how long they’d been following John for; I’m sure they’d learned a lot from him but only Jesus could take away their sins and, ultimately, that is what we all need, disciples included.
Jesus welcomes John’s disciples and they begin following him. Andrew, one of the disciples, immediately wanted to tell his brother, Simon, called Peter; it was ‘the first thing he did’. There’s so much we can learn from Andrew’s response to Jesus. Not only did he instantaneously follow him but, on finding him, told his brother and ‘brought him to Jesus’. He knows that he has found the Messiah and he wants the people he loves to find him too.
Let’s stay focused on Jesus, constantly tell everyone that he is the ‘Lamb of God’, point to Jesus, follow him and tell those we love about him.
For this is what I’m glad to do;
It’s time to live a life of love that pleases You.
And I will give my all to You;
Surrender everything I have and follow You,
I’ll follow You. (May the Words of my Mouth – Tim Hughes)