A moment with Jesus: Devotional Commentary for February 21-27
This is the Word of God. May the Spirit of Truth give us wisdom and insight to receive what has been conveyed through His Word by His Inspiration.
35Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples.
36And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, Behold the Lamb of God!"
37The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
It was another day by the banks of the Jordan River where John the baptizer and his two Disciples found themselves. It was the day after John publicly identified Jesus as the Lamb of God. Once again, Jesus was passing by and John pointed Him out to his Disciples reiterating that He is the Lamb of God. John was relentlessly and selflessly redirecting the attention of his own Disciples to Jesus.
The Disciples took their master's words to heart and turned their attention to Jesus. So they left John and started following the Lamb of God. Everything John told them about Jesus was impressive and inspiring. He exalted Jesus and humbled himself. John told them that he himself was only the voice declaring the truth about the coming Messiah. He was just the herald sent ahead to prepare the heart of the people to receive the Christ, the coming Messiah. Once Jesus arrived at the scene through the virgin birth, John publicly delineated his ministry from Jesus' mission. He came baptizing with water but the messiah baptized with the Holy Spirit.
38Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, What do you seek?" They said to Him, Rabbi" (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), where are You staying?"
39He said to them, Come and see." They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour).
Jesus, knowing that He was being followed, turned and asked these two Disciples what they wanted. They did not address Him as the Son of God or the Lamb of God as John told them. They simply called Him Rabbi, the Aramaic word for Teacher, a common title of respect reserved for those who taught the Law and the Prophets. The Disciples looked at Jesus with respect.
They did not ask Him if they could go with Him or anything else about His message. Rather, they asked Him where He was staying. It seemed they sought invitation to Jesus home. Why so?
The answer lies in the basic understanding of the Middle Eastern culture. In his book "Jesus Among Other Gods", Ravi Zacharias explains what John's Disciples meant by their questions. By asking where Jesus stayed, the Disciples were inquiring about Jesus' birthplace and His family background. They wanted to know everything about Jesus and His heritage before they switched their allegiance from John to the Messiah, Jesus the Christ.
Jesus did not answer their question directly. He just invited them to come and find out for themselves. Jesus wanted them to experience a moment with Him: to spend some time alone, in His presence. It was the tenth hour of the day, perhaps 4 o'clock in the afternoon; the Disciples took Him up on His invitation and spent the rest of the day with Him at His place. Jesus transformed a short conversation into a profitable time of fellowship.
40One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.
41He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, We have found the Messiah" (which is translated, the Christ).
42And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas" (which is translated, A Stone).
One of the two Disciples who left John and followed Jesus was Andrew. Andrew did not waste any time. Once he learned the truth about the Lamb of God, he looked for his brother Simon, found him, and brought him to Jesus.
Andrew learned that, what his master John said about Jesus was indeed true. But he found out a lot more about Jesus after spending time alone with Him. He learned that Jesus is not only the Lamb of God but also the Messiah. So when he found his brother Simon, Andrew told him that the Messiah has already come and they have found Him.
Andrew brought his brother to Jesus. Jesus took one look at Simon and immediately identified him as the son of Jonah. Jesus knew Simon before Andrew brought him into His presence. Then Jesus gave Simon a new name: a new name of enduring meaning and significance as the Disciple of the Messiah. Jesus called Simon Cephas, an Aramaic name, meaning a stone, signifying Peter's rock solid allegiance to His Lord. Cephas is Peter in the Greek language. So John sent Andrew to Jesus, the Lamb of God; and Andrew brought his brother Simon to the Messiah.
The passage before us depicts the beauty and the simplicity of showing others the Way of redemption into the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. Jesus was in the company of three men who would become His lifelong Disciples, one of whom was Andrew. Despite being labelled as the quiet Disciple, Andrew was the first to bring another to Jesus Christ. He brought his brother in the flesh to the Lamb of God, to the Messiah.
When we think of Jesus' Disciples, usually the more prominent men come to mind, those most vocal and seem more dynamic. We think of Peter, the impulsive Disciple who unreservedly declared his allegiance to Jesus. We think of James and John, The Sons of Thunder. But how often do we think of Andrew, the quiet Disciple? He is only mentioned a few times in the Gospels, often associated with bringing someone to Christ. What a beautiful example of faithful discipleship. But we are often challenged to be like Peter or Paul. How wonderful it would have been if, like Andrew, we would consistently share the Good News of God's salvation quietly and faithfully.
Some believe that only pastors or missionaries are the called ones tasked with the ministry of spreading the Gospel. But if there is any challenge to us in this passage, it is to be like Andrew, showing the Way to the Messiah with our words and deeds. John pointed Andrew to the Lamb of God, Andrew brought Peter to the Messiah. Simple, profound, yet enduring.