Andrew and Simon Peter Meet Jesus
John 1:38-42 MKJV Then Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, What do you seek? They said to Him, Rabbi (which is called, being translated, Teacher), where do you live? (39) He says to them, Come and see. They came and saw where He lived, and stayed with Him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. (40) One of the two who heard John and followed Him was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. (41) He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, we have found the Messiah (which is, being translated, the Christ). (42) And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus saw him, He said, you are Simon the son of Jonah; you shall be called Cephas (which translated is, A stone).
[The readers of John's gospel were obviously Greeks - hence the three "being translated' references in the short passage above.]
Here we see networks of faith in operation. John the Baptist's network starts intersecting with Jesus' network, which in turn grows as people tell each other about the Messiah. One of the keys to successful evangelism is to share the faith with people who are active networkers or who belong to large networks of friends. It is often the "bubbly" attractive student who comes to Christ that leads many fellow students to the Lord! Andrew was such a networker - whenever we see him in action he is introducing people to Jesus.
Another key is the "recommendation". John the Baptist gives the strongest possible recommendation to Jesus: "Behold the Lamb of God" and it is on the basis of this recommendation that Andrew and his friend (probably John the apostle) go to meet Jesus. A strong recommendation by a prominent personality can lift a crusade or a church to success.
We also see "hospitality" in action. Jesus accepts two keen young learners into His house, and then meets their friend Simon - who he then names Peter. Jesus eats with people, stays with people and allows them to know Him. He did not just send tracts in the mail; he became personally available as the incarnate Word. The gospel is something more than knowledge; it is a spiritual lifestyle that can be lived out in front of people.
Note that the disciples sought out Jesus, they were keen spiritual learners who had followed John the Baptist out into the wilderness, who had repented of their sins, been baptized and were awaiting the Kingdom of God. These were spiritually prepared for becoming disciples of Jesus and were hungry for the teaching of the Christ.
These were "other-worldly" people, who could go to a friend and say "we have found the Messiah' and not be laughed away. They were not hard-headed pragmatists looking for "the bottom line" or chasing political power, they were heavenly-minded people seeking God - and so they found Jesus.
We need to be a lot more heavenly-minded. We need to be really, really hungry for the things of God and "crazy enough" to go out into the wilderness to hear a prophet - or to go and stay overnight with someone that you think may be the Messiah.
Many want God on an intravenous drip. They want to lie in bed and have spirituality injected into them like Botox. They don't want to bother reading the book, give them the DVD instead!
But God is after seekers, after those who will suffer and pray and groan and travail to know Him. God wants people who will drop their fishing nets, or leave their tax-booths or climb a sycamore tree or yell out embarrassingly in a crowd just to know Him.
There is a terrible, terrible selfishness in much modern spirituality. God is expected to play to market expectations and to "suit" the seeker, to accommodate to their whims and play the music they enjoy and to be convenient about His demands. This is NOT the spirituality of the prophets or of the disciples of Jesus who sold all to pursue the Pearl of Great Price. After all it is us that need to be saved, not God.
Jesus takes one look at Simon and tells him that he will be called Peter - or a "stone". In Matthew he adds "and upon this Rock will I build by Church". Peter was by no means a Rock at this point and until Pentecost Peter would be rash and impulsive, only afterwards finding his strength under the power of the anointing. Jesus sees Peter, as he would be when he was filled with the Holy Spirit, He saw Peter as someone who could be totally filled with God and do amazing miracles and lead His Church.
This is the way God sees people - in terms of their capacity for Himself.
Many pastors can preach a "better sermon" (in technical terms) than Billy Graham but few if any have a greater anointing. It is the anointing that makes the man or woman of God, though the training is also useful and can be taken up by God as part of the person. What matters is our capacity for God and our death to self and our zeal for heavenly things.
Peter made many mistakes, some serious, but he was a "big" person, soft, forgiving and large of heart and knew how to bounce back and restore the relationship. God can do more with a large person who makes a few mistakes than with a small-minded person who never puts a foot wrong.
What is your capacity for God? Are you seriously seeking Him?
Blessings in Jesus,