I’ve been studying the Gospel of John again. As I read the familiar text for the umpteenth time, something new jumped out at me. Andrew had been a disciple of John the Baptist. How had I missed that information before? Andrew had been more than just your average hard-working fisherman. Being a disciple of John the Baptist meant that Andrew had been a seeker. He’d been actively looking and listening for the coming Messiah. The Baptist he followed denied any claim that he was the one that they all hoped for, but instead preached words of repentance. “I am the voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’ ” John 1:23 He’d been urging to the Jews to prepare their hearts and minds for the arrival of the greatest love they would ever know. The One and Only they had waited for – the very Son of God was coming to embrace His beloved.
The scripture records that John was standing with two of his disciples when Jesus walked by them. (Andrew is named as one of the disciples and the other is most likely to have been John, the author of the Gospel.) John the Baptist had baptized Jesus the day before and had witnessed the sign of the Holy Spirit coming down from heaven as a dove resting on Jesus. So as Jesus passed by them on this day John pointed out to the two who were standing with him, “Look, the Lamb of God!”
After hearing this, Andrew and the other disciple pursued Jesus and ended up spending the day with him. And after investing some serious time with him Andrew knew he had found the Messiah. The scriptures record that after that revelation the first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon, tell him what he had discovered, and then bring him to Jesus.
As I take a closer look at Andrew’s actions I see a perfect plan for my own Christian witness. Prior to the beginning of Jesus’s earthly ministry, Andrew was closely following the most important religious leader of the time. In the same way, I must be actively looking for and listening to reliable Spirit-filled leaders to discern what God has to say. Searching beyond my own understanding and spending time with others like my pastor and spiritual mentors will help me gain new perspectives about what God is saying through the scriptures. Church attendance and Bible study fellowships are important times spent preparing my own heart for God.
Andrew spent concentrated time with Jesus. The Word records that when he went with Jesus to the place where he was staying it was the tenth hour – or about four o’clock in the afternoon. Since travel after dark was considered dangerous it is likely that they spent all evening together and probably stayed the night. Spending time with those who are learned in the Scriptures is important, but spending quality time alone with Jesus is the place where relationship is built. It is the place where I can confess my heart and inquire for understanding. It is the holy time where Jesus speaks to me and me alone. Without this time my spirit grows cold and the place in my heart that should be reserved for God begins to be filled with lesser things.
Having the knowledge that Jesus is my Savior is incredible news. Why would I ever want to keep that to myself? Once Andrew had been convicted that Jesus was indeed the Christ he wasted no time in sharing the news. John 1:42-43 tells us “The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him “We have found the Messiah” (that is the Christ.) And he brought him to Jesus.” Like Andrew I must seek out others and share the Gospel. Andrew began with the family member closest to him, his older brother Simon. From there his witness spread.
In my own life I have shared my love of Jesus with husband, my children and many close family members. Leading my family to Jesus and introducing them to the best friend they will ever have has been a blessing. Perhaps the hardest part has been realizing that they have the choice to accept or reject the truth. Most have accepted the truth wholeheartedly; others I am still praying for. In the end, it is not my responsibility to save them – Jesus is the only One who can do that. It is simply my responsibility to follow Andrew’s enthusiastic example to seek out my brothers (those I am related to and those I am not), offer the truth and bring them to Jesus. I can trust that He will do the rest.