Everyone wants to be ‘first’ in line! Later on we see how the disciples were arguing over who would be the greatest (Luke 9:46-50). Now this doesn’t and shouldn’t surprise us, that brethren argue… but it was ‘kinda’ embarrassing because Jesus knew what they were thinking and ‘discussing’. Then Jesus uses an example of a child, and had the child stand in front of Him, and said, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.” Yes, everyone wants to be first…
Now we are not dealing with this attitude which later developed among the disciples… we are dealing with Andrew… the one mentioned by John, who happens to be the first disciple of Jesus.
John the baptizer is of course the one who points others to Jesus. John says, “I must decrease… he must increase.” In other words… “Leave me and follow HIM!” His disciples did just that (vs. 35-37a).
Jesus turns around and sees them following and asks them this question… “What do you want?” (“What are you looking for?”) They answer him and say, “Where are you staying?” Now there is no indication that Jesus turned them away! He welcomed them, as He always does with everyone who wishes to follow Him. He will later say that he is “the way, the truth and the life” and that “no man can come to the Father” but thru him (John 14:6). He is the door to the Father, or if that is too big to ‘grab’, He is a good door knob… just open the door! The Saducees were busy looking for places of power, while the Pharisees were looking for some minor point of Law to trap Jesus on… The majority of the people were, just looking for peace with God. Jesus is always the key!
What am I looking for? A personal, intimate, relationship with God. This is a very timely lesson since mankind is looking today for this same personal relationship which people back then were seeking. Jesus is ‘The Rabbi’, The Teacher, The Great One… but as great as He is, He still cares for you and I individually.
John could look back and remember the exact moment (month/day/year/second) when he met this Jesus… He could tell you exactly where it was that he stood (on the road or in the river) when he met this Jesus. This was the impact of Jesus, the Lamb of God.
1. ANDREW – Simon Peter’s brother. Andrew shows us the glory of the ordinary. He was just a disciple, a follower, a learner of John. Yet when he started following Jesus, things changed. Immediately, he went and found his brother Simon, and brought him to Jesus.
“Hey Simon! We have found the Messiah! You just have to come and meet him!” Now i don’t know what else Andrew said, but I can imagine he was pretty excited. Wouldn’t you do the same?!
Now not much is said of Andrew, he was just ordinary… right? What we do know if he brought someone to Jesus, who would later be part of changing the world!!!
2. PETER – Notice a brief look at his life.
John 1:42 And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).
Matthew 16:15-19 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.
18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Matthew 26:72-75 He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!”
73 After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.”
74 Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed.
75 Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Acts 2:14 “Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.”
1 Peter 5:1-5 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed:
2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve;
3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.
4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
5 In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
I Peter 5:10 “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”
Peter, ‘the legend’ is just a man. Read now John 13:1-17
1 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus.
3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;
4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.
5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.”
11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them.
13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.
14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.
15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.
16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.
17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them
Peter learned, made mistakes, walked, sank, denied, confessed, spoke up… grew in grace… and gave himself to Jesus, The Son of God! Jesus had transformed him and like Paul, by the grace of God, Peter was what he was. Later, tradition says Peter refused to be crucified as Jesus was, and insisted on being crucified upside down. Whether this is true or not… Peter had once for all, given his life to Jesus. (The one Andrew brought to Jesus!)
3. PHILLIP (John 1:43-44) He is found by Jesus, and begins his life of following the Master. He becomes a disciple.
4. NATHANAEL (John 1:44-51) Thus as in a ‘multi-level marketing businesses, each one finds one or two, and they find one or two and so on! Early disciples found others and brought them to Jesus. Nathanael is different in his response to the ‘call’. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” To this Phillip just says, “Come and see!” There was no reprimand regarding prejudice or racism… just “come and see for yourself!” sometimes this is the best way.
“BEHOLD I STAND AT THE DOOR AND KNOCK….” Jesus is still looking for followers. Understand that all who followed and follow Jesus, are simply people who are tired of their sins, and want peace and a relationship with God.
David sinned with Bathsheba (and lots of other times) but found forgiveness (Psalm 32; 51). Abraham was a sinner who lied, but he was considered righteous by God because of his faith, (Romans 4:6-8). Now, as then, and as always, Jesus stands at the door of your heart and asks to be let in.. This is an invitation to meet, greet, and know Him… and the Father.
Three thousand responded to the same invite in Acts 2, by repenting of sins, and being immersed for the remission of sins… Forgiveness was theirs… so was the gift of the Holy Spirit…
Who cares about being first or last to follow Jesus! Follow him and never look back! It’s worth it!!!
Next: The Wedding Feast