Andrew Brought His Own Brother To Jesus (Jn. 1:41)

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1 Andrew Brought His Own Brother To Jesus (Jn. 1:41) Our Sunday School prize-giving days used to be something we looked forward to as children. There was a lot of hard work put into them We had to learn poems, memory verses, new hymns and choruses and we had to be on our best behaviour, up at the front of the church. Some of us can remember when there used to be over a hundred children in the Sunday Schools! I used to nearly always get books about missionaries as my prize, and if you would have asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have told you I wanted to be a missionary. Early on, though, one of the lessons we were taught was that training for the mission field started on our own doorstep. Africa, India, South America, the islands of the Pacific Ocean were places that needed to hear the Gospel but the training for the mission field, - wherever it would be, - began at home. And so, from a young age we used to go round putting tracts through the doors. However, Andrew teaches us that our mission field begins even closer than that! John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. 30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. 31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. 32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. 33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. 34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. 35 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; 36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! 37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? 39 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. 40 One of the two which heard John [speak], and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. 41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. 42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone. Andrew was a fisherman by trade. He came from a town, slightly inland to the north of the Sea of Galilee called Bethsaida ( house of fishing ). Along with another fisherman, John, he began to follow John the Baptist. John the Baptist was preaching away to the south, and out to the east from Jerusalem. He was preaching a very distinctive message at a time of great expectancy.

2 2 In those days, the Roman Empire was in control of the land of Israel. In 166 BC there had been an uprising led by a Jewish family known as the Maccabees. They were successful to a point, but Rome had too great an army for a local guerrilla group to overcome. Nevertheless, though, the aspiration of once again establishing a Jewish land under their own rule was to the fore. And along came this charismatic figure of John the Baptist. He had his own peculiar appearance that defied the norm (Mt. 3:4 his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey) and his message was like nothing you would have heard spoken in the temple or in the synagogues. In fact, the people of his day found it difficult to characterise him. So, a delegation of Jewish leaders came down from Jerusalem to Bethabara (v.28), on the banks of the River Jordan, with the question everyone wanted an answer to, Who art thou? (Jn. 1:19). There was a slight indication in the manner by which they asked the question that perhaps they thought he might have been the Messiah! However, John dashed their hopes, I am not the Christ (v.20). And so they enquired further, v.21 What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. You see, there was such an air of expectancy concerning a coming Messiah and they persisted, v.22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? At that point John the Baptist quoted to them from the Old Testament prophet Isaiah, Is. 40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. He was actually quoting from a passage that, - in the next breath, - went on to herald a great announcement relating to the second coming of the Messiah, v.4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: 5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see [it] together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken [it]. And that is an important theme to keep in mind, but John the Baptist only found it necessary, - for the occasion of the visit of this delegation of Jewish leaders, - to quote the opening words of this passage in Isaiah, The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Now, obviously this didn t help the Pharisees any. Actually it raised more questions than it answered! Sometimes too much learning can be a hindrance especially if what you have been taught is incorrect and what they had been taught in Jerusalem was the result of men s conjectures and theories.

3 3 The teachers at whose feet they sat had taught them a garbled understanding of the concept of a Messiah. As far as they were concerned the Messiah was going to be mighty in battle, and his victories would re-establish the nation under Jewish authority. He would be a Davidic figure harking back to the good old days one thousand years earlier! So, when the eccentric John the Baptist scuppered any notion he was the Messiah, the Pharisees then felt they were on safe ground to come down on him and treat him with contempt, v.25 Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet? Well, John the Baptist had the wisdom not to get into a deep conversation with these people for it would have taken him away from what the Lord had him there to do so he answered them, v.26 I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; 27 He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me [Geneva Bible, He it is that cometh after me, which was before me], whose shoe's latchet [straps] I am not worthy to unloose. All this time Andrew was standing nearby for he was a disciple of John the Baptist and he hungered for the truth. Just as John the Baptist had quoted to the Pharisees from Isaiah chapter forty, he also would have taught his disciples from morning to evening about these things. John the Baptist s purpose in life was to speak about Jesus even before the world knew Who Jesus was. Let s go back about thirty years to the temple in Jerusalem. There was a priest carrying out his duties in the temple, and his name was Zacharias. To him an angel came and announced regarding his barren and childless wife, now fairlywell on in years, Lk. 1:13 thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. 14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. 15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. 16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. At first, Zacharias was highly sceptical and found the angel s words difficult to believe. Nonetheless, his wife became pregnant and then there was the occasion when Mary came to her home and greeted her. At that point the baby in Elizabeth s womb leapt and she was filled with the Holy Ghost (v.41). Then, she began to announce concerning the Baby in Mary s womb, v.42 Blessed [art] thou among women, and blessed [is] the fruit of thy womb.

4 4 Even before John was born, he was already involved in presenting Christ even before He was born! And that was John the Baptist s purpose And it was also the purpose of those who would later follow him, of whom Andrew was one. In the will of God, Andrew had heard John the Baptist s message and came from Galilee in the north to Judea (cf. Lk. 1:39,40) to be actively involved in presenting that message. The Scriptures don t say how large or how small a band followed John the Baptist but they tell us Andrew followed him. He had come all the way down from his home in Bethsaida such was the burden God had placed upon his soul to discover Jesus and Andrew shared the message of the coming Messiah, as he stood at the side of John the Baptist. Then, a very special day arrived that changed Andrew s life forever. Along the bank of the River Jordan Andrew was standing with John the Baptist who was crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord. And coming towards them was the Lord Jesus Himself! How wonderful it will be when the Lord comes again the second time and He finds His people faithfully telling others about Him! We are not here to serve any other agenda than preaching Christ! Anything else detracts from that purpose for which He saved us. John the Baptist, and those with him, were presenting the good news of the first coming of the Messiah. And when the Messiah came, He found them faithful in His service, - that is how I trust Christ will find us when He bursts through the clouds and comes once again to this earth for the second time! As Jesus came closer, John the Baptist directed everyone s gaze to Him, Jn. 1:29 Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. 30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. In a sense, John the Baptist was saying what Jesus would later tell the Pharisees, Before Abraham was, I am (Jn. 8:48) The eternality of the Son of God. On the next day, - the day following, - John was standing on the banks of the river again, and he said to his two disciples, - Andrew and John (cf. v.40), - v.36 Behold the Lamb of God! At this point, v.37 the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. That was the greatest day in their lives the day that changed their lives forever! In His sovereign will, God had taken Andrew from the northern shores of the Sea of Galilee down to where it almost runs into the northern end of the Dead Sea and that was where he had his meeting with Christ.

5 5 Isn t it true that sometimes the Lord takes us round the long way for His purposes to be seen to be achieved in us. Sometimes we wonder what is happening why certain things take place, and why He has taken us out of our familiar comfort zones but God has a purpose in everything He does, and it is always for His glory and our good. Andrew was entering the service of the Master. Notice this though John the disciple and author of this Gospel makes a point of recording about Andrew, v.41 He first findeth his own brother Simon. Yes, it is significant that as soon as Andrew found Christ, he also went out to find his brother. He wanted someone as close as his brother to meet Jesus too. What Andrew had found for himself, he wanted to share. You see, when the Lord saves you and when you come to know Him as Saviour and Lord, you want others to know Him too. Even the woman of Samaria could hardly wait to set her waterpot down, that she went into the city of Sychar with the announcement so that she could tell everyone else, Jn. 4:29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? That s what Andrew did when he went out to first find his own brother. Surely the clear lesson is that the greatest burden for the salvation of souls is the salvation of our own loved ones. Yes, the whole world needs to be saved but the place to start is in our homes and among our own families. Andrew did well to start with his brother! The Lord might never call you to serve Him in some foreign country or even behind a pulpit... but there is a work for you to do for Him at home and especially in your own home. Each of us has loved ones who do not know Him. As they are at the moment they are heading into a lost eternity in Hell. If they are strangers to grace they are not on the road to Heaven. Here is a very personal lesson about two brothers One of them called Andrew made it his priority to find his own brother and he brought him to Jesus (v.41). But we are not finished yet! When Andrew brought his brother Simon to Jesus, Jesus said to him, v.42 Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone. And never could Andrew have foreseen the contribution to the Church and to Jesus his brother Peter would give! Without being unfair to Andrew, Simon Peter achieved far more for the Lord. It was Peter the Lord used in a mighty way on the Day of Pentecost and what came afterwards and yet it was Andrew who first findeth his own brother Simon 42 And he brought him to Jesus.

6 6 You may consider yourself deficient, - to some degree, - in what you have done for the Lord and yet, you may have been the means, - or may still become the means, - through which Christ might draw someone whom He will use mightily in His service. We are not all called to be up at the front but we are all called to serve. The capacity to which we are called to serve consists of the opportunities God in His sovereign will opens up before us. Yes, it was Peter who stood on the Day of Pentecost and preached faithfully Christ to those thousands of people but standing behind him was the brother who had brought him to the Saviour. The Lord might use you to only speak a simple word even to a child, and yet in that child, - said Spurgeon, - there may be slumbering a noble heart which shall stir the Christian church in years to come. And remember how, - sometime later, - it was Andrew who introduced the young boy to Jesus on the hills of Galilee when the great multitudes were in need of food. Andrew brought him to the Saviour, Jn. 6:9 There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes and with that meagre contribution the Lord fed the thousands who were gathered there. On another occasion a number of Greek Gentiles came to Philip, who brought them to Andrew and their message was, Jn. 12:21 Sir, we would see Jesus. When Jesus began to speak about His return to this earth, He was sitting with Peter and James and John and Andrew on the Mount of Olives overlooking the temple (Mk. 13:3). And then, after the crucifixion and the resurrection, and after Jesus had gloriously ascended to Heaven, the disciples went up into an upper room and there once again was Andrew (Acts 1:13). God has more Andrews than Peters. He has more people in the background and He has us there for a purpose. Andrew he first findeth his own brother. May the Lord lay the burden of our own loved ones outside of Christ heavily upon our hearts, so that we may have the privilege of bringing them to Christ also! Amen.

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