John 1:35-42, NIV

35The next day John was there again with two of his disciples.
36When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God!"
37When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus.

38Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, "What do
you want?" They said, "Rabbi" (Teacher), "where are you staying?"
39"Come," he replied, "and you will see." So they went and saw
where he was staying, and spent that day with him. It was about
the tenth hour.

40Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of the two who heard
what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41The first thing
Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, "We have
found the Messiah" (that is, the Christ). 42And 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).



November 10, 2010
Big changes are in the works. The ministry of John the Baptist will start
to fade. Jesus is now ready to begin.

There's also a whole lot of looking and seeing and naming in this text.
The Lamb of God--that was the Baptist's name for Jesus. The would-be
followers addressed him as Rabbi. Later when talking to his brother,
Andrew called Jesus the Messiah. And finally, Jesus looked at Simon
and immediately renamed him Peter, which means rock.

"Look! The Lamb of God." In Jewish culture at the time, everyone knew
that the more perfect the lamb, the more certain it was to be "presented
to the Lord." Sacrificial lambs had to be without spot or blemish. And
what could be more perfect than God's Lamb! Could John possibly have
envisioned that Jesus would be offered up for the sins of the world? Did
he accurately foresee the sacrifice Jesus would make, and his death
turned into victory?

Maybe John's words were a note of caution, saying in effect to anyone
who might consider following Jesus--if you can't take the heat, don't
jump into the frying pan. But of course, on a bright sunny day, words
of warning are thrust aside. We know what it's like to be pumped up
and ready for anything. So it was that Andrew and his unnamed
buddy left the Baptist and started down the road. They didn't have
to know where they were going. They were following Jesus.


 

                                                                            More journal entries


March 26, 1982

The Baptist did not follow Jesus but two of his disciples did. John was
losing his disciples to Jesus, and he gave them his blessing--I like that.
Were these two disciples the first to begin to believe in Jesus, before it was
the popular thing to do? That's hard. There must have been some doubts
but they acted anyway. Like the attitude, "This may be crazy, but . . . ."
I admire people with guts, with the courage to go first and test the waters.
Could the unnamed disciple have been John, the gospel writer?

Look-- the lamb of God! They checked it out and stayed the night. That's
the kind of people Jesus needs, people who don't have to know everything
before they follow him, or have all their questions satisfied. People who
can accept the testimony of a trusted friend, and don't need a reasonable
explanation to give to others. People who are not so concerned with what
others think that they can't act on their own; who follow their hearts and
trust their feelings; who can leave the good life behind and pursue a
dream/vision; who forsake security to take on a risk. People who believe
that God can work right now, and right here in my life.


November 7, 2010
The concept of Jesus as the Lamb of God was revolutionary, not only in
the sense that a man would be sacrificed, but that it would be a once and
done sacrifice never having to be repeated again.

Death was hanging over the head of Jesus from the beginning. He knew
he was going to die; John the Baptist had told him so.


March 27, 1982

Jesus had not extended them an invitation. These two disciples of John took
the initiative and followed Jesus of their own accord. Their actions were
rewarded-Jesus turned, looked at them and invited them to come and see.

When we take the initiative in seeking God's presence in our lives, he will
respond and speak to us. He may ignore our requests for awhile to test the
sincerity of our desires, but if we persist he will respond. Sounds like a
good lesson in prayer.


March 29, 1982
The exchange between Jesus and these two really speaks to me.
       
His question--What do you want?
       
My answer--Lord, who are you?
       
His response--Come and see.
The answer to my prayer involves a process. Enlist and you will find out.
Come, follow me and you will discover who I am. It's an invitation to a
journey of faith, trusting my life to his loving care.


March 30, 1982

Andrew is a favorite disciple of mine, and the one I would most want to
emulate. Andrew was known as Simon Peter's brother. Not one of the inner
circle, yet the disciple most often approached by people who wanted to
met Jesus. Andrew took down the "No Trespassing" signs and instead
created the message "Everybody Welcome." Not a big wheel, just a spoke
content to do what he does best.

In John's Gospel, Andrew was Jesus' first disciple and he followed on his
own initiative. This sounds different than what the synoptic Gospels record,
but it could be the same story just told from a different perspective.

Andrew's identity was tied closely to his loud-mouthed and quick-tempered
brother. If you are constantly introduced as someone's son, or someone's
wife, etc., then you understand how Andrew probably felt.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his Letters from Prison wrote something to the effect
that, we are not really individuals; our center is outside ourselves because
others are so much a part of our lives.

So instead of feeling robbed of our own identity and diminished by our
associations with others, it would serve us better to believe our lives are
enhanced in the way that we complete each other.

I like to think of myself as God's child and that certainly doesn't subtract,
but add, to my identity. Freedom, like love, does not bind. It doesn't have to
because it has magnetic powers.


March 31, 1982

For Andrew, finding Jesus was too much of a good thing to keep to himself.
He took immediate action. Andrew doesn't seem to think too deeply about
something before he acts. He does things right away, and he was persuasive
enough to convince Simon to come and see, also.

How exciting it must have been to think God is really working right here in
our own neighborhood, right now. First John the Baptist, then Jesus. Lots of
ferment in the air and wondering what would happen next. Those were good
days and I'm sure when the emotions settled from time to time, Andrew
thought back and remembered those first few days with Jesus.


April 1, 1982
Andrew didn't get a new name, but Simon did. I wonder why? I guess Peter
needed a new identity and Andrew didn't. Right from the start it seems
like Jesus favored Peter over Andrew. Did Andrew feel unappreciated,
overlooked, left out, passed over, second-rate, inferior, diminished? Hope
he was content to be himself instead of comparing himself to Peter.

How hard it is to appreciate ourselves and thank God without any
complaints, for the way he made us, and for the jobs we can do well even
though our associates are doing greater things. How hard it is to keep our
eyes on the goal and not be distracted by inequities, to keep our eyes on
God and not on the success and failures of those around us. How easy it is
to complain, gripe, gossip, tear down, and make excuses. How difficult it
is to be grateful, faithful and cheerful.

Father, help me more and more to appreciate the person I am, the way you
have made me. Help me decide to be grateful for the gifts you have given me, faithful in exercising them and cheerful in doing so.


November 6, 200l

It's interesting that that John's Gospel doesn't record any conversation
between the Baptist and Jesus. John spoke about Jesus--Look, the Lamb
of God. Look means open your eyes! In this instance, eyes of faith because
anyone looking at Jesus would simply see a man. The Baptist was with two
of his disciples when he said this and they thought it a logical action to
leave John and follow Jesus.

Jesus asked them what they wanted? They wanted to know all about Jesus.
For starters--where are you staying? Does that mean, with whom are you
associating? Or, we want to know where to find you, or where do you come
from?

Jesus said, "Come and see." Come with open eyes. Come is an invitation;
you may check me out. The text doesn't give a clue who Jesus was staying
with or where, other then they walked to their destination and got there
by evening.

The first thing Andrew did was to bring his brother Simon to Jesus. Jesus
latched on to Peter immediately, giving him a new name, one that must
have sounded odd to anyone who knew Peter. Peter the disciple was
anything but a Rock. He displayed emotions that were all over the place.
That's what we observe as we read all four Gospels. But Jesus looked
at Simon and saw something vastly different. Jesus saw a rock. If ever
there was a work in process, it was Simon Peter. His name became a
"self-fulfilling prophecy". Perception affects behavior which determines destiny.

Andrew who discovered Jesus first will forever be overshadowed and come
in second to his brother. And would Peter have become one of the twelve
disciples if Andrew not walked down that road uninvited after Jesus?


November 9, 2010
Jesus must have had a lot of charisma. Andrew calls him the Messiah as
soon as he spends a few hours with him. Not after he performs some
miracles or walks on water, but immediately upon meeting Jesus. Maybe Andrew was just agreeing with the Baptist. Or maybe the beautiful
qualities and possibilities of God just emanated outward and permeated
the air they breathed.

The people of Jesus' day were looking for a Messiah, one who would make
life better again for their nation. What are we looking for? In America we
just had an election which expressed our desire to find legislators who
would make life better for our nation. Whether it's the year 30 or 2010,
we have the same longing!

Did the Messiah make any difference? Our elections don't seem to. Is the
world better off with Christianity? Some would disagree, some disagree
violently by attacking Christians. However, the victory of God's Lamb is not
political. The battle Jesus fought cannot be won or lost by warring armies.
The reign of Christ is internal, in the hearts and minds of his followers.
And the world is a better place only as those who claim his name believe
what he said and put his teachings into practice. "Come and see" is the
first part; "Go and do" completes the circle.

And so 2000 years after our Messiah came to the rescue, we still ponder
his life. We long for his peace. We quote his words. We confess our sins
and ask him to wash us clean in his life-giving blood. We accept the
hand of our brother and try to honor Jesus with our lives. Some create
a patch of heaven on earth. Others insist on raising hell. And through
it all we hang onto the hope that someday, somehow, wrongs will be
righted, light will overcome our darkness, and the beautiful qualities
and possibilities of God will permeate the air we breathe.

 

From "The Fax of Life", dated Oct 05, 1998.

I suppose you've heard by now that Joe Miller died on September 3.
What? You don't know who he is? You've never even heard of him?
Neither had I -- until I read his four-column obituary in the New York
Times of September 27, 1998.

Mr. Miller was 95 at his death and had a brilliant business career.
After earning a master's degree in chemical engineering from Yale
and working for du Pont, he started his own industrial paint company.
The Pyrolac Corporation made him a wealthy man.

According to his obituary, Miller "made a fortune" with a protective
coating for bathroom fixtures. Then he "made an even larger fortune"
by developing a metallic paint that allowed the American automobile
industry to make cars available to consumers in a rainbow of colors
other than black. He also created a heat-resistant coating that protected
the Apollo spacecraft on trips to the moon.

Quite an impressive career, right? But none of these things from his
resume was responsible for the obituary -- complete with a 4" x 6"
photo -- in the Times. Here was the headline: "Joe Miller, Who Did
His Part For Baseball, Is Dead at 95." Baseball?

In high school, the sport Joe Miller loved above all others was baseball.
And he had a big, strong friend at school who was skilled at soccer and football. The friend didn't want to play baseball. He resisted Miller's
pressure to take it up. When he finally did, however, he learned
quickly and soon outstripped his friend. He went on to have one of
the most fabled careers in baseball history. He played in 2,130
consecutive games -- a record that stood until Cal Ripken Jr. broke it
in 1995.

That's right. Joe Miller introduced Lou Gehrig to baseball! But chances
are that you had never heard of him until now. So what's the point?

How do you intend to "make your mark in the world"? Must you always
be out front and get credit? Are you threatened by people with more skill,
personality, or promise than yourself? Do you only want to support your
own achievements?

Your greatest contribution to the company, your church, or your world may
come in your unselfish development of another person. When Andrew
brought his more outgoing brother, Peter, to Jesus, he was destined to be
overshadowed by him. But maybe that was Andrew's greatest contribution
to the Kingdom of God. Thank God the world has its occasional Joe Miller
or Andrew!     -- (This is something I came across on-line. Author's name
not given/attached.)

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