40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 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).John 1:40-42
Sometimes something happens at work, or I read something in the news, and I can’t wait to get home to share the news with my wife, Claire. I think the last time this happened was when I read news that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office was no longer advising against non-essential travel to the Canary Islands. We have no imminent plans to travel to the Canaries, but just the thought of flying to somewhere sunny, reading my book on the beach and swimming in the sea was enough to lift my spirits, and to excite me enough to want to pass this news on.
In John 1, two of John the Baptist’s disciples saw Jesus passing by. John told them that Jesus was “the Lamb of God,” and they were inspired to follow Jesus. In the passage above, John tells us that one of these two disciples was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. Andrew was lucky enough to spend the day with Jesus. This must have been a powerful and memorable experience for Andrew, because he immediately sought out his brother, Simon Peter, to tell him all about Jesus. He could not keep the news to himself, and was desperate to tell his brother all that he had seen and heard.
What’s more, Andrew has a real sense of the significance of Jesus. He doesn’t simply say to Simon Peter that he’s found an inspirational teacher. He tells his brother, “we have found the Messiah”!
The Messiah was God’s promised deliverer, who the Jewish people had been waiting for for thousands of years. They knew that the Messiah would one day come to liberate God’s people, to save them. For generations, Jews had been praying for the Messiah to come, hoping that he would arrive in their own lifetime.
And now Andrew is convinced that he had encountered the Messiah! I wonder what it was that Jesus said and did in those few hours to convince Andrew that he was God’s deliverer? Whatever it was, Andrew is overjoyed, deeply excited and desperate to share the news with his brother.
That was undoubtedly a significant moment, not just for Andrew and his brother, but for the whole of humanity. Simon, known as Peter, would go on to become one of the most significant figures in the early church, teaching and preaching throughout the known world, telling people about Jesus, writing some significant letters, and ensuring that Christ’s message of hope and salvation crossed the ages, and eventually found its way to us.
Do you feel as excited as Andrew when you encounter Jesus in scripture? Do you find yourself desperate to tell anyone who will listen that you have found the Messiah, God’s promised liberator who has saved humanity from our sins?
I wonder if you have considered the impact that you might have on others, and indeed the world, by sharing Jesus with those you know and love? Maybe you yourself will be a ‘Peter’ figure in the history of the Church. Or maybe someone you tell about Jesus will go on to play a prominent role in spreading the Gospel message around the world.