Tuesday, January 24, 2012

John 1:35-42

There’s always something! Saturday morning I went to a fellowship with my Bible study group, and as my friend dropped me back home, I waved good-bye to her, then realized I was completely locked out of my house! Don was over at Molly’s house helping her with a project, and the neighbor who has our key wasn’t home. So I sat down on the steps in front of our house and turned on my cell phone, while I waited for Molly to come with a key. I saw I had a voicemail from my niece, Amanda. When I listened to it, I discovered that my sister, Susie, who lives in Florida, had been taken to the hospital that morning - something about memory loss. So I quickly made the call to my brother-in-law to find out the following:

Susie and her husband, Don (too many Don’s in our family) were going to pack him up for a trip he was to take Sunday morning. Susie went in to first do her makeup and hair, while Don got on his computer. Susie came in a few minutes later mumbling incoherently, having difficulty walking, then started vomiting! Don, who is a retired sheriff, knew what to do - he called 911 and the ambulance took her to the hospital. They did a CT scan and an MRI and various other tests, all showing no signs of a stroke and no blockage of the carotid artery. They don’t believe it was a TIA (mini-stroke)either. They are doing more tests today to rule out epilepsy, but we may never know what it was. She was back to normal before they admitted her, but has no memory of the event. She is exhausted, but we are all so grateful that there doesn’t seem to be anything life-threatening. However, it is frustrating to not know for sure. Please pray that the doctors will be able to give her some kind of answer that makes sense, and that there will be no more episodes! Ye gads!

Back to John:

In the last verses of John’s first chapter, he relates the calling of the disciples. In verses 35-42 we learn that one of the first disciples was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. Andrew had been a follower of John the Baptist, but John directed him to Jesus. In turn, Andrew was one of the disciples of Christ who brought others to Jesus, the first one being his own brother:

Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 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. (John 1:40-42)

Andrew couldn’t wait to tell his brother, Simon Peter! Jon Courson points out that, later, Andrew also brought to Jesus the young boy with the lunch that fed five thousand (John 6:8-9); and, with Philip, he brought a group of Greeks to meet Jesus in Jerusalem (John 12:20-22). We never know when we bring someone to Jesus what the impact will be. We just need to be willing to make the introduction, then we can leave the results to Jesus.

When Simon came to Jesus, he received his name change:

Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter). (vs. 42b)

I looked up the meaning of Simon - it means “he has heard.” Simon heard about Jesus from Andrew, but more importantly, Jesus heard the cry of Simon’s heart. He saw in Peter what no one else saw, and he changed his name on the spot to Cephas or Peter, which means “rock.” I like what Courson says about this:

“In changing Peter’s name, it’s as if Jesus said, ‘Simon, you’re about as stable as the sand on the seashore. But I see your potential; I see what you will become. That’s why I’m changing your name to Cephas, or Rock. Stick with Me, Peter, and you will see incredible changes take place in your person.” (Courson’s Apllication Commentary:New Testament, P. 442).

No one stays the same after meeting Jesus! Have you thanked Him recently for the changes He has made in you? The exciting part is that God is the one Who does the work in us. And God finishes what He starts. Unlike us, He does not leave projects half done. Paul assured the Philippians that God would complete what He had begun in their lives (Phil 1:6), and He will do that for us!

Tomorrow we will see Jesus pick up two more disciples as we complete chapter 1.


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