Summary: When it comes to being disciples we can fall into the trap of thinking that we have to be an upfront person otherwise we cannot be effective witnesses. The example of Andrew demonstrates that such is not the case.
Andrew – always on the lookout
Have you noticed that there are many “lists” available for living successfully in this world?
• Here are the 12 steps for those who are struggling with debt.
• Recently I was emailed a list of “36 habits to reduce stress”.
• Then there are the lists available for those who are addicted to computers.
And the lists go on. Ways to make friends. Ways to improve your love life. Ways to increase finances. Ways to lose weight.
But there is one thing about these lists that is common to all of them …
… probably there are several items we are not doing.
… and we may find that a re-commitment is in order.
… but often these lists don’t tell us much that is really new.
You know what. That is how it can be in the Christian life as well. We do grow – but when it comes to the basic issues of following the call of God, we learn very early on what we are basically supposed to be doing.
Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of the basics. That is what we are going to see today. We are going to be reminded of the spiritual matters which need to regain our priorities. And the disciple who is going to show us that is Andrew.
Who is Andrew?
Mark 1:16 tells us that Andrew was the brother of Peter. At the time when Jesus found them they were living in the same house in Capernaum ... Mark 1:21 tells us that. We also know that Andrew became a disciple of Jesus. Apart from these issues we don’t know much else except what we are told in two passages of Scripture. Let’s read them.
You can see why Andrew makes a good disciple of Jesus. It’s because when we first meet Andrew, he is already a disciple of John the Baptist.
• (vs.35) the next day John was there with two of his disciples.
• (vs.37) the two disciples followed Jesus.
• (vs.40) Andrew … was one of the two … who had followed Jesus.
Andrew was thrilled by the voice and the personality of the stern and fiery prophet John who ate honey and locusts. Andrew was also eagerly waiting for the One of whom John always spoke. The wait stops when John sees Jesus and proclaims Look, the Lamb of God.
You don’t need to be a Christian for too long before you hear Jesus described as The Lamb of God. So it might come as a real surprise to discover that this phrase The Lamb of God is only used twice in Scripture. Here and verse 29.
The Lamb of God. It is not a very common description which the Bible uses of Jesus – but it is a description which powerfully portrays who Jesus is. You see Lamb picks up on the OT sacrificial system where lambs by the thousands, by the millions, were slaughtered and sacrificed to cover the debt of sin. And John is saying,
"There is a new Lamb in town. The Ultimate Lamb. The Supreme Lamb. The One Lamb who can fully take away the sin of the world. No other sacrifice ever needs to be made. The Lamb is on the scene and that means our sins can be completely forgiven”.
The Lamb of God.
The Lamb who took on human flesh.
The Lamb who washes us totally clean.
The Lamb who makes us realise that we cannot save ourselves.
We go through life and it is difficult. We have had global tragedies. We have had personal tragedies. There are times when we feel boxed into a corner and we have our heads in our hands and we’re saying, "This stuff is going to win. I can't beat it. I can't defeat it". And you’re right. On your own you won’t … you can’t. But with the Lamb anything is possible.
The day after the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union collapsed, a sign appeared in the churchyard of a small church in Prague, Czechoslovakia. The sign simply said:- "The Lamb Wins."
That is the glorious Gospel Truth. The Lamb Wins.
The Lamb who can defeat those things in your life … the Lamb who compels us to follow as His disciple. Andrew was compelled … and he followed.
Now here is the challenge for us ... in fact it is the challenge that all people who are confronted by Jesus have.
Why is it that we are sometimes so reluctant to follow, and keep following, when we know so much about who Jesus is and what Jesus has done?
Andrew has one phrase ... the Lamb of God. In contrast we have the whole story.