Summary: It’s risky, but sharing faith with friends and families is the most important and effective way to bring people to Christ.
Introduction: Last week we studied Matthew’s account of the beginning of Jesus’ formal ministry when he was baptized by John the Baptist. Today we turn to the account of John the Gospel writer. The story begins with John the Baptist witnessing to Jesus as the “Lamb of God.” Two of John’s disciples respond by going to follow Jesus. Those two disciples were looking for the Messiah. What they didn’t know was that the Messiah was looking for them. In particular, pay attention of Andrew’s story. He presents a marvelous example of how to bring others to the Lord.
The next day, John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because He was before me.’ I myself did not know Him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that He might be revealed to Israel.” And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on Him. I myself did not know Him; but the One who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the One who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”
The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following, He said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying, and they remained with Him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon. One of the two who heard John speak and followed Him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Anointed). He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we come to You to be filled with Your Spirit that we might serve you. Help us to understand how to be Your servants through a deeper understanding of this story. Amen.
Last week when we talked about Jesus’ baptism, I had a story about baptism, but I couldn’t really find a good place to include it. Today, I’ve found the perfect place: right here!
There was a new Baptist pastor who began his ministry in a tiny town. It was his goal that every person in that town be baptized. As he walked down main street he came across a homeless man. He asked the man, “Do you know Jesus?” The man answered, “No.”
Next the pastor asked, “Do you want to be baptized?” The man said, “Okay. I’m not sure what that is, but I’ll try it.”
The pastor took the man to the river and pushed his head under the water. When he brought the man up, he asked, “Did you meet Jesus?” The homeless man said, “No.” The new pastor, thinking he had done something wrong, tried again. And again when he let the man up, he asked, “Did you meet Jesus?” The homeless man said, “No.”
Not to be put off, the young pastor tried one more time, holding the man’s head under the water for a really long time. When he let the man up, he asked, “Did you find Jesus?” The homeless man sputtered out, “No, are you sure this is where you lost Him?”
That’s what our sermon is about to day: “Where do we find Jesus?” Perhaps a more accurate question would be, “How do we find Jesus?” As we consider that question, we’re going to follow Andrew who not only finds Jesus, but shows us how to share Jesus with others.
For Andrew, finding Jesus begins with John the Baptist. Andrew was a follower of John; he trusted and respected John. Therefore, when John said that Jesus was the Lamb of God, Andrew left John to follow Jesus.
Andrew and his friend go to Jesus, who asked, “What are you looking for?” That’s a question that we all need to ask ourselves. That question is important enough for a sermon all by itself, but let me just suggested that later today you ask yourself that question, “What am I looking for?”
For now, we are going to stay with Andrew. When Jesus asked him the question, Andrew said, “Teacher, where are you staying?” Jesus answers with those great words, “Come and see!” I love that phrase. It makes me think of a child inviting someone to see his room. “Come and see!” is a delightful invitation, and Andrew takes up the invite. Andrew is ready to follow Jesus based on John the Baptist’s words. Andrew and his friend spend the day with Jesus, listening and learning from Him.