John 1:35-42, 6:5-10
INTRODUCTION… THE GUY WE TALK ABOUT TODAY (p)
We are going to talk about a special guy from the Bible today…
If he were a Harlem Globetrotter, he’d be Walter “Toots” Wright.
If he were a Star Wars movie, he’d be “A New Hope.”
If he were a Nintendo game, he’d be Hogan’s Alley.
If he were an astronaut, he’d be John Glenn.
If he were an NHL team, he’d be the Detroit Redwings.
If he were an MLB team, he’d be the Pittsburg Pirates.
If he were an NFL team, he’d be the Green Bay Acme Packers.
If he were a breakfast cereal, he’d be Elijah’s Manna.
What I mean by these silly examples is that this guy is an original. The guy we will focus on today was one of the original followers of Jesus Christ. He’s one of the core 12 followers who became Apostles and he is part of the inner circle. He is brother to the leader of the group. Andrew is one of the first Christians. In fact, in the Orthodox Church Andrew is referred to as “the First-Called.” What a cool nick-name!
We are going to spend time in John 1 this morning and also John 6 a little later.
What do we read about Andrew in the Scriptures?
What does Andrew’s life in Christ teach us?
READ JOHN 1:35-42
35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God!" 37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, "What do you want?" They said, "Rabbi" (which means 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. 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).
SPEND TIME WITH JESUS THE RABBI
One of the first lessons we learn from the life of Andrew and his interactions with Jesus is that we need to spend time with Jesus the Rabbi. Andrew hears John the Baptist point out that Jesus is the “Lamb of God.” Andrew decides to listen to the prophet and follow the One John the Baptist was pointing out.
Immediately Andrew and the other person with him identify Jesus as “rabbi.”
RABBI... Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, page 1061
“Rabbi” is a word that means “teacher.” In our day, “rabbi” means the ordained spiritual leader of a Jewish congregation. In Jesus’ day, it was not so formal a title and was a term of dignity and respect given to distinguished individuals. The term is usually applied to Jesus in the Gospels, but in John 3:26 we see the followers of John the Baptist also call him “rabbi.” John the Baptist pointed out the greater rabbi and Andrew followed.
Jesus notices and asks them politely why they are stalking Him.
They spend time with Jesus the Rabbi. Verse 39 tells us that when Andrew found Jesus; he spent time with Him. This was not a few minutes, but based on the “tenth hour” mentioned in verse 39, we get the sense that these men spent the entire day with Jesus and perhaps even that evening. What were they doing that whole time? Listening. Asking questions. Playing pin the tail on the Roman soldier. Perhaps discussing things John the Baptist had been teaching and getting Jesus’ take on it. They probably ate a meal or two… you know Jesus’ cooking was… as my grandmother might have put it… divine.
Just so you are aware, spending time with Jesus is significant for the people who spend time with Him. Much later in the Book of Acts, the church is beginning to grow and faith in Jesus Christ is being preached. Peter and John were also Apostles and they were ministering and telling people about Jesus. The authorities questioned these men and wanted them to stop. They would not. Acts 4:13 says clearly, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”
Boom! These were ordinary men who spent time with Jesus and they were changed. Spending time with Jesus changes us. Spending time with Jesus makes us more like Him and makes us more loving, full of joy, committed to peace, patient, kind-hearted, seeking the good for people around us, faithful to God, gentle in our attitudes and word, and self-controlled.
Here’s the obvious question: Do you spend time with Jesus the Rabbi? The answer is either yes or no. There is no middle ground. Do you spend time with Jesus the Rabbi?
If your answer is “yes,” keep on! Dig in deep. Keep at it. Life is stressful and overwhelming and it is Christ Who is our anchor in this life.
If your answer is “no,” may I suggest not making excuses. There is no excuse that justifies us not spending time with God if we are a follower of Christ. Decide that we will make time in our lives.
* When you are tired, you stay up a little later to read your Bible.
* When you have a busy day at work or one at home, you spend car rides worshiping God with Christian radio or have the YouVersion App on your phone read chapters to you.
* Find a devotional that will send you an email each day or subscribe to something like ‘She Reads Truth’ or ‘He Reads Truth.’
* Get to church by 9:30am on Sundays for Sunday School.
* Get to church by 7:00pm on Wednesdays.
We can make up so many excuses, but none of them are good enough because our Savior is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He is worthy of all our devotion and all our love and all our thanks. The more we spend time with God the easier we will find it to be and the more like Him we will become.
ILLUSTRATION… 4 Rivers Smokehouse (p)
4 Rivers Smokehouse is a BBQ restaurant that you will find only in Florida and Georgia. I was introduced to 4 Rivers by a student in one of my public speaking classes that did a persuasive speech about why 4 Rivers was a great place to work. 4 Rivers was started by a man who cooked for his church and made it his business.
Soon, one opened up near my house and I went. 4 Rivers Smokehouse has the best BBQ I have ever eaten. 4 Rivers is to BBQ what Chick-Fila is to chicken. Great meats. Great sides. Great desserts. Great atmosphere. Great everything. Anyway, there is a great side-benefit from eating at 4 Rivers. Not only is there great food, but after you leave… you smell like BBQ. Spending time at 4 Rivers Smokehouse means you can sniff yourself later for a reminder of lunch or dinner.
In context to what we are talking about… do you smell like Jesus?
OUR FIRST RESPONSIBILITY IS OUR FAMILY
One of the other lessons we learn from the life of Andrew in this passage and his interactions with Jesus is that our first responsibility is to our family. When Andrew spent the day with Jesus and concluded that He was the Messiah, what was the first thing he did? Who did he go to? Where did his feet take him? Verse 41 tells us clearly, “the first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon.”
We are to be witnesses for Christ to everyone we meet. Yes!
We are to be witnesses for Christ to people we don’t even like. Yes!
We also are to be witnesses in the first mission field to which we are called… our families.
I realize that this is going to be a touchy subject and one that probably has a great deal of hurt with it because people have free will and things don’t always go the way we want. Some of you share your faith with husbands or wives or children or grandchildren on a regular basis and they have not accepted Christ. That is a heart-hurting situation because you know what they are missing out on. You love their soul and you know God loves their soul… they just need to love their soul too. Maybe you are the only Christian in your family. Maybe you are the one who’s not the Christian and you are here today just to get them to ‘hush’ until you have to come back at Easter.
I want to encourage you, my brothers and sisters, not to give up and to keep planting those seeds any way you can. Keep introducing the people you love the most to the Savior who loves them the most.
As believers, we want to always want to respond and treat our non-Christian family with love and in a God-honoring way:
Pray for them. It is no small thing to put God to work in the lives of family members who aren’t yet Christians. Keep bringing your in-laws, your children, your husband or wife… before the Lord and asking Him for wisdom about how you can touch their lives.
Beware of having a critical or judgmental attitude. Judging the behavior of non-Christian family is one of the surest ways to push them away from God and the Church. Listen, non-Christians are going to act like non-Christians… we should stop expecting them to act like Christians when they are not. We are called to love one another in John 13:34 and to win unbelievers by our gracious behavior and good works (1 Peter 2:12).
Be open and real about your own faith. The words of the apostle Peter are relevant here: “But in your heart set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15). It’s possible to be clear and candid about your values and principles while caring deeply for and being respectful to family that do not believe as you do.
I know it’s hard… keep being faithful! You do your part and let God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit do their parts. It is not our job to save anyone, but it is our job to introduce them to Christ.
GIVE JESUS WHAT YOU GOT
Another lesson we learn from the life of Andrew comes from John 6 and it is to “give Jesus what you got.”
READ John 6:5-10
When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward Him, He said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?" 6 He asked this only to test Him, for He already had in mind what He was going to do. 7 Philip answered Him, "Eight months' wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!" 8 Another of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up, 9 "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?" 10 Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them.
Crowds of people were always following Jesus. He was a dynamic teacher. He healed people. People rose from the dead at His word. Jesus challenged the traditions that people were held under and it was a sight to see. People followed Jesus for days and in the situation described in John 6, Jesus knew the crowds of people following needed food.
Jesus knew what He would do.
Philip rightly looks over the people and concludes that even if they had 8 months of salary that they could not provide for these people. It was an impossible situation. I am thinking that even if they did have 8 months’ wages stashed away that they would empty some town of all its food and cause a shortage somewhere else. This is an impossible problem with no solution.
In comes Andrew!
I laugh every time I read verse 9 because Andrew offers not his own lunch, but a boy’s lunch. It is one thing to offer your lunch, but dude… “I’ve been saving these fish sandwiches for myself and you want me to give them away?” Apparently the boy was willing so that makes it ok I think.
Andrew didn’t know the answer, but he gave what he had. Give Jesus what you got and let Him take the lead and see where He will go. I don’t know what situation you are facing in your life, but give Jesus what you got and let Him be God the rest of the way. Our God is able.
* He is able to save us and rescue us (Daniel 3:17)
* He is able to do what is right and is able to humble us (Daniel 4:37)
* He is able to make us stand in the midst of crisis (Romans 14:4)
* He is able to guard what we have entrusted to Him (2 Timothy 1:12)
* He is able to help those being tempted (Hebrews 2:18)
* He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and falling away (Hebrews 5:12)
* He is able to completely save those who come to God through Him (Hebrews 7:25)
Give Jesus what you got and let Him take the lead and see where He will go. I don’t know what situation you are facing in your life, but give Jesus what you got and let Him be God the rest of the way. Our God is able. Andrew did not know what Jesus would do, but based on his faith and experience he knew that whatever Jesus did with what they gave Him would be amazing!
CONCLUSION… THE GUY WE TALK ABOUT TODAY (p)
We have talked about a special guy from the Bible today… Andrew. Andrew was among the first, if not the first, believer in Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah.
If he were a candy bar, he’d be a Milkyway.
If he were a fast-food restaurant, he’d be White Castle.
If he were ice cream, he’d be cherry.
If he were a book, he’d be the Gutenberg Bible.
If he were a TV sports game, he’d be baseball between the Columbia Lions and Princeton Tigers.
More than remembering simply that Andrew was first, we should remember the lessons from his interactions with Jesus:
Spend time with Jesus the rabbi
Our first responsibility is our family
Give Jesus what you got
Before we conclude, I’d like to mention a passage of the Bible that happened after Jesus fed the 5000 people in John 6. In fact, the passage is still in chapter 6. People were in crowds following Jesus still, but the following became even more intense after Jesus fed them all with the boy’s lunch. If you do not believe in Jesus, keep this passage in mind…
READ John 6:26-29
Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, you are looking for Me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On Him God the Father has placed His seal of approval." 28 Then they asked Him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?" 29 Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent."
Please understand that we who gather here on Sundays to worship and hopefully be encouraged are people who worship a miracle-working God and we have hope in Jesus. Jesus is offering life that does not expire and is not empty, but endures and is eternal. This life spoils. Life is rotten without God. God approved Jesus to save us out from underneath the rottenness of life. In order to have access to this eternal life, you must believe in Jesus. It is a personal free-will choice that no one else can make for you. Faith is not inherited. Faith in God is not a work, but is faith in Jesus who already did the work of salvation. If you are here today and you do not believe in Jesus, ask someone you came with why they believe in Jesus. They want to tell you all about Jesus… trust me.
CONCLUSION IN PRAYER