Summary: Jesus' methods in selecting His followers.
THE METHODS OF THE MASTER
Int. When our Lord Jesus began His efforts to establish the Kingdom of God among men, He chose to do so by using methods that were completely different from the strategies that others have used down through history.
Everything that He taught as well as everything He did, was within the framework of an invisible reality, a God whom men had never seen, a habitation that could not be measured, and a power that has no limits. All this was set against an invisible and malignant being whom He called the devil.
To all who would follow Him, He simply issued an invitation. No one was embarrassed, or coerced or forced into becoming His disciple or His friend. He gave each one who heard Him a choice.
He promised that for each one who would serve in His Kingdom, he must be willing to sacrifice and possibly to suffer hardships, and his relation to Him must rise above all other earthly commitments.
Any other so-called leader of men would fail miserably if he chose to build a following in this way. And yet, the methods our Lord used have proved to be effective for some 2,000 years. Other kingdoms have come and gone, but the Church our Lord purchased with His blood still stands and will continue to stand!
In our text, we have an interesting account of how our Lord applied His methods in the lives of His first disciples.
I. In Andrew’s encounter with the Master, we find that Jesus made a Penetrating Inquiry
The New Testament is filled with spiritual things, but from time to time, we have some great stories>
A. The Unique Declaration John the Baptist Announced
When John said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”, he focused the attention of his hearers on Jesus as the basis for the divine forgiveness of sin and for the assurance that their repentance would be accepted. This prompted them to investigate who Jesus is. If Jesus were what John said, and if they were able to meet Him, they felt that Jesus could do for them what John, the Baptist could never do. John could awaken their sense of sin, but he had no power to remove it.
So, these two approached Jesus. We know that one is Andrew and more than likely, the other is John, the one who wrote this account of the Gospel since he never mentions himself by name in his account. When they chose to go to Jesus, this would prove to become a decisive act that would determine their destiny forever.
B. The Heart-searching Challenge in Jesus’ question
When Jesus saw them approaching, He asked, “What do you want?” His words were more than just a casual question, He was actually searching their hearts. It appears that He desired to stimulate their thinking and encourage their desire for further knowledge. He wanted to deepen their interest in spiritual things.
This question could be sounded to every person in the world, and only Jesus is in a position to ask it. Everyone wants something. The real question is, is what we ask for really what we want? Often Jesus asked questions, but not to gain information, but to awaken one’s true needs.
C. The Faith-based Interest Andrew Expressed
When they said, “Rabbi,” they were really saying “Master, where are you staying?” The use of the title Andrew used, gave expression to a sincere desire for a closer acquaintance with Jesus. This resulted in one of the highest privileges that a human being could possibly have, that being, the opportunity to spend an entire day in the presence of the living Son of God. This is an honor that is beyond equal. This encounter with Jesus aroused in these men a desire to share this new-found knowledge. Andrew went to find his brother Simon and bring him to meet Jesus.
The other disciple, remaining unnamed, but likely as not, was John, probably went to find his brother James. This is not included in the account since John obviously preferred to remain anonymous.
Andrew is indeed a remarkable individual. On three separate occasions in the New Testament, he is seen bringing someone to meet Jesus, his brother, the little boy with the loaves and fishes and the Greeks in John 12. What Andrew did sets an example for each one who meets Jesus. We need to share our knowledge with others.
II. In Simon’s encounter with the Master, we find that Jesus gave a Prophetic Insight
Andrew’s testimony to his brother shows that the hours he had spent with Jesus must have been related to the hopes that Jews had held for hundreds of years, concerning the Messiah.
A. The Love Simon had for his brother.
After meeting Jesus, Andrew immediately thought of the needs of his brother. To him, Simon was the nearest and dearest one in his life and had no doubt, been there for him any number of times in the past. Now that he had found one in whom he had experienced the strongest warmth of heart he had ever known, he wanted his brother to share that. He had learned that to know Christ is better than to own a gold mine, to be a powerful ruler, to have a good wife or a happy home. He had found in Christ, not only the Prophet, the Priest, the King, but he had also found One who was a Counselor, a Friend and a Brother in the Spiritual sense. He, like Jeremiah of old, must have felt that it was like a fire he could not contain within himself. He had to share it.