Last week (in Peter, Part One), Andrew went to his brother, Simon, and declared to him that he had found the Messiah. We are given no comment from Simon. Not “You’ve gotta be kidding!” or “What makes you think that?” or “Praise the Lord!” Nothing.
We are told that Andrew brought Simon to Jesus, so I guess he was at least willing to come and see Him.
Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon, son of John, you will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter.) John 1:42
Thus the beginning of name changes for a few of the disciples. “Peter” meant stone or rock. He was anything but a solid rock early on with his impulsive, unstable personality, but in Acts he became the pillar of the early church. Jesus named him not for what he was but for what, by God’s grace, he would become.
How refreshing to know that God sees beyond the meager person I am to what He knows I can become when I submit to His power in me. After all, God created you and me with the gifts, personality, and interests we have. He sees our potential. Nothing can bind us if we stay connected to the vine. He can produce abundant fruit in us.
Well, back to our story. The next day, Jesus decided to leave from the area where John the Baptist had been preaching and go to Galilee, more specifically Bethsaida, Peter and Andrew’s hometown. Jesus seeks out another hometown boy, Philip. Maybe Andrew had also talked to Philip; we don’t know.
Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.” John 1:43
Philip evidently had enthusiasm and faith because he, in turn, went to find his friend Nathaniel. He told him,
“We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and whom the prophet also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” John 1:45
Nathaniel gives us his famous line,
“Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” John 1:46 (NAS)
Philip persuades him to come and see. Thus we hear the conversation between Jesus and Nathaniel (later called “Bartholomew.”)
“Here is a true Israelite in whom nothing is false.”
“How do you know me?”
“I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
“Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”
You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that. I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending of the Son of Man.” John 1:47-51
John, Andrew and Peter, Philip and Nathaniel. Now there are five. No matter how untrained or unrestrained we are, God sees where we can be more than where we are. He can use us whether our personality is quiet and calm or boisterous and loud. He has a plan for each of us, beyond where we are today. He simply says, “Follow me.”
Next week, we’ll go to a wedding!
~ Joyce ~