Searching for My Role in the Kingdom

Opening Prayer: 

Heavenly Father, help me to open my heart and mind to Your word and allow me to be changed by the working of Your Holy Spirit as I study today’s devotion.  I know that you will be speaking to me and continuing the work of transforming me into a complete person.

 

Read: John 1:40-41, NIV

Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ).

 

Reflect: 

 This narrative takes place at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.  Just prior to this passage, John the Baptist had identified Jesus as the Lamb of God.  Two of his disciples hearing this, decide to follow Jesus.  Jesus asked them what they wanted and they addressed Jesus as Rabbi.  Jesus invited them to come and see where He was staying.

At this point we are at the start of today’s Scripture.  We learn that one of the two is Andrew the brother of Simon Peter.  Andrew immediately went to find his brother and tell him that there was a rabbi who John the Baptist declared to be the Messiah.  Andrew then brings Peter to Jesus.

In their culture, Rabbis were like the rock stars of today.  An aspiring young Israelite would dream of becoming a Rabbi.  It was only the bright and prosperous boys who ever had any chance at all.  It is remarkable that these poor uneducated fishermen would ever have a chance to follow Jesus as His disciples.  In this culture when a Rabbi decided to accept you as a student, he would say, Come follow me”.  This is what Jesus does in subsequent verses.  A famous Rabbi is actually willing to take these unlikely, passed over people as His students.  It must have seemed almost like a scandal.

What lessons can we take away from this short story?  For one thing, notice that Andrew, who was a nobody to most of us, is only identified as the brother of Simon Peter.  His greatest contribution to human history may have been to arrange a meeting between his brother and Jesus.  He did this because he believed John the Baptist.  His faith in the words of John the Baptist was instrumental in establishing one of the most important relationships ever between two men.  While others accomplish much by toiling for many years, Andrew’s faith in John and willingness to follow through with action, accomplished much in building God’s kingdom on earth in a few hours.  When the time came, his faith and willingness to act worked powerfully in the Kingdom. 

Also notice that it is not our assessment of our own abilities that matters.  What matters is our availability to do God’s work.  Jesus could have picked more likely candidates for his disciples.  For Him it was more important to pick men He could mold into the future leaders of His church.  Men who would yield to the Holy Spirit when the glorious day of Pentecost came.  Men who God could use to transform the world.

 

Apply: 

In our own lives we need to have faith in God as a practical matter in our daily living.  We need to be bold, not because of our own abilities, but because of God’s ability to use us.  We all want a life of significance.  The surest path to fulfilling that very human need is to keep God’s commands and follow Him.  I can’t tell you here what your opportunity will look like.  What I can tell you is to look to God and His Son Jesus Christ.  There you will find your answer in a life of prayer and fellowship with the one who made you and knows exactly how to use you.  Like Andrew, your contribution may simply be showing the Savior to someone else.  It just might be that the person you bring to Christ or someone that person brings to Christ will be a super hero in the kingdom.  But even if no one in the spiritual family tree you start ever “makes a name for themselves” all of you are eternal souls and a treasure of great price, whom Christ is seeking.

 

Closing Prayer: 

Dear Lord, I am available.  Please use me as an instrument of your love.  Help me to bring hope to the hopeless, comfort to the tormented, life to those who are dead in their sin and ignorance of You.  I really want to matter in this world in a way that brings pleasure to you.  Amen.

 

 


 

Terry Schneider