Encountering the Messiah
The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ).
John 1:41 (NIV)
I love scriptures like the one above, as I can imagine the excitement in the hearts of the characters involved. Having spent time with Jesus, Andrew rushes to find his brother and tell him about being with the Messiah. Similar incidents come to mind:
- Shepherds at Jesus’s birth who ‘…spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed…’ (Luke 2:17, 18).
- Women at Jesus’s resurrection, who ‘…told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others.’ (Luke 24: 9).
- Jesus’s disciples, who, following his ascension, preached mightily about him, the first incident being when Peter (the same person referred to as Simon above) ‘stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd’ (Acts 2: 14), and three thousand people were added to the church.
I could go on, but I won’t! The point is that when these people met with Jesus, a natural response was to tell others about it. But another response is also what often happens, for instance:
- When the shepherds went back to their fields, they ‘…returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen…’ (Luke 2: 20).
- The women who met the risen Lord ‘…came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.’ (Matthew 28: 9).
- The disciples, at Jesus’s ascension, ‘…worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.’ (Luke 24: 52, 53).
In all these examples the people involved: the shepherds, the women, and the disciples did the same two things. One is that they praised Jesus and the second is that they told other people about Jesus. In Christian terms we call this worship and witness. You don’t need a command to tell you to do these things, they are a natural response to meeting Jesus.
The GCI theme for 2023 is ‘Remember your first love’. I imagine that after your first encounter with Jesus, you couldn’t wait to tell other people about him, as well as to spend time with him in thankfulness, worship and praise. I encourage you to keep doing that. Don’t let your relationship with Jesus become so unexciting that worship and witness aren’t part of your lifestyle. Time with Jesus should change you so that you’re never the same again, and you can’t wait to metaphorically tell Simon, so that the two of you will drop everything and follow the person who Simon later referred to as “the Holy One of God” (John 6: 69).
Father, thank you for all that Jesus came to do. I pray that those who know him would not lose their first love, so that our lives will be characterised by worship and witness. In his name we pray. Amen.
Study by Anthony Dady
About the writer:
Anthony Dady is a minister in Grace Communion International and is the Regional Pastor for Wales, the Midlands, and Northern England.
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