Answering the Call

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: 2 King 10-12; John 1:29-51

 

40 One of the two disciples who heard what John said and followed Jesus was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. 41 He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Christ). 42 He led him to Jesus.

Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon, son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).

43 The next day Jesus wanted to go into Galilee, and he found Philip. Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Philip was from Bethsaida, the hometown of Andrew and Peter.

45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law and the Prophets: Jesus, Joseph’s son, from Nazareth.”

46 Nathanael responded, “Can anything from Nazareth be good?”

Philip said, “Come and see.”

47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said about him, “Here is a genuine Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”

48 Nathanael asked him, “How do you know me?”

Jesus answered, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.”

49 Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are God’s Son. You are the king of Israel.”

50 Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these! 51 I assure you that you will see heaven open and God’s angels going up to heaven and down to earth on the Human One.” (John 1:40-51, Common English Bible).

If EVER there was someone living out their call from God before perhaps they even fully knew or understood their call, it is probably Andrew. Andrew hadn’t been with Jesus long. John the Baptist pointed Jesus out, as the Messiah. For Andrew and the other disciple of John’s who was there, it was an important moment. They were looking at, they were following,  they were hoping to meet the Messiah. Could this man Jesus really be the Messiah?

Of course, we already know the answer to that question. But for Andrew and his friend, that wouldn’t have been the case at all. Remember, we have the book from which we read. Andrew was living in it.

I love Andrew. He might be my favorite of all the disciples even if I am a little more like impulsive Peter. Andrew impresses me for two reasons.

First, Andrew impresses me because he is only mentioned three times in the Bible. Each time (not including the lists of disciples, he is also listed there) Andrew is bringing someone to meet Jesus. First is today’s lesson. Andrew brings his brother Simon to meet Jesus. And, as we know, Jesus changes Simon’s name to Peter who goes on to become one of the three disciples in Jesus’ inner circle.

The second time we hear from Andrew. Andrew, like last time, is bringing someone to meet Jesus. This time it is a young boy who is carrying with him his sack lunch (John 6:1-15). The boy shares the lunch with Jesus who in turn shares it with the crowd. Because Andrew found a generous boy, the people had something to eat. To me, the real miracle isn’t so much in feeing of 5000 plus people. The real miracle was, there was more food leftover than there was when they started.

The third time we find Andrew, a group of Greeks ask if they can speak to Jesus and Andrew takes them to meet the Messiah (John 12:20-26). Three separate occasions and three people or groups of people Andrew brings to meet Jesus. If we were all to be Andrew’s, think about the difference it could make for our churches.

There is another thing that has always impressed me about Andrew. He was one of the first disciples called by Jesus, yet he wasn’t in Jesus’ inner circle. He was bringing more people to meet Jesus but he wasn’t in the inner circle. He was the one who brought his brother and still he wasn’t in the inner circle. Nowhere do we ever see Andrew angry or jealous or being petty. He just goes along doing the thing Jesus called him to, bringing people to meet the Messiah. It might just make a greater difference for our churches if we had more Andrews.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

"The Pastor Ponders" is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. Bishop and I live in Sweeny, Texas where I am the pastor of First United Methodist Church. I have served here for the past two years. For the past 27 years I have served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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