So maybe I’m going to start doing this on Wednesday nights.
Just recap what we talked about at church.
It feels weird to do so, though.
When I’m alone with my thoughts, everything is more collected.
Everything is planned out well in my mind.
And then when I stand before a group, its like I haven’t prepared at all.
All I do is stutter and stammer.
And in the few moments in the car after church on my way home, I remember.
I don’t have to be a great speaker.
I have to be willing.
I don’t have to be funny.
I have to convey truth.
I don’t have to be the center of conversation.
I have to be aware that its not about me, anyway.
I don’t have to be the best leader.
I have to understand that above all, I am a follower of Christ.
Tonight we talked about the first four disciples.
Andrew, Simon Peter, Philip, and Nathanael.
So lets take this one at a time.
I believe he knew what to look for.
He was, at the time, a follower of John the Baptist.
And when Jesus came along, John made it clear to all who would listen who He was.
Jesus was the Messiah that was to come.
He was the spotless Lamb of God that would redeem our troubled and sinful souls.
Andrew knew this to be true, and understood that his following of John was for nothing else than to lead him to this point.
He made the decision to follow Christ.
Simon [Peter] bar Jona.
He could well have been the first person “witnessed to” by his brother, Andrew.
In fact, he could be the first person witnessed to. Ever. Period.
He was brought into the fold by a brother that loved him.
Evangelized, if you will.
And Jesus did something interesting with Simon Peter.
He changed his name.
Now we know from the Old Testament that names were changed occasionally to mark a new beginning, a new covenant.
These name changes often indicated that something incredible would later happen to this individual.
For example, two of the more famous.
Abram = Abraham.
Jacob = Israel.
And now, Simon Peter = Cephas. Rock.
Does something incredible happen with him?
Well, we’ll just have to wait and see won’t we?
After all, he has only just now become a disciple.
Jesus tells him pointe blank, “Follow me.”
Philip doesn’t ask questions.
There is no indication that he took time to weigh his options.
He dropped everything to follow Christ.
Tonight, we talked about the impact of being called to follow a rabbi.
How that meant that you were good enough, among the best and brightest.
And how originally, Philip didn’t make the cut.
But here we see that through Christ, he is made worthy.
So, yes, of course he would leave everything behind.
His life had just gained value, both in spirit and stature, that would have been unattainable without the invitation from Jesus.
I like this guy.
He’s the wild card in the group.
He wasn’t too sure about this Jesus character at first.
In fact, actually mocked Him because of where He grew up.
The fact that He saw him beneath the fig tree before Philip called him.
Seems like an ordinary statement given at face value.
I can’t say that I know the significance of it, and maybe that is the point.
That someone can be convicted by the Holy Spirit through something that others see as mundane.
Nathanael was a skeptic, no doubt.
And even he was chosen by, and believed in, Jesus.
So, where does this leave us?
There really is no one lesson to take from this.
I may come back to this scripture later, and gain new knowledge.
Maybe have a better understanding of what these interactions would all have meant to the individual in that day and time.
But for now I know this.
How we each come to know the Lord is different.
My story is not yours, nor yours mine.
He meets us all where He needs to meet us.
Our experiences play a huge role in how, or even if, we accept Jesus as Savior.
But even after that, how are we to follow?
Are we to abandon our former teachers to seek after His righteousness as Andrew did?
Are we to listen to our brothers and understand who He is and accept it as Simon Peter?
Or maybe like Philip, we are to wholly submit to His direction for our lives, not knowing where that may eventually take us?
Or should we approach the Word with the skepticism of Nathanael, searching for what is true, so that we may cling on to that?
It could be any of those things.
Or a million more.
What is your story?
Who do you follow?