(Calling of Andrew and Peter- Caravaggio c. 1600)
Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.
12/30- John 1:35-42
35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God!" 37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, "What do you want?" They said, "Rabbi" (which means "Teacher"), "where are you staying?"
39 "Come," he replied, "and you will see." So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon. 40 Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, "We have found the Messiah" (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas" (which, when translated, is Peter).
Calvin abridged: 36- “Behold the Lamb of God”- When John saw that he was approaching the end of his ministry, he worked hard to resign his office to Christ. We also see here the small beginnings of the Church- two unknown poor men. John had prepared disciples for Christ, but only now the Church began to be collected by Christ. Within a short time, without human aid, the kingdom spreads in a wonderful and incredible way. The main reason John says these words is to direct our attention to find in Christ the forgiveness of sins. 38- “What do you want?” This is a kind and gracious invitation, and shows us that we do not need to fear that Christ will withdraw from us, or keep us at a distance- provided that he sees that we want to come to him; but he will stretch out his hand to assist us. :Where do you stay”- reminds us we do not need to be satisfied with window-shopping, but we should seek his dwelling that we may be his guests. It was getting late, but the disciples still sought to know more. We should learn that we do not need to follow Christ only when it is convenient for us. For the rest of this chapter we hear how first Peter and then Nathanael were gradually drawn to Christ. Andrew sets us an example of faith- that does not seek to put out the light, but spread it in every direction. Andrew was scarcely a spark, yet he sought to enlighten his brother. We should learn from Andrew who cared for his neighbor, taking him by the hand and inviting them to come to the Lord (Isa. 2:3). Jesus changes the name of Simon to Peter (or Cephas) which means rock. All the godly are called to be stones fitted for the building of the temple of God. But Peter is not a substitute for Christ- and people should not make a stone a head. Christ simply means that Peter is made a new man.
Thoughts: Andrew brought Peter, his brother. Philip brought Nathanael, his friend. The most effective kind of evangelism is person to person- one on one. There is a place for evangelism on the internet, or the broadcast waves or talking to strangers about our faith. But the best place, and the place allowed to us by government and others is one on one. We live in a culture in which we are encouraged not to evangelize. The government wants to be areligious (secular), and people want to be just left alone in their sin and darkness. When believers are excited about their relationship with Christ, they look for opportunities to share their excitement and joy and invite others to “come and see.” We do not have to be experts in the faith to share our faith—anymore than a blindman who now sees does not need to know the mechanics of how his vision came back to recommend the physician to another. In 2010, a great goal would be for us to look for opportunities to share our faith and take them.
Prayer: Lord, thank you that you have drawn us to yourself- using other people. Help us to be used to point the way to others.