John 1:35-42 – Your Simons…
“The following day John was again standing with two of his disciples. As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, ‘Look! There is the Lamb of God!’ When John’s two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus. Jesus looked around and saw them following. ‘What do you want?’ he asked them. They replied, ‘Rabbi’ (which means ‘Teacher’), ‘where are you staying?’ ‘Come and see,’ he said. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon when they went with him to the place where he was staying, and they remained with him the rest of the day. Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus. Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which means ‘Christ’). Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, ‘Your name is Simon, son of John—but you will be called Cephas’ (which means “Peter”).” – John 1:35-42NLT
Every year at our high school lock-in, we head out, while it’s still dark, for Table Mountain. As the sky is just starting to lighten, we head up the east face of the mountain, winding our way above the tree line in the crisp morning air. About halfway up, we stop to watch the sun rise over the Greater Denver Area. The lakes and ponds are like glass, the city is silhouetted against the orange streak of sunrise, there are wisps of mist settled in the dips and valleys of the rolling landscape. You begin to hear the sound of car horns and trains moving through the dawn, overlaid by the nearby twitter of birds. Its beautiful…and its profound.
Standing there, watching God’s beauty in creation and the sound of Denver coming to life, we talk about how we are called to that city and the people in it. Called by God to be about His work in our community, that the world will know Jesus.
What a daunting thought. As of 2019, there were over 7.7 billion people in the world (World Population Review). As of 2010, only 31% of the world was Christian, at best (Chappell, 2015). If you narrow that just to look at the Greater Denver Area, there are 3.15 million people (Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, 2019). Of that population, approximately 60% claim to be a part of the Christian faith, though the amount of people who also say that are active in their faith is significantly lower (Pew Research Forum, 2014). And here we are, this little band of believers on a hillside, overlooking a living city, full of people who don’t know Jesus…charged with bringing His truth to the world every day.
That task is immense…impossible…right?
As I read through John 1:35-42, I’m struck by a little piece of this passage, represented by verse 41NLT, “Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which means ‘Christ’).” Simon…whom Jesus would rename “Peter” in Matthew 16:18 and charge to lead the disciples as they shared the love of Jesus with their world.
What a pivotal moment. What a critical decision by Andrew. He told Just. One. Person. Yet this one man would lead a movement that would go from a hated, persecuted, brutalized, and murdered little sect of Judaism in a despised corner of the Roman Empire… to a recognized faith in the Roman Empire by the early 300sAD.
I want to reiterate that. Andrew told one man about Jesus…and how many came to a saving relationship with Jesus because of that one conversation?
What I’m saying is God has called us, His Church, to reach the world. But you, individual Christian, are called to bring Him to the hand-full of people who move within the sphere of your everyday life. They may be coworkers or bank tellers or coffee baristas or janitors or disc golfers or CrossFitters or homeless people or preschoolers. They may look like the greatest or the least, but they are all those for whom Christ died, and among them you have significant, little relationships that God may want to use to help one man or woman to know their Jesus… just as they are fully known.
So yes…pray for the world, but live for Christ with your everyday Simons…knowing that if God could turn five loaves and two fish into a meal for 15,000, He can use one person’s salvation to bring salvation for millions.
- What is most intimidating for you when you consider sharing your faith with people you know?
- Why is it so difficult for you to talk about your faith with others?
- How do you feel when you consider that God has called you to love the people in your life enough to tell them about Jesus?
- Challenge for the week: Make a list of all the people you have a relationship with who are not believers. As you look at the list, think about who do you have a particularly good relationship with or could have a particularly good relationship with. When you found one or two people, begin to actively pray for God to guide you in guiding them to Christ.