So John the baptist was preaching in the wilderness. Sometime after the baptism of Jesus, John pointed at him and declared him to be the ‘Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’. The next day John sees Jesus and exclaims, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” I don’t know how many times John’s disciples needed to hear this, but it finally broke through to the other side and they followed Jesus. Jesus invited them to see where he was staying. One of them was named Andrew. (John 1:29-42)
Andrew is a follower. He followed John. He followed Jesus.
Andrew is a bringer. He brought his brother to meet Jesus. Later he brings a boy who has a lunch that he might be willing to share … with 5,000 people.
Jesus took one look at Andrew’s brother and said, “You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas.” John tells us that this is translated as “Peter”.
John the Baptist is a bit of a mystery. Andrew is a bit of a behind the scenes kind of guy. Peter is the up-front bound-to-be-a-leader guy. Jesus is, well, the central figure of the Bible.
It is only because of the Gospels that we can connect these characters. It is only because of the Gospel that these characters are connected. If Andrew wasn’t who he was, would Peter have found his way into the story?
Think about your story. Is there a proclaimer, a bringer, a leader, and a Savior? I thought so. Go ahead and reflect on the role these people have played in your life. Think about how the absence of one of them might have broken the kingdom connections that have changed your life. But it all fell into place … eventually… and we’re grateful.
So where are the kingdom connections in your life? If we learn anything about the story of Jesus from the Gospels and the New Testament, it is that this story is ongoing. God is continually gathering together Johns, Andrews, Peters, and Jesus. No matter if you’re the prophet or the quiet believer, God uses you in the connections all around you.
Next year will someone reading this account take a moment and look back to see how you helped make kingdom connections for them? And thank God for you?
Maybe the key is not to look forward a year or backward a year, but look around this week. Make a kingdom connection when you have opportunity. You never know when Jesus is going to give someone a new name.
These are some initial observations on the lectionary text for this week. They often survive the week and make it into the sermon the following Sunday. Your thoughts will help make them better. Thanks for reading!