Again the next day John (the Baptist) was standing with two of his disciples and he looked at Jesus as He walked, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
And Jesus turned and saw them following, and said to them, “What do you seek?” They said to Him, “Rabbi (which translated means Teacher), where are You staying?” He said to them, “Come, and you will see.” So they came and saw where He was staying; and they stayed with Him that day, for it was about the tenth hour.
One of the two who heard John speak and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He found first his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which translated means Christ). He brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter). (John 1:35-42, NASB)
The disciples of Jesus before they were given the call had encountered Him at one time or another. We note in this passage that there were two disciples who were disciples of John the Baptist who sought out the Christ. One of these disciples was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. We have no idea how many of the Twelve were disciples of John; there are other clues that may suggest more than these two were disciples of John, but that is beyond the scope of this study. The key for us is that these disciples were hungry to learn and were awaiting their Messiah to come upon the scene. God seeks out those to be disciples who are seeking Him.
At the words “Behold, the Lamb” the two disciples follow after Jesus immediately. They were waiting for the Messiah because they were disciples of John and had heard the message of repentance and were told by John that the Messiah was coming. Being familiar with Old Testament typology, the disciples knew what John was referring to when he said, “The Lamb.” God is looking for those who would not hesitate to draw near to Him when guided to do so. To be submitted to the leading of the Holy Spirit is essential to discipleship, and being poor in spirit is about that type submission.
A note about submission: I should not assume that everybody understands what this means. I mean as a disciple of Jesus I give up the right to control my own life. I make choices constantly throughout the day, but I should seek the will of the Father in these choices and when prompted by the Holy Spirit or Scripture to make a certain choice I submit to the will of the Father. This was the life Jesus lived. This is the life the disciples lived. This the life that current day disciples should live. No excuses. No exceptions. That is what I mean by submission.
Getting back to our text: we know that this encounter with the Christ was before the call because we are told the two “remained with Him that day,” not that they left all to follow Him at this point. This was the first meeting between these two and Jesus. They could not have followed because the call was not given to them yet, but they were getting acquainted with Jesus and His ministry, they did what they could to learn about Him. The person who studies God’s Word to learn all they can about Him are those who become His disciples. This exemplifies the person Jesus spoke of that studies all things before building their structure upon the rock.
We see that Andrew leads his brother Peter to the Christ. Was Peter a disciple of John? It is quite possible because Peter went immediately with his brother to meet Jesus. But recognizing who Jesus is and leading others to Him reveals the heart of that disciple.
Then we are told Jesus’ prophecy for Peter, that he will be a stone for the faith of the early Church. The Christ always looks at what we can become, not who we are. The disciple is to be great in the kingdom of heaven, and a servant to all.
We see the makings of the disciple from this passage. May we measure ourselves by the standard set in Scripture and take on the character and the heart of a disciple.
Decide today to diligently seek Jesus the Master Rabbi in all that we do and take the time necessary to learn about Him.