One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.…
I. HOW GREAT MAY BE THE EFFECTS WHICH FOLLOW IN THE SPIRITUAL WORLD FROM WHAT WOULD APPEAR TO BE A VERY TRIVIAL CAUSE. It was a passing remark of the Baptist, to all appearance, which was the means of Andrew's conversion.
1. But we must remember that that remark fell on prepared minds. The severe life of the Baptist, and his lofty teaching — recalling the great Elijah — must have made a profound impression on them. They were present when John denied before the agents of the Sanhedrim that he was the Messiah, and declared that he was only the forerunner of One who was of a higher order of Being than himself. On the following day Jesus presents Himself; and then John solemnly refers to Him, and explains that this was the Person of whom he had spoken on the day before — the Son of God. Then, on the third day, John said much less, but his short sentence crowned the preparatory work.
2. All this seems to show that outward circumstances, per. sons, language are only a part of a complex providential agency. The deepest causes are unseen, and wait like the tinder for the spark, the passing word or influence which shall set them in motion.
II. THE COMPARATIVELY SMALL STOCK OF RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE UPON THE STRENGTH OF WHICH ANDREW SETS TO WORK TO BRING ANOTHER INTO THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST.
1. He had heard of the Messiah all his life; but there was, and there continued, up to the hour of the Ascension an earthly and mistaken element in his idea of Him. A meaning had been read into Jewish prophecy for generations which did not belong to it. The Messiah was to be a rival to Caesar on a more splendid scale. He also failed to grasp the vast consequences to the world of Christ's coming.
2. But the one simple truth that he did grasp sufficed to kind!e every affection and power of his Spirit; to concentrate in its analysis every ray of his understanding. He had seen enough of Jesus in a few hours to know that John was right; that Christ was one whom he could perfectly love and trust; and that the best thing he could do for his brother was to bring him to Jesus.
3. Here St. Andrew reads an important lesson. There is no doubt a great deal of forward ignorance in religious questions which is willing to set the Church and the world to rights on subjects the first elements of which have not been mastered. But there is also a great deal of false modesty which declines plain and practical duties on the ground of insuifficient knowledge. But the great truths which moved Andrew and move us are the simple truths about which, amongst Christians, there is no controversy, and which are learned by experience. No Christian need delay to testify to Christ because he is not a theologian. He may at least do as well as Andrew.
III. RELIGIOUS TRUTH CANNOT BE HOARDED LIKE MONEY, like a discovery for which a man wishes to take out a patent. It belongs to the race, and in the first instance to those who stand by the appointment of providence nearest to its possessors. Andrew found his own brother. Go thou and do likewise. Conclusion:
1. Consider the untold capacities which lie buried in men who as yet know nothing of grace and truth. Peter takes precedence of Andrew.
2. The reflex blessing of every sincere effort for Christ and His kingdom. Every teacher knows more of his subject after he has taught it. He that watereth is watered himself.
Parallel VersesKJV: One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.