Andrew brought him to Jesus, who looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas" (which is translated as Peter).
I. Andrew was able to bring Peter to Jesus because HE HAD FIRST OF ALL BEEN BROUGHT HIMSELF. Andrew had first of all been himself the subject of spiritual illumination. God must have shined in his heart to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. He had been brought to Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah. The acquaintance had been very short, but a great deal may be done in a short time when the human heart has been getting ready to meet with Christ, when there is perfect openness and simplicity of mind - truth on one side and an eager seeker after it on the other. To get other people as far as Peter, we must first of all have got as far as Andrew ourselves. How should the blind lead the blind? We must not wait for an Andrew. God has his own agency for us. He may send some John the Baptist, saving, "Behold!" to us. We must consider well the obstacles in our way to Jesus, which none can remove but ourselves - procrastination, bosom sins, spiritual indolence, neglect 'of the Scriptures.
II. CONSIDER WHO IT WAS THAT ANDREW BROUGHT. his own brother Simon. So natural brotherhood is distinguished from that spiritual brotherhood which afterwards sprang into existence as regenerated believers in Christ felt the strong tie binding them together. What brother ought not to be to brother, and yet what he may very easily become, is shown from Cain and Abel, and Joseph and his brethren. What brother ought to be to brother is shown in this seeking of Simon by Andrew. Great opportunities are given by natural brotherhood, mutually cherished. Give every good thing in nature a chance to become also a minister of grace.
III. CONSIDER WHAT ANDREW SAID TO PETER. "We have found the Messiah." This is as much good news for us as it was for Peter. What Andrew said he said at first, after a very brief acquaintance; but he would go on saying it all the more as day after day opened up the riches of Messiah's mission and power. Observe the plural form of the announcement. The other disciple agreed with Andrew in his judgment. Look out for those and listen to them who bear the same message as Andrew, though not in quite the same form. We have words and acts of Jesus constantly forced on our attention. If we cannot be brought to Jesus, Jesus is brought to us. All bringing of men to Jesus must be preceded, more or less, by bringing of Jesus to men. Andrew must have brought such a vivid and powerful account of his talk with Jesus as would amount practically tea bringing of Jesus. - Y.
And he brought him to Jesus
I. THE MISSIONARY DISCIPLE.
1. His character.(1) He was a sincere follower of Jesus. Men who have not made Christ's acquaintance experimentally are not fit to work for Him. An unconverted man in the pulpit is an impostor and exposes himself to extraordinary peril.(2) He was a young convert. He beheld the Lamb of God one day and found out his brother the next. Those who have learned but their A B C let them tell that.(3) He was a commonplace disciple, yet he became a useful minister. So servants of Christ must not excuse themselves because they are not greatly gifted.
2. His manner was(1) Prompt,(2) Persevering.
II. HIS GREAT OBJECT,
1. To bring Peter to Jesus. This should be our aim —(1) Not to a party. To recruit one regiment from another is no real strengthening of the army.(2) Not to bring men to outward religiousness merely. To make the Sabbath breaker a Sabbath keeper and a Pharisee, to make the prayerless the heartless user of a form of prayer, you but take one poison from him to expose him to another.(3) Many, alas I are satisfied if they get to the priest, church, sacraments.
2. We may bring men to Jesus —(1) By prayer.(2) By putting them in the way of being informed about the Gospel.(3) By our example.(4) By occasionally, and as opportunity serves, giving a word of importunate entreaty.
III. HIS WISE METHODS.
1. Being zealous he was wise.(1) He used what ability he had.(2) He set great store by a single soul.(3) He did not go far afield to do good. Many Christians do all the good they can five miles away, when the time taken up by going there and back might be well spent in their vineyard at home. Andrew goes to Cappadocia in his after life, but he begins with his brother.
2. How did Andrew persuade Peter?(1) By narrating his own experience. What you have experienced tell to others.(2) He put the good news before him in an earnest fashion.
IV. THE SWEET REWARD ANDREW HAD. He won his brother's soul. In your Sunday-school class or in your home there may be an unconverted Wesley or Whitefield.
(C.H. Spurgeon.)I. It was BENEFICENT. What a universe of good was involved in the simple act of bringing this man to Jesus!
1. What a service was rendered to Peter! His soul translated into a new world.
2. What a service to the disciples of Christ! The introduction of a frank, generous, bold, inspired nature.
3. What a service to the whole world! God alone knows the good Peter did from Pentecost onwards. All this service must be referred to the simple act of Andrew. From one little act may issue an influence for good that may go on widening and deepening for ages.
II. It was NATURAL. Andrew went to Peter, not as an official, but as a man, a brother. What is wanted to bring men to Christ is —
1. Common sense, not learning, genius, culture.
2. Love to Christ. Andrew's heart was touched and inspired with loving sympathies for Christ. What is wanted in this work is not the influence of the scholar, philosopher, or priest, but of the man. It is the man, not the preacher, who converts. When the man is lost in the preacher his power is gone.
III. It was HONOURABLE. To introduce a man to Christ is to introduce him to one who in philosophy is infinitely greater than Socrates, in wealth infinitely richer than Croesus, in royalty infinitely greater than a Caesar. The work of authors, sages, statesmen, warriors contemptible compared with that of bringing men to Christ.
IV. It was EXEMPLARY.
1. Andrew's is an example that all can imitate.
2. An example that all should imitate: an universal duty, not binding on any particular class, but pressing on all relations, all social grades, all intellectual types.
(D. Thomas, D. D.)
Thou art Simon,... thou shalt be called Cephas
1. As a sign of His authority and of taking entire possession of him, as a king might alter the name of some man whom he had captured.
2. As a promise of transforming power.
3. As a prophecy of his future office and importance in the Church. The Aramaic Cephas is the equivalent of the Greek Peter, "a stone." The alternation of these names afterwards is indicative of the following lessons.
I. THE DANGER OF THE NEW AND BETTER NATURE FALLING BACK TO THE OLD. Where "Simon" is employed in the Gospels it is suggestive of the apostle's uninspired and unregenerate humanity.
1. "Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired to have thee." There we see the exquisite delicacy with which Christ points the too presumptuous man away from his own fancied strength to the weakness of his humanity.
2. "Simon, sleepest thou?" Where is Peter? He would have kept awake.
3. "The Lord hath appeared unto Simon." This was from the apostles — all the rest are from Christ — all knew about his fall, that he had ceased to be the rock, and that his precedence and influence were gone.
4. "Simon, son of Jona (same as text), lovest thou Me?" Christ puts the fallen apostle in his place, makes him go back to the very beginning. He must go through the wicket-gate again.
II. THE FORGIVING LOVE WHICH DISCERNS THE TRUE MAN BELOW ALL HIS SIN.
1. "Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired... I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow," etc. Here is Christ's clear recognition of the better nature subsisting even whilst it appears to be smothered beneath the worse. Condemning the sinner, Christ would not break the bruised reed.
2. "Go, tell the disciples and Peter" — an incident recorded only by Mark, Peter's mouthpiece. "Tell Simon" would have been a rebuke; "tell Peter" is a smile of forgiveness, and an outstretched hand to grasp the sad hand of the denier.
III. THE GRAND POSSIBILITY THAT THE NEW MAN MAY TRIUMPH. "No more is heard of Simon, with two exceptions."
1. Cornelius is directed to send for Simon, who is called Peter, because outsiders would know him best by the one name, Christians by the other.
2. James, at the council of Jerusalem, calls him Simon, out of old and familiar friendship. Elsewhere it is always Peter. The transformation had now become complete. Effusive, impulsive daring is changed into steadfast, bridled courage. If once he "was to be blamed," that showed that he was still a man, and not a faultless, impossible monster. The sand has been put into a hydraulic press and comes out sandstone, strong and tenacious. This transformation is inexplicable without the Resurrection, the Ascension, and Pentecost.
IV. THE WHOLESOME REMEMBRANCE BY THE MAN HIMSELF OF WHAT HE WAS, JOINED WITH THE THANKFUL RECOGNITION OF WHAT HE IS. In his Second Epistle he introduces himself as "Simon Peter." Probably the long disused name had vanished from the memory of that generation;. but the old man reverts to it. Through the mist of long years he remembers what he was, and recalls his old un-sanctified self; but he is not afraid to call himself Peter. He is conscious of the higher life not his own which was promised him on the never-to-be-forgotten occasion mentioned in the text.
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
(A. G. Pearson, D. D.)
(W. P. Lockhart.)
(W. P. Lockhart.)The great secret of the success of Harlan Page was that he always aimed at the conversion of some individual; wrestling in prayer with God, and in affectionate entreaty with the sinner, till he saw his wishes realized. By following this plan, although he was in humble life, active work, and often in deep poverty, he lived to see more than a hundred brought to God as the fruit of his zeal and intercession.
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