Click here for the reading: John 1:35-42.
The Gospel of John opens with the testimony of John the Baptist regarding Jesus. This is the second time that John calls Jesus “the Lamb of God,” a clear reference to what Jesus has come into the world to do. Hearing this, two of John’s disciples immediately follow after Jesus, and John does not protest. How does John teach us the importance of humility as pastors? What does it mean to point to Jesus in an age that loves attention? Consider also the words of the Baptist in John 3:25-30 and what they mean for us who stand in the public eye.
When Jesus sees the two disciples of John following him, he turns to them and speaks for the first time in the Gospel of John. What are you seeking? People have many reasons for following after Jesus. Why is it important to stop and examine our motives regarding faith? How might someone follow Jesus for the wrong reasons? What are the consequences of seeking Jesus in the wrong way? Compare John 6 and the reasons why the crowds followed Jesus as well as the reasons why they stopped following him.
Andrew is introduced as one of those two disciples, but also as the brother of Simon Peter. By the time John wrote this Gospel, Peter was obviously well known to those who heard this Gospel, but Andrew was not. Indeed, Andrew does not appear much in the New Testament at all, but he carried out his work faithfully regardless. How does Andrew teach us what it means to be content in God when we labor in obscurity? What is the danger of seeking to be remembered simply for its own sake, rather than for what we have done for God? What does Isaiah 56:1-5 mean for us whose names will be forgotten in the world?
When Andrew began to follow after Jesus, he immediately went to his brother Peter and told him about Jesus. Here is the Messiah, the one for whom we have waited for so long. What does Andrew teach us about the mission of the Church? How should we approach sharing the Gospel? As Andrew first told the Gospel to his own brother, how should that shape our own approach to mission work in the world? How does the example of men like Philip in Acts 8, who proclaimed the Word even while fleeing from persecution, move us today?
St. Andrew’s Day occurs at or near the beginning of the liturgical year in the Christian West. Since Advent is also a time of expectation, especially of the end of all things, what can we learn from Andrew as time runs quickly away? What should our priorities be in these latter days? What does it mean to follow Jesus as we wait for his sudden return? Why does Paul exhort us to encourage one another as the day draws near in 1 Thessalonians 4-5?