Monday, June 8, 2009

Importance of a Brother

Key to the story of Peter is the role of his brother Andrew. In this post, I would like to look at the steps of Andrew that lead to Peter. It is clear from the John text that Andrew was present for Christ's baptism, but he did not fully understand what had happened. He and John spend the night probably talking about the events of the day and God uses this to prepare their hearts.

The next morning they are again with John the Baptist and Christ passes. John points them to Him and they immediately follow Jesus. Jesus hears them behind and asks the question most frequently posed by Christ: "What do you want?" They simple ask where he is staying. As a visitor they know He is likely at an inn where they could serve Him. They spend one night with Jesus and their lives are forever changed. The next morning Andrew knows he has to go find his brother and bring him to Jesus.

A couple observations that have been bouncing around in my heart that relate directly to the role of the church. The first one is the question of Jesus. Although He know exactly what they wanted and needed, He began with that simple question. Do I do this in my interaction with those around me? Do I ask them simply what they want? Often this lead to a miracle in the life of the person. What might it look like if our churches simply ask those around us what they wanted and then delivered. We so often begin with our agenda rather than their agenda. What if we became disciplined in begnning with their agenda? It certainly would make the Good News become good news!!

The second thought that has been running around is the important role of Andrew and John as believers. While their brothers were not yet believers, they were actively pursuing their relationship with Christ. We too need first to be Christ followers. Their passion for Christ openned the door for others. Am I still deeply in love with Christ as I was at the beginning? Has faith become routine or do I still enjoy being in the presence of the God of surprises? Do I have something in my life that I just need to share with others? I was talking yesterday with a person at our church here in France that was facing a difficult divorse as I left. It was a very painful time. Today, he and his new wife have a very effective and impacting minsitry to singles coming through divorse. He said this to me "God is very much at work, but each time a new person comes I relive my pain." This discussion really make me think to what degree I allow my past expereinces of God's presence and deliverence to impact the lives of others.

So how do you respond? What could this kind of church life look like? How can we once again become as passionate as Andrew and John?


  1. When i first read "What do you want?" in relation to the church, my stomach hurt. Most churches are skilled at the "what do you want" question. They want what makes them comfortable, safe, happy and lazy. And what one wants does not always mean one will follow through to get it. And in at least the circles I know there's this understanding that once what I want is out on the table, people better jump to it getting it done for me!

    So, I'm not sure how one takes a typical evangelical church full of consumers and asks that question. But if it can be related to the concept of destiny, of desiring to be significant, to make a difference, to be touched and to touch others in deep and tangible ways- then that question might be handy.

    i just had a reliving pain moment too this past weekend. While still functioning in a great amount of grief myself, a woman I barely know told me of the recent loss of her baby. Memories came flooding back. And I wanted to push her away- I live in enough pain, I can't now deliberately put myself in more pain by walking with her. But I also couldn't stop myself from reaching out to her, even though that (along with a few other things that collided this weekend) cause me deep pain again. But asking people to deliver an impact on people's lives and to do so by suffering with them this a tall order... but one I believe we must become for our faith to deepen and thrive.

  2. In response to the "What do you want" question, Jesus frequently then challenged people with the truth. For example, with the rich young ruler, he started at the same placee, responded to the question, but then He poses His own question that drives people to their real issue. I think this issue of following people and challenging them is part of the whole model. I totally agree about the issue of the 'shopping mall' generation. This is the essential difference in making consumers and makeing disciples.