“One of the two who heard John speak and followed (Jesus) was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which is translated Anointed). He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, ‘You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas (which is translated Peter).”
Bringing Others to Jesus (Andrew)
How have you come to know Jesus? How has your relationship come into fruition with Jesus?
-Br. Jim Woodrum
This week, we’ve been exploring the theme of friendship with Jesus. We’ve explored this intimacy through the relationships that he had with several of his friends, like Peter, for instance. In our gospel lesson for today, from John chapter one, we learn that Peter became friends with Jesus through an introduction from his brother Andrew. We read, “One of the two of them who heard John the Baptist speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah,’ which is translated anointed.” In a way, you could say that Andrew was an evangelist. Now the word ‘evangelist’ these days has taken on sort of a negative connotation because it’s been associated with conquest or perhaps a conversion to a singular way of religious thought.
In reality, ‘evangelist’ comes from the Greek euangelion, which means ‘bearer of good news.’ It’s the same word that we get the word ‘angel.’ You may know, in the other gospels, you hear stories of angels coming to people to bear good news. An angel comes to Mary to say that she would bear Jesus. An angel comes to Joseph saying it was safe to take Mary as his wife. Angels come to the shepherds to say the Messiah as been born and where to find this Messiah, this boy, Jesus.
How have you come to know Jesus? How has your relationship come into fruition with Jesus? Perhaps like me you grew up in church and you learned about Jesus through Bible stories and through songs. You might have learned about Jesus by stumbling upon a chapel, such as the one that we have here in Cambridge, one where you found peace, and stillness, and solace in a very turbulent world, or perhaps through the actions of a friend, like Andrew, maybe someone who’s had influence on you, who has shown you friendship and grace and intimacy, and that has modeled and been a reflection of Jesus.
Jesus is calling us all into relationship. God wants to be with us in relationship, wants us to have abundant life, and a more fruitful life. This is what God desires. It’s through that intimacy that we also become evangelists by bearing that same light to other people. We become angels. How is it that we can become evangelists? How can we share the good news of Jesus with other people through word and deed?