Following Jesus 14
Following Jesus refers to being a disciple of Jesus. Being a disciple of Jesus entails following Jesus’ leading and learning from His teaching in order to take upon oneself, by God’s enablement, Jesus’ character.
We began our quest by looking at the character of Simon Peter. The second disciple we examine is Andrew.
Andrew not only possessed humility in Christ, he also possessed confidence in Christ regardless of the situation.
Along with humility and faith in Christ, Andrew demonstrated a commitment to the truth centered in obedience and submission to Christ.
John 12:20-26 says, “Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him” (John 12:20-26 ESV).
Jesus’ reply to the situation Philip and Andrew bring Him regarding a request from some Greeks to speak with Him results in Jesus speaking of the cross and the impact His death, burial and resurrection will have upon both Jews and Greeks. Following Jesus’ statement that the hour has come for Him to be glorified, He gives three illustrations of the impact the cross.
To begin with Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone.” The necessity of His death Jesus describes by referring to plant life. The point: life springs forth out of death. His death, and subsequently His burial and resurrection will bear much fruit.
Secondly Jesus says, “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” The second paradox is that through losing one gains. Jesus says this several times (Mark 8:35; Luke 9:24). Giving up, or having a proper perspective, of the dearest things in this life for possessing the greatest relationship one could ever have, which is salvation in Christ regardless of how one suffers because of it, is great gain.
The third statement is, “If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.” The paradox here is that the servant becomes honored, when normally that is not the case. Jesus says that for the disciple following Jesus, true honor does not necessarily come from positions of greatness, but rather from the posture of having a servant’s heart.
Let’s conclude with some Talking Points.
- Are you like Andrew? Are you willing and content to labor for Christ in the background?
- Are you like Andrew? Do you consider the work done for Christ, and by the church, more important than who gets credit for doing the work?
- Are you like Andrew? Are you more concerned with eternal matters than the many petty matters that often causes division with a church?
- Are you like Andrew? How many times have you considered your work for Christ insignificant because you labor in the background? Maybe you think what you do for the Lord is not that important. While it is true God uses a few Peter-like individuals to lead, He also uses many people like Andrew to follow leaders and to get the job done.
- Are you like Andrew or do you envy those who always seem to get the credit? Thank God right now for making you an Andrew-like follower of Jesus who does the work even if they do not receive the credit they deserve for the work that is done.
If you consider yourself a lot like Andrew, you may want to consider that Andrew was a lot like Jesus. Soli deo Gloria!
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