Oct 21, 2020, 12:05 PM
Very often we want to see in order to believe. Whilst such behaviour may seem normal with people of the world, with people of faith it is the other way round. We believe and therefore we see. When two disciples of John the Baptist met with Jesus they wanted to see where He lived – sheer curiosity. The Master said to them, “Come and you will see.” Actually, they had overheard what John the Baptist said as Jesus was passing by; “Look, the Lamb of God!” (John 1:36)
So they went at His invitation and Andrew soon after the visit was proud to disclose to his brother Simon: “We have found the Messiah.” (John 1:41) The natural thing to do was for him to bring his brother along to have an encounter with Jesus. That meeting was not a chanced meeting. It was going to change Simon’s life forever. Jesus looked at him and said: “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas.” (Verse 42)
Jesus was about to set up His ministry and was looking for suitable men whom He could train and nurture in the ways of God. He perceived Simon as a worthy candidate but he had a handicap with regard to his name. Simon means a reed – found mostly by river banks and is subject to being blown in all directions. His new name was to give Simon a new identity. Henceforth, his name will be called Cephas or Peter meaning a rock. No more would he be influenced by the vagaries of life. Jesus had empowered to stand firm.
Simon followed Jesus to His abode to satisfy his curiosity but it turned out to be a divine appointment; because Peter would be identified to be the head of the other disciples Jesus would later select. Indeed, little did he expect such a turnaround in his character that would define him after the return of Jesus to heaven.
This event happened some 2,000 years ago, but Jesus can still change your circumstances -- if you would respond to His invitation to find answers to your enquiries. Andrew and Simon wanted to see where He lived to satisfy their quest to get to know more about the Lamb of God. He is able to change lives.
Remember it was John the Baptist who revealed Jesus to his own disciples. Then it got to a point where he himself needed to certify Jesus’ identity as the Messiah. His disciples must have told him stories of the miracles Jesus was performing “because He taught as One who had authority and not as teachers of the law.” (Matthew 7:29) How did Jesus teach with authority? The ‘teachers of the Law’ is another way of saying the Scribes and the Pharisees who were the custodians of the Scriptures which included the Law and the Prophets. They always spoke in the third person whilst Jesus spoke in the first person. “You have heard that it was said, “Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also...” (Matthew 5:38)
Back to where we left off with John the Baptist who was most probably stunned at Jesus’ accomplishments. Jesus sent word to him saying; “Go back and report to John what you hear and see. The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall on account of me.” (Matthew 11:4) These words established without a shadow of doubt who the Messiah is.
Prophet Isaiah had prophesied 800 years before the coming of the Messiah that He would be sent to preach the good news to the poor, ... to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort those who mourn and provide for those who grieve in Zion ...” (Isaiah 61:1-3a)
During the three and a half years that Jesus trod this earth, He performed numerous extraordinary miracles. And so the apostle John in his epistle recorded “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.”(1 John 1:1)
One particular incident comes to mind. Jesus had just finished teaching the crowd that followed Him. He had said to His disciples; “Let us go over to the other side.” Tired, Jesus fell asleep at the back of the boat. Suddenly, a furious storm arose that the disciples -- who for the most part were ex-fishermen -- could not handle. The winds tossed the boat that it almost capsized. In despair, the disciples used the only option left to them -- to wake the Master up. However, in their desperation they had forgotten that Jesus had said they were crossing to the other side. That they panicked demonstrated their lack of faith in Jesus. They were with Him but they still could not understand what His capabilities were. That Jesus was fast asleep while the storm raged testified that He was above the storm and that nothing could have happened as long as He was in the boat.
After rebuking the wind, He said to the waves “Quiet! Be still! The wind immediately died down and the sea became completely calm. The disciples marvelled at this outcome and uttered these words: “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him.” (Mark 4:41)
Maybe you are asking the same question like John the Baptist or like the disciples. The Apostle Paul sums up who Jesus is in this revelation: “God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him a name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11)
Only Jesus can quell that storm raging in your life! Only Jesus, the Son of God can speak to your circumstances and effect a drastic change. Like Andrew and Simon Peter take that bold step, go and see!