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Chapter 1:35-42 (ESV)

Posted on July 17, 2023  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 1:35-42 (ESV) - The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).

Question to consider: Who were the two disciples of John the Baptist mentioned in this passage?

For the second time in as many days, John the Baptist exclaimed that Jesus was “the Lamb of God!”— the unblemished Son of God who came into the world to redeem our sins. This time, it was to two of John’s disciples. One of them we know was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. We can only assume that since this gospel account was the eye-witness testimony of the apostle John, that John was the other disciple with Andrew.

From the other gospel accounts, it would seem that James and John worked on their father’s boat (Zebedee), and Peter and Andrew had their own boat, but all four of these boys went out together and helped each other haul in their catches. As I mentioned a couple of days ago, John and Peter seemed to remain good friends and served together in the Jerusalem church until John made his way to Ephesus (presumably after his brother, James, was executed).

Tradition has it that Andrew was an apostle in Greece before being crucified so it is likely that those to whom John wrote knew Peter but not Andrew, but as John pointed out, it was Andrew who first introduced Peter to Jesus.

I have a tendency to think of John as having a bold personality and good sense of humor so I have to wonder whether John chuckled about how awkward he and Andrew were in silently following behind Jesus before being asked what they wanted. They called Jesus “Rabbi” and wanted to follow and learn from Him, but there was also the unspoken truth that they wanted to be part of the Messiah’s rise to power.

When Jesus gave Simon the nickname, Peter (or Cephas in Aramaic), I wish I knew how Peter reacted to it. Matthew and Mark both introduced Peter at the point in which he was called and immediately began to follow. Luke, however, described an encounter on Simon and Andrew’s boat when Jesus was preaching to the crowds on the shore, and Simon had been out fishing all night. Simon was pretty annoyed when Jesus told him to recast the nets he just cleaned, and when Jesus provided a miraculous catch, Simon confessed to being a sinful man. It makes me wonder whether Simon wasn’t impressed with Jesus when he first met Him.


Dear heavenly Father, thank You for knowing us better than we know ourselves and for being patient with us when our faith is weak. Help us to live up to the calling You have given us in Christ Jesus. Amen.