Come and Stay

This is the day after Jesus was baptized.  The first two who followed him were disciples of John the Baptist.  They realized John was a fulfillment of scripture preparing the way.  Jesus and John the Baptist were cousins six months apart in age but John had been preparing the way for years.  When Jesus came to be baptized he was 30 years old.  He had stayed with his earthly family.  This was a large family of brothers and sisters and we read about them in the books of Acts, Jude, and James.  They would later be disciples of their brother.  These two had followed John the Baptist a long time and knew what to do when the Messiah appeared.  John would decrease and the Messiah would increase.  These two were Andrew and John and they would tell their brothers Peter and James.

The next day they saw Jesus and asked him where he was staying.  Jesus said “come and see.”  When they realized the day was late they stayed with Jesus instead of going back home. In our time we live in the approaching night.  Even though John and Andrew could have gone home they decided to stay with Jesus.  So many are not focusing on Jesus and we need to stay with him too.  The desire to stay is missing for many.  We need to stay wherever Jesus is.

John 1:35 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; 36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! 37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? 39 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. 40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.

This is a good object lesson of a real-life situation of how people reacted to the invitation of Jesus.  We’re saved because of a mutual decision.  Jesus decided we needed saving and came here.  He was born of a virgin in a stable.  He paid the price for our sin on Calvary.  He could have said no.  Because of sin our life was a mess.  Jesus took the broken pieces and put them together again.  I want to stick with someone like that!

Andrew and John knew John the Baptist was not the Christ.  They knew he was laying the groundwork for the Son of God.  John was baptizing, a voice crying in the wilderness like an old mountain man, to prepare for the way of the Lord.  He was opening up the way for the Savior.  Jesus came and John said Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.  Right before the eyes of Andrew and John they heard John the Baptist say that he wasn’t worthy to baptize Jesus but Jesus said it was to be.  After Jesus was baptized they heard a thundering voice speak from heaven:  this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.

The next day they were out again and John saw Jesus.  He told Andrew and John to behold the Lamb of God.  They realized John was telling them it was time to follow Jesus.  The devil distracts us with anything and everything to put distance between us and the Lord.  John pointed to Jesus and these two men had a decision to make.  They knew John wanted them to follow Jesus.  They knew John but not Jesus.  They didn’t know where he was from.  They had a livelihood there but didn’t worry.  We shouldn’t focus on the details.  Jesus takes care of them.  Jesus would go over every part of Israel and even beyond its borders to get to people.  I’m glad he came over the border after me.  Not only did John and Andrew follow Jesus, they stayed with him.

What are we going to do?  I appreciate everyone’s faithfulness to the church.  There have been hard times.  Sometimes we’ve wondered how we’ll go on, but we’re still here, still staying with Jesus.  We’re better off doing that.

Andrew decided to go get his brother.  He told Peter they had found the Messiah, the Christ.  He took him to Jesus.  And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, a stone.  Guess who else stayed with Jesus that night.

This event with Peter happened a long time before Peter’s confession that Jesus was the Messiah.  The interpretation is that Jesus was calling Peter a stone—he was hardheaded.  Jesus takes hardheaded people like you and me.  Peter was hardheaded.  He made mistakes but look who was the first to take a stand at Pentecost—Peter.  God can use us too.

Sometime later Jesus told the large group of disciples that hard times would come.  Many of them left and followed him no more.  He looked at the 12 and asked if they too would leave.  Peter said to whom can we go?  They had staying power.

Where is Jesus?  Our prayer should be to do more than visit with him.  Lord, help us to be a stayer.

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