"The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples; and he looked at Jesus as he walked, 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 do you seek?" And they said to him, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "where are you staying?" He said to them, "Come and see." 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 him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first found his 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, "So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas" (which means Peter)" (John 1:35-42 RSV).
We never really are told what Jesus did from the time he was 12 and his parents found him in the temple talking and asking questions of the elders, until he began his ministry. I imagine he learned Joseph’s trade and helped support the family, and then himself as a carpenter. All of the apostles needed to ply their trades as they traveled around with Jesus, some with their families, so they could support themselves. I imagine that they were viewed by some in the same way we would view day laborers today! Isn’t that amazing? These rough, strong, rowdy, impulsive and rowdy men were tasked with spreading the Good News to all the world!
Then we come to Peter, the Rock, upon which Jesus builds His church – note I didn’t say the church! My bible notes indicate what scripture later relates to us: Peter was anything but a rock in his early years! He was, in fact, unstable and impulsive—hardly the type of person one would look up to and model their behavior after! But my notes go on to say the Peter was chosen by Jesus because of what he would become through God’s grace. That is quite daunting! To think that Peter was molded and shaped, taught and re-taught all the lessons Jesus needed him to learn so that he could become the pillar of the church after Christ rose and went to heaven!
And God does that with each of us! I’ve had several conversations with friends lately about this topic. All of us have things we’ve experienced in our lives that were unpleasant, painful, even almost unbearable! But each of us has said – some with substantially more grace than others – that if going through it all again was what was required to be where we are today – we would do it! Not that I am so devout, good, strong, righteous, or by any stretch of the imagination the kind of role model I should be for anyone! But that if I needed to be refined and molded and broken over my lifetime to feel the almost tangible presence of God’s grace in my life, then yes, I would do it all again!
Andrew “got it!” And he wanted to share “it” with his brother! He was bound to be overcome with excitement and hope and overwhelmed with the realization that he was chosen by The Anointed One! Each of is chosen too. We have the responsibility and the privilege to become a disciple of Jesus Christ, and to bring others to Him. And we are able to do so, not because of our own ability, skill, talent, education or training. No. We are able because, through God’s grace we are who and what the world needs us to be right now, today. We are Christ’s disciples. We are to be the rock of another’s faith. We are to be Jesus to a fallen world.
This year as I wait for Christmas, I am waiting to discover who God will make me! I long to know and become what He has planned for me next! I rejoice that I feel his tangible and unquestionable grace as if it were a living, breathing being! I embrace it! I rejoice in it! I am both convicted and washed clean by it.
I hope you spend today experiencing with joy and anticipation what God is doing in your life, and how He is shaping and molding you to become who and what you were meant to be. And that you will rejoice in his grace and love, the vehicles through which we are transformed.
Blessings on your journey,