"He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings." Psalm 40:2

if all believers were more like Andrew…

I was so moved by one of our readings in family worship this week! The Lord is so faithful in providing us encouragement and motivation right when we need it! I wanted to share this real quick, in the hopes that it might be an encouragement to one of you.

In family worship we’re working our way sloooowwly through the book of John, coupled with JC Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on John. (This set on the Gospels is wonderful! Perfect for family worship, personal devotions, or personal study. See my other post about the set here.)

The Scripture passage we discussed on Wednesday & Thursday evenings this week was John 1:35-42:

“Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 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? 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. One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. 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.”

{John 1:35-42, my emphasis added}

Specifically addressing the part I’ve emphasized, Ryle wrote:

We see, for another thing, what good a believer may do to others, by speaking to them about Christ.

No sooner does Andrew become a disciple, than he tells his brother Simon what a discovery he has made. Like one who has unexpectedly heard good tidings, he hastens to impart it to the one nearest and dearest to him. He says to his brother, ‘We have found the Messias,’ and he ‘brings him to Jesus.’ Who can tell what might have happened if Andrew had been of a silent, reserved, and uncommunicative spirit, like many a Christian in the present day? Who can tell but his brother might have lived and died a fisherman on the Galilean lake? But happily for Simon, Andrew was not a man of this sort. He was one whose heart was so full that he must speak. And to Andrew’s outspoken testimony, under God, the great Apostle Peter owed the first beginning of the light in his soul.

The fact before us is most striking and instructive. Out of the three first members of the Christian church, one at least was brought to Jesus by the private, quiet word of a relative. He seems to have heard no public preaching. He saw no mighty miracle wrought. He was not convinced by any powerful reasoning. He only heard his brother telling him that he had found a Saviour himself, and at once the work began in his soul. The simple testimony of a warm-hearted brother was the first link in the chain by which Peter was drawn out of the world and joined to Christ. The first blow in that mighty work by which Peter was made a pillar of the church, was struck by Andrew’s words: ‘We have found the Christ.’

Well would it be for the church of Christ if all believers were more like Andrew! Well would it be for souls if all men and women who have been converted themselves, would speak to their friends and relatives on spiritual subjects, and tell them what they have found! How much good might be done! How many might be led to Jesus, who now live and die in unbelief! The work of testifying the gospel of the grace of God ought not to be left to ministers alone. All who have received mercy ought to find a tongue, and to declare what God has done for their souls. All who have been delivered from the power of the devil, ought to go home and tell their friends what great things God has done for them (Mark 5:19). Thousands, humanly speaking, would listen to a word from a friend, who will not listen to a sermon. Every believer ought to be a home-missionary, -a missionary to his family, children, servants, neighbors, and friends. Surely, if we can find nothing to say to others about Jesus, we may well doubt whether we are savingly acquainted with him ourselves.

Let us take heed that we are among those who really follow Christ, and abide with him. It is not enough to hear him preached from the pulpit, and to read of him as described in books. We must actually follow him, pour out our hearts before him, and hold personal communion with him. Then, and not till then, we shall feel constrained to speak of him to others. The man who only knows Christ by the hearing of the ear, will never do much for the spread of Christ’s cause in the earth.1

Wow. I couldn’t have said it any better (or even nearly that well) myself.

1 Expository Thoughts on the Gospels – John – Volume 1, by JC Ryle p. 50-51

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