When we read John’s record of the first disciples, many details included by the other gospel writers especially Luke, are missing. John’s telling is succinct and illustrates a passing of the baton. From John’s proclamation, to Andrew’s declaration, and then the words of Jesus to Peter, we observe the passing of truth. They pass it on.
Behold the Lamb
At the baptism of Jesus, the Holy Spirit announced the Christ, the Son of the living God to John. From that point on, John boldly proclaimed Jesus as the Lamb. When he saw Him in the crowds he called out “Behold the Lamb of God.’ On this day when he called out, two of his disciples left him to follow Jesus. John knew Jesus superseded him. He knew he must become less and Jesus greater. He releases his own disciples to follow the greater. He has passed it on.
We Have Found the Messiah
Jesus then engages the two disciples of John. “What do you seek?” They want to know where He is staying, and He invites them along. We learn that one is Andrew. From the witness of John and now from his own encounter with Jesus, Andrew realizes this man is the Messiah, the One promised to the Jewish people. Next, he takes this knowledge to his brother Simon and declares, “We have found the Messiah.” He doesn’t just tell him. He leads the way. He takes him to Jesus. He passed it on.
You Shall be Called ‘Cephas”
Luke’s account however, includes more history about the relationship of Jesus and Simon. For one, Jesus healed Simon’s mother-in-law. For another, Jesus used Simon’s boat when the crowds pressed Him into the Sea. Later when Jesus thanked Simon with a huge catch, he humbled himself before Jesus. He came to personally recognizes the Christ. Jesus calls forth what He sees in Simon and gives him a new name. “You are Simon the son of Jonah, you shall be called Cephas, (which is translated a stone.)” We know that in Matthew 16 when Simon Peter declares Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the Living God, Jesus announces, “You are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church.” Simon Peter passed it on.
From John’s proclamation, to Andrew’s declaration and then the words of Jesus to Peter, we observe the passing of truth. As it is received and confirmed it is passed on. From whom did you receive the truth? Has the Spirit witnessed to your spirit that Jesus is the Son of the Living God? Have you passed it on?