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Life Changer

John 1:40-42

Can you remember a life changing event in your life, or a person who changed your life dramatically? For me, the moment I agreed to help out a stranger with her first year of teaching as a mentor was life changing. What made it life changing was the way God dramatically, and clearly, showed me that this woman would be my wife. Now that is a big change in a person’s life, especially after being single for 17 years!

Care Our journey through John’s gospel leads us to a story of a fisherman named Andrew. It would seem that he had gotten sidetracked from the fishing business by becoming a disciple of John the Baptizer across the lake from where he worked with the family business. When John pointed out Jesus as the Lamb of God, Andy was one of the two that would turn to follow Jesus to ‘come and see.’ The first response to Jesus, the life changer, was to care about Him. He had a strong desire to drop everything and follow the Christ.

Share It is most interesting that the Bible seems to keep Andy as a minor character, pointing out that he was the brother to Simon, who would later be called Peter. He didn’t seem to mind. In fact, Andy was so excited that he became the first evangelist, running to tell his brother about the arrival of the Messiah promised throughout their Scriptures. The Apostle John tells us (1:41) that Andy ran around the lake to find his brother, telling him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which is translated, the Christ). He had followed Jesus, and saw clearly who He was. Now he was ready to share that with someone he cared about. The second response to Jesus, the life changer, was to share about Him. Andrew had a strong desire to have those he cared about know the exciting news, and have the opportunity to join in following Him. Much like the shepherds reaction to the announcement of Jesus’ arrival, Andrew wanted to share the good news with great excitement, joy, and selflessness.

Dare John 1:42 says, ‘He brought [Simon] to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, ‘You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas.’ (which is translated, a Stone).’ Another gospel has Jesus renaming Simon as Cephas or Peter later in Caesarea Philippi of Northern Israel, when Jesus explains that Peter would be a small rock to help lead the church, and that this church would be build on the big rock of Peter’s proclamation that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:13-19; Mark 8:27-30). In the Bible, a name change by God introduces a very important life change. For Simon Peter, he had not only been introduced to the Christ, but his life had been completely changed. Formerly, he was a brash, outspoken fisherman from Galilee, and now he was a bold follower of Jesus Christ, preacher of the gospel, and fisher of men.

Meeting Jesus Christ, and choosing to follow Him, brings about dramatic life change! You are challenged to care about something you have not known about previously. Do you care that God became flesh to live with us? Do you care that God became flesh to deal with our sin problem and save us to a relationship with Him, as He had originally intended? You are also challenged to share the good news with those people you care about! Life change is always something worth sharing with others, giving them opportunity for the same life change in their life. Have you shared the good news with others in such a way as to attract them to following Jesus Christ? Finally, you are dared to take a step of faith, the risk of dramatic change in your life’s direction and purpose. You may not get a name change from God, but He will definitely give you new purpose and direction when you choose to trust Him completely! Jesus Christ is not just the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world; He is also a life changer if you let Him.

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