Today's Reading: John 1:35-42a
One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which means the Christ). (John 1:40-41)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Andrew was among the first of John's disciples to follow the pointing finger of John to Jesus. "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." He had found the Messiah, or more accurately, the Messiah had found him.
Andrew had a brother named Simon. The first thing that Andrew did was go and tell his brother about Jesus and bring him to Jesus. The rest, as they say, is history. We all know about Simon whom Jesus named Cephas or Peter. But Andrew, too, was among the Twelve-- Jesus' inner core of disciples. He, too, was sent by Jesus to make disciples of the nations by baptizing and teaching. Church tradition says that Andrew went to what is now Russia and the Ukraine. He was crucified for the faith, traditionally on a cross shaped like an "X," named St. Andrew's cross after him.
Andrew was also the first evangelist. He was the first to tell another about Jesus and to bring someone to Jesus. It's really that simple. We tend to overcomplicate this business of telling others about Christ and what we believe. Andrew gives us a simpler way. Find someone who doesn't know and tell them, "We have found the Christ," and bring that person to church, to Baptism, the preached Word, and the Supper.
Our Lutheran Confessions teach that the Holy Spirit works faith "when and where it pleases Him in those who hear the Gospel." Our task is that people hear the Gospel, the good news that sinners are justified by grace through faith for Jesus' sake. The Spirit's job is to work faith in those who hear.
The devil would love for you not to say anything. The world wants to silence the Gospel. And your old Adamic flesh has a billion excuses not to go to your brother, your friend, your neighbor. John the Baptizer gives you the best reason to go: Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
"Lamb of God, pure and holy, Who on the cross didst suffer. Ever patient and lowly, Thyself to scorn didst offer. All sins Thou borest for us. Else had despair reigned o'er us: Thy peace be with us, O Jesus! O Jesus!" (Lamb of God, Pure and Holy, LSB 434:3)