January 16, 2010

An All Nighter With Jesus

A while back now, I purchased this book to use for study as I was preparing messages for group. I lied the idea of being able to look at the events in the chronological order of which they happened and what new insights would arise because of it. Lately, I have been reading through the Gospels in it and it has helped see some of the stories in different ways. More than just being in chronological order I also like this Bible because it doesn’t have verse numbers within the text so it reads more like a story.

I was really struck by John 1:25-51.

Within this passage, it tells the story of two of John the Baptist’s disciples spending all night (from 4:00pm until sunrise which marked the next day) with Jesus after John declares Him the “Lamb of God.” Now think about that for a second…consider spending an entire night with Jesus. Think about what you would see and experience. Think about the things that Jesus would talk about and how you would want to hang on every single word that came out. Think about the embrace you would receive at the end of your entire day together. One would imagine that an entire night with Jesus would simply be surreal; one that we can only hope for when we get to Heaven.

Now, after you have spent that time with Jesus, what do you think your response would be the next day?

What surprises and challenges me is that after these two men spend the day with Jesus, they have two different responses. In verse 40, it tells us that one of the two men was Andrew and that the “first thing” Andrew did was to go and find his brother Peter and tell him about his great day and the great man he spent it with. There was excitement and energy, joy and love. Later on when Jesus formally asks Peter and Andrew to follow him (Matthew 4:18-22) the two men simply up and leave their father sitting in the boat as they run off for a life together with Jesus.

This is the response that I want to have. The one that I would hope most of you would want to have after spending a day with Jesus.

Yet, there is another side to the story that I have often overlooked in previous readings: What happened to the second man? Remember, it wasn’t just Andrew who spent the day with Jesus, there was a second man. (Now there is a possibility that the second man was Philip who is brought up in verse 43 but it in inconclusive. I also find it weird that John would go out of the way to mention that one of the men was Andrew but yet not mention that if in fact the second was Philip. Also, there are some commentators who think the other man was John, the author, but there isn’t really any proof to back that up – as far as I know at this point anyways)

In all appearances, the other man simply went home after his day with Jesus. He didn’t tell anyone that we know of. There was no excitement or love. And by all appearances he didn’t come back again to find Jesus and spend more time with Him. The man spent an entire day with the Creator of the Universe and appears to have simply gone home and went, “Ehhh.” What?!?!?!?

What I began to ask myself though is which response do I tend to model? Am I more often Andrew or am I more often this other guy?

I wish I could sit here and tell you that my response is always that of Andrew – excitement, love, energy…but the truth is, I am probably more often the unknown man. I spend time with Jesus, I check off my list of things to do today and pat myself on the back and go on with my life as normal.

Just like in any relationship, there will always be “Ehhh” days, even with Jesus, but yet what I have realized in my own relationships are that those “Ehhh” days are more my choice of how to interpret them and live them than they are a reflection of who I am spending my time with.

My prayer though is that I would more and more act like Andrew. That I would make the effort to tell other people about what Jesus is teaching me (one of my ways will be this blog). That I would make the effort to bring others to Him. I want to start asking this question regularly:

How will I respond to my day with Jesus today?