First published January 25, 2010.
Andrew spent a day with Jesus.
He had been a follower of John (the baptizing one). He was looking for something spiritual. He was looking for someone that would be the one, the answer, the Messiah.
And after spending a day with Jesus, Andrew went looking for his brother and said, simply, “We have found the Messiah.”
His brother would have known about Andrew’s quest, about how he followed John, about what Andrew had been looking for. His brother would have known Andrew’s personality, how quick or slow he was to trust. Simon knew how to understand Andrew’s statement.
There are times that we say to people that we don’t know, “We have found the Messiah” and we can’t figure out why they aren’t as excited as we are.
It may be because they aren’t us, they don’t know us, they have no clue about the quest we have been on. They don’t know how much we have struggled over this. They don’t have any reason to be concerned about what is happening in our lives.
It may be reading into the text, but Simon likely goes with Andrew to see Jesus on the strength of Andrew and Simon’s relationship as brothers (at least) and perhaps because they shared the same quest.
When followers of Jesus invite other people to be followers of Jesus, we have to be aware of their story. And we have to let them be aware of ours.
To simply assume that they should understand the significance of Jesus without any relational context at all misses a simple truth: Simon, also known as Peter, started following Jesus through a relationship.