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The First Thing Andrew Did

posted Feb 3, 2014, 12:55 PM by Deanna Skare   [ updated Feb 3, 2014, 1:12 PM ]

John 1:35-42

Pastor Youngjae Jee

 

The first thing Jesus proclaimed was “Repent the kingdom of heaven is near.” (Matthew 4:17)   Where is the kingdom of heaven?  Do you know when or where?  One Pharisee asked Jesus when the kingdom of God would come.  Jesus replied in Luke 17:20-21, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”
 
We don’t see the kingdom of God in your eyes, but you can see the kingdom of God within you.  What does that mean?  Here is my interpretation. The Kingdom of God is the place where God rules.  If God’s rule is denied it may not be like a kingdom of God.  Since God created the world, the whole universe is in fact the kingdom of God.  However, if the world denies God’s rule, then the world is no longer a kingdom of God.
 
When Jesus proclaimed the kingdom of God is near he meant the ruling king is coming near to us with his rule to recover the world.  God wants to redeem the world.  God wants to reclaim the souls who have been denying God’s rule.  God want to rule the world with his rule.
 
Jesus came with his rule.  His thumb rule was to love.  Remember the rule that he summed up by the two greatest rules.  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)
 
Jesus did not just publish his rule of love but showed and proved his love on the cross.  When John the Baptist saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” (John 1:36)  The Lamb of God was sacrificed to revive the rule of God.   God rules the world with his love and He revealed his love through Jesus Christ on the cross.  The way of the cross was not a failure but victory.   It was the revelation and perfection of God’s love.
 

Whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Whoever believes in him shall live in the kingdom of God.  Whoever believes in him shall live by the rule of God.  Whoever believes in him shall live by the rule of love.  Whoever believes in him shall live towards the cross. 
 
Now, I hope that it is a little clear for all of us what Jesus meant by “the kingdom of God is within you.”  By believing in Jesus, by living in Jesus, by living with the rule of God, or by living with the rule of love we are already living in the kingdom of God.  The kingdom of God is within us.

 

You know what the second thing that Jesus did while proclaiming Kingdom of God?  He invited people to his kingdom.  The two disciples of John heard about the Lamb of God and then followed Jesus.  Jesus turned around and asked them “What do you want?”  And they said, “Rabbi, where are you staying?”  Jesus said, “come and you will see.”  He invited the two men to his place.  Well, I am at the almost final stage of ordination process.  This question comes to my mind many times; “What do you want?”  I am following Jesus, so to speak.   Jesus kept asking me “what do you want?”  Then he invites me to his place.

 

To his invitation, the two men responded.  It says in John 1:39 “they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him.”  I put myself there too:  “I went and saw where he was staying and spent that day with him.”  I want you to put yourself there too: “I went and saw where he was staying and spent that day with him.”

 

Andrew was one of the two who had followed Jesus.  You know, “The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (That is, the Christ).” (John 1:41)  You see, the first thing Andrew did after he spent time with Jesus was to find his brother and invite him to Jesus.

 

What is the first thing you did after you meet Jesus?  You have a brother, a sister, parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, or friends, don’t you?   Have you brought them to Jesus?  I know how you might feel to this question.  People don’t like E-word.  The word “evangelism” becomes one of most unwelcomed words to people nowadays.

 

However, think about who introduced you to Jesus?  Wasn’t it your mother or father, your grandma or grandpa, your wife or your husband, your sister or brother, your cousins, your friends, or your neighbor?  They must be not far away from you.  A pastor?  Maybe, but not likely!  Your invitation to Jesus was not from the far-away. 

 

 Now think about people around you.  They are people whom you can invite to Jesus.  The first thing that Andrew did after getting to know Jesus was to bring his brother to Jesus.  Now it is your turn.  Andrew did not have to be responsible for Peter’s life or his faith journey, but Andrew was the one who introduced Peter to Jesus (according to the story of the gospel of John).  That was one thing at least he could do for his brother, but it was one of the greatest things he has ever done for him because by that he just introduced his brother to the kingdom of God.

 

The kingdom of God is “within” you.  A footnote of the Bible says that the word “within” can be also translated as “among.”  The kingdom of God is within you and also among you.  We have a good chance to invite your loved ones to Jesus every Sunday.  Go and tell them “Come and see and spend time with us.”  They may meet Jesus.  They may enter into the kingdom of God.

 

Jesus invited people to his place and so do we.  Amen.  

 
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