Heard it from a Friend.
We are going to be doing a series over the next 4 weeks called, “Crossing Paths with Jesus.”
We are going to take a look at Peter!
If you look at the chronological order of Peters encounters with Christ you will see there was 4 encounters leading up to his life being changed.
What really surprised me was the number of times Peter had to encounter Jesus before he came to a place of conversion ...... Where he turned from his own ways and completely submitted his life to the Lord.
We are going to look at these 4 encounters over the next few weeks.
Passage: John 1:35-42
35 The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples,
36 and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!”
37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus.
38 Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?”
39 He said to them, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour.
40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.
41 He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ).
42 He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).
What is really great about this series is that you don’t have to have gone through all 4 encounters to understand.
You might realize you’ve experienced one of the encounters.
You might have blazed right through all of them to the point of accepting Christ in your heart.
Hopefully, if you have not crossed paths with Christ yet, this series will help you to see what it might look like for you.
How many of you remember when you received Christ/Asked Jesus into you heart/was Saved/Surrendered your heart to Him?
(These are some of the phrases you might here but mean the same thing)
What a glorious experience it was, right?
I know for me .....
I was lost but now was found!
I have to admit at some point in my life I didn’t even know I was LOST.
All my pain was stripped away!
I would also admit that for the most part I didn’t realize ho much PAIN I was in.
I became use to it
All the sting from guilt was washed away!
Admittedly though I didn’t realize the DEVASTATION sin was causing.
Not just to me but to others as well.
After that glorious experience, ...... I was no longer a sinner but I was now a grace receiving, forgiveness given, washed clean, orphan who was adopted into the family of God! AMEN!
Transition Statement: For some of you, this morning, do you remember when you crossed paths with Jesus?
Do you remember BEING LOST?
Looking back you know see how lost you were.
Do you remember THE PAIN?
Looking back you see how much pain you were in.
Do you remember THE GUILT?
You can see now how much devastation Sin caused.
Do you remember feeling condemned, sinful, dirty?
Do you remember feeling like you were an orphan?
But, then you crossed paths with the one who took it all away.
Jesus saved you!
Not just from Hell. He saved you from yourself!
This is what we, in the church, call being REDEEMED!
Like an old table that has been casted away in some storage unit or out in the garage that has been brought out and sanded, stained, and restored to something more valuable than what it originally was. More valuable now than when it first was designed.
Thats YOU and ME once we encounter Christ and receive Him as our lord and savior.
He took away the self inflicted, satan enticing pain you were feeling.
Thats what satan does .... he does not inflict pain on us, he just convinces us to do it.
Jesus enters in and sheds light on the lies and removes the pain.
We are no longer guilty of our sins, We are forgiven!
Found not guilty.
Ou slate has been washed clean!
We have been adopted into a NEW FAMILY! (no longer an orphan)
How did this all happen for you and me?
By us crossing paths with the one who has been trying to cross paths with us from the very moment we were born.
Transition Statement: We see this throughout the New Testament. We can see this clearly with Peter!
Setting the scene .....
Jesus has just been Baptized by John the Baptist.
It’s the day after and John is standing there with 2 of his disciples (One of them is named Andrew).
Jesus comes walking by and John says to them, “Look guys, this is the one who were have heard about in the book of Isaiah.”
That’s what he meant when he said, (36) “Behold, The Lamb of God.” (Isaiah 53:7)
Scripture tells us these two guys leave John the Baptist and start to follow Jesus.
Jesus sees these 2 following Him, turns and says to them, “What are you seeking?”
Here is what is really revealing for you and me .....
Jesus first speak to them first/ He doesn’t wait for them to speak first.
Speaking to these two guys, He doesn’t say, “Why are you following me?”
“What are you seeking?” .... could be better translated, “What do you want?”
The phrase “are you seeking?” is found to be one Greek word: meaning to devote a serious effort to ones desires. To strive for something, It has this investigative feel to it.
Jesus is saying, “What is it that you are seriously seeking answers for that is desired deep within your heart?”
If you think about this long enough, everyone can relate to this question.
These two reply to this question by asking a question (Common among Jews) “Where are you staying?”
This may seem weird to us today ...... but what they were really saying back in their day was, ....... “It’s getting kinda of late in the day (4:00pm) and we would like to have some uninterrupted time with YOU and so please ask us to stay with YOU!”
Jesus catches the hint and invites them to stay with Him for the night.
We can only imagine what they talked about.
They next day Andrew takes off to go find his brother.
He say’s, “We have found the Messiah.” The Christ!
Not that they had been looking for him intently for their entire life.
The word “Found” means to find without looking, stumble upon.
Doesn’t matter though .... they found what they had heard about from the book of Isaiah.
He brings Peter to meet Jesus!
Jesus changes his name to Peter (The Rock).
Names were significant in those days unlike todays culture.
Transition Statement: So let me ask you again, “Do you remember when you Crossed paths with Jesus?
Did someone tell you about Jesus which led you to the Lord.
That person was your JOHN THE BAPTIST
Where you invited by a friend, co-worker, or family member to a church service.
Maybe your spouse or your kids begged and pleaded with you to go to church with them.
THAT PERSON WAS YOUR ANDREW
You had someone telling you about Jesus all your life.
AND YOUR NAME WAS CHANGED (Metaphorically) forever.
When it came to this life changing Jesus ..... you first HEARD IT FROM A FRIEND!
Transition Statement: I have another question, “How has crossing paths with Jesus Changed our lives?”
For many of us listening today we can relate to our lives being changed because of Jesus.
Maybe we have forgotten though ...... that We heard about HIM from a friend.
We were invited .... (better yet) encouraged to cross paths with Him because of someone else.
Peters first encounter with Jesus was because of his brother inviting him to come and see!
When was the last time you have invited someone to COME AND SEE?
Just like you and Peter who eventually was changed .... there are others who desire to be changed.
They just don’t know it yet!
This first Sunday back to church we should have a packed house. WHY?
Because there are people who are .....
.... IN PAIN.
.... DEALING WITH SIN.
.... FEELING CONDEMNED.
.... LONGING FOR A FAMILY TO BE ADOPTED INTO.
They don’t even know it but you can help them cross paths with the one who can deal with all of what they are going through. JESUS!
But there might also be someone who is listening this morning and you understand the feeling of being LOST, IN PAIN, DEALING WITH GUILT and SHAME because of SIN.
Would you allow me to be your ANDREW and introduce you to this one who took all of this away .... JESUS!
Would you allow me to pray for you this morning and if you would like to receive Christ today just repeat the first part of my prayer with me ...... PRAY!
I want to encourage two things today ....
FIRST: For those who prayed and ask Christ into your hearts please reach out to me by email, FB, text, or call me! I would love to get you moving into the next step on this journey with Jesus.
SECONDLY: For those who have been reminded of that moment you accept Jesus .... BE ANDREW and Get busy! There are family members, friends, co-workers who need to be invited.
Be that friend they heard it from.