One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.…
I. THE WITNESS OF THE DISCIPLES. We see —
1. How instinctive and natural the impulse is when a man has found Jesus Christ to tell someone else about Him. Nobody said to Andrew, "Go and look for your brother!" If a man has a real conviction, he cannot rest until he has shared it with some one else. Even a dog that has had its leg mended will bring other limping dogs to the mender. How is it in the world? And are Christians to be dumb when worldlings are in earnest? This man before he was four and twenty hours a disciple had made another. Have you made one in the same number of years?
2. He first findeth his own brother. There was a second, then, that found somebody. Andrew found Peter before John found James. Each of the original pair of disciples brought the nearest to him in blood and affection to Christ.
(1) Home, then, presents the natural channel for Christian work. It is a poor affair if all your philanthropy and Christian energy go off noisily in Sunday-schools and mission stations, and if the people at your own fireside never hear anything of Him whom you say you love.
(2) But the principle has a wider application. Why has God placed you where you are? For business and personal ends? Yes, partly. But where a man who knows and loves Christ is brought into neighbourly contact with thousands who do not, he is thereby constituted his brother's keeper. If you live in luxury in your own ventilated and well-drained villa, and take no heed to the typhoid fever or cholera in the slums at the back, the chances are that the disease will find its way to your wife and children. And Christians who, living among godless people, do not try to heal them will be infected by them.
3. The simple Word, which is the most powerful means of influencing most men. Andrew did not argue. Some of us cannot do that, and some of us are not influenced by argument. The mightiest argument is, "We have found the Messias"; and if you have you can say so. Never mind how; anyhow.
4. Remember the beginnings of the Christian Church; two men, each of whom found his brother. Two snowflakes on the top of the mountain are an avalanche by the time they reach the valley.
II. THE SELF-REVELATION OF THE MASTER.
1. He shows Himself possessed of supernatural and thorough knowledge.
(1) The look described by an unusual word was a penetrating gaze which regarded Peter with fixed attention. It must have been remarkable to have lived in John's memory for all those years.
(2) The saying was meant to imply more than natural knowledge. "Thou art Simon." "Thou God seest me," an unwelcome thought to many and to us unless, through Christ.
2. He changes Simon's name, and so(1) reveals His absolute possession of him. Jehovah changed the names of Abraham and Jacob. Babylonian kings changed the names of their vassal princes; masters those of their slaves; husbands those of their wives. We belong to Him altogether because He has given Himself altogether for us.
(2) Reveals His power and promise to bestow a new character, new functions, new honours. Peter was by no means Peter then. Like the granite, all fluid and hot, he needed to cool in order to solidify into rock. But he eventually became all that Christ here meant him to be. No man's character is so obstinately rooted in evil but Christ can change its set and direction. He will not make Peter into a John, but He will deliver Peter from the defects of his qualities, and lead them up into a nobler region. The process may be long and painful, but it will be sure.
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.