No man left behind


“Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two disciples who heard what John said and followed Jesus. He first found his own brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah!” (which is translated Christ). Andrew brought Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon, the son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).”
‭‭John‬ ‭1:40-42‬ ‭NET‬‬


Meet the first proselyte. I mean really it began with someone. Someone had to be the first to go and tell another about Jesus. So sure let it begin with Andrew. He had spent quality time with Jesus. He had been intrigued at first by John’s words. His intrigue became knowledge and his knowledge had translated into becoming a follower. Something had been transformed by those quality moments spent in the dwelling place of Jesus, listening to Jesus teach. Andrew quickly discerned that this Rabbi was like no other Rabbi. His words had a depth to them no other teacher he had heard speak. This Rabbi knew ancient things like they were first hand knowledge. All other Rabbi’s had been taught by another Rabbi and each of their teachings had a hue of their master’s teachings, but not this Teacher. No other spoke so intimately about the Most High God. It was like Jesus had seen Yahweh first hand. Andrew’s heart was changed by the mere presence of Jesus. His life had become richly loaded and infused with vigor and zest simply by sitting at the Good Teacher’s feet and soaking in His Words. His life was overflowing with ultimate maximization just because the very Word of God saturated his being in those precious moments spent with Jesus. He couldn’t help himself. He had to go find Simon. Simon was his own brother for goodness sake. “No other logical person than Simon,” Andrew concluded. He would not stop at go. He could not get distracted. He had one mission. He had to tell someone. He must tell Simon. He proceeded on until he found his own brother. At once… “We have found the Messiah!” That’s it, no more words to speak for no other words were needed. Simon followed Andrew. Andrew led. Immediately Andrew brought Simon to Jesus.

Now how easy is that! Why do I make it so hard? Sharing Jesus is just that simple. Nothing profound. Nothing complicated. You have got to realize this one thing about Andrew – Andrew shared Jesus minus the power of the Holy Spirit for the Very Spirit of God had not yet dwelt in the followers of Jesus. That would happen three years later. All Andrew had was zeal because he had spent time with Jesus. We view all these events from the other side of Pentecost. We read these events of Andrew’s life from the time after God sent his very own Spirit dwell in all who believe and confess that Jesus is the Christ. We now have the power of God, and the mind of God to help us share Jesus with others. The key element that Andrew possessed at this time was – wait for it – Andrew had spent quality time with Jesus! That’s it! God has called us to go out into all the world and share Jesus with other’s. God has given us His power to accomplish this feat. Sometimes I make it too hard. Sometimes I make it too difficult. I complicate things by trying to explain difficult concepts such as redemption or sanctification. All I need is Jesus. All I need is to spend time with Jesus. I am about to get off an airplane. When I land I will find myself in ADDIS Ababa Ethiopia. God has given me a dream to see lives changed by the good news that Jesus has come so that the people of Ethiopia can live an abundant life. I do not need to muddy the waters by adding long complicated “Christianeze” words. All I need is zest and vitality because I have spent one on one time with my Lord and Savior. They will want to follow me as I lead them to Jesus. Actually, they will only follow if I show them the real Jesus, the One whom my heart aches for. Andrew only spoke five words. Few words were spoken, but few words were needed. It wasn’t the eloquence of the words, it was the passion of the speaker that caused Simon to follow Andrew. In just those five words Andrew spoke something that would ignite curiosity in Simon. One of those five words triggered a desire in Simon. That one word spoken woke up a dream inside Simon. As all Israel was desiring at this time, Simon also dreamed of a day when Messiah would come and deliver Israel from Roman rule. These two were true sons of Israel. That is what woke the sleeping giant in Simon. “We have found the Messiah!” Jesus was the One God had anointed and chosen and specified to be the One who would deliver Israel. The anointing oil had been poured on Jesus before He had ever left the throne room. The words Andrew used spoke to Simon’s dream. God has promised us that He would give us the words to say when we need them. I need them as I go to tell other’s, “I have found the Messiah.” I need the words that would trigger and water the eternity seed that has been planted in every human heart. I need God to fill my heart with His love for these Ethiopian people. That will only come because I have been with Jesus and sat at His feet as He teaches me. I need Him to saturate my being with zeal and vitality and passion so that I might see “lost people become found people.” This is the creed of my church – Foundations Church of Tulsa.

Mel Gibson starred in a movie about the Vietnam War. The movie was entitled “We were Soldiers.” It was based on a true story of the first infantry division that landed in the hot zone of war in Vietnam. The leader of this division coined a phrase, “No man left behind.” This should be my creed while I am in Ethiopia. From the moment my foot touches down on Ethiopian soil to the moment I step back onto the flight that will take me home to all those I love in the United States I shall say to myself, “No man left behind,” for that will be the future of all who do not bow now before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords; they will be left behind when Christ issues the call, “Come up here.”

I am a soldier in the army of God. He issues an order to me. “No man left behind!” I will go out into all the world after I have come into His Presence.