John 1:31-34 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”
32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”
They were cousins, so it was almost certain they had met before. But he didn’t know He was the Messiah until God confirmed His identity with a unique sign. The Spirit coming down and remaining on Him. He saw the Spirit in the form of a dove.
When John baptized with water it represented the cleansing sinners need. Picture sin being washed away. But water baptism cannot create newness of life. John’s baptism with water was to prepare Israel for the coming of Jesus who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. After Jesus returned to heaven God poured out the Holy Spirit onto all of His believers.
John 1:35-36 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”
The following day John the Baptist directed two of his own disciples to the Lord Jesus and they ended up following Jesus. They were Andrew and John, the author of this book.
John 1:37-39 37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”
They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”
39 “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”
So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.
Andrew and John had listened as John the Baptist talked about the Messiah’s coming. Now they weren’t satisfied to just hear about Him, or even hear Him – they wanted to be with Him. So they asked Him where He was staying!
Notice John said “it was about 4 o’clock”. This was such an important moment to him, he remembered the exact time. His life completely changed in that moment.
John 1:40-42 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).
Andrew seemed so unassuming that many people don’t really think about him. But he was one of the first two disciples and he brought his brother Peter to Christ. Later he brought a boy who shared his lunch with 5000 people and some Greeks who wanted to meet Jesus.
When it says Jesus looked at Simon, in the original Greek “look” describes a concentrated, penetrating gaze. He could see right through Simon. And He said “You are Simon” – his name portrayed his character. Simon meant impetuous, changeable and at times, even unreliable.
Jesus changed his name to Peter which means “rock” both a picture and a promise of the way Simon’s new relationship to God through Christ would transform him completely. So true of Peter’s life!