2005-09-29 - Pointers
John 1:41-42 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 . (NIV)
When you picture the Internet, what images come to your mind? Miles and miles of wires and fiberoptic cables and routers and switches and computers. It is both more complex and more simple than most of us realize. The wiring and switches are all there to send information between computers and communications devices, which are often really computers in disguise. When a computer sends a message, that message is given a destination and is put on the local network and the message hits the first router. That router looks at the address and only the address. The logical question asked is, "Do I (the router) know how to deliver this message?" If so, the message is delivered. If not, then what is called a default route is taken to the next switch, and the same yes or no question is asked again and again until the message is delivered. It's not nearly as random as you may think, and very elegant in its' simplicity. The addressing and routing scheme are used to point the message to its' eventual destination.
Andrew was always bringing someone to meet Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was hunt down his brother Simon so Andrew could bring Simon to Jesus. Andrew is not unlike a switch, Peter is the destination and Jesus is the message. In this example, the destination is brought to the message. As the switch, Andrew knows where Peter needs to go. The logic is simple. "Does Peter know the Messiah? If not, point Peter to the Messiah."
As believers, we are all not unlike Andrew. By our words or our actions, we either move people closer to Jesus, or we do not. Even if you are not actively gabbing someone by the elbow and talking to them about the Lord you know and love, you are a witness. By your actions and reactions, people will know if your faith has reached into your life. Does everybody have strengths and weaknesses? Simon Peter, to Martin Luther, to Billy Graham would all tell you they had or have weaknesses. That's why God gives us the Bible, and the Holy Spirit and friends all to point us back to Jesus when we struggle. If people see that your faith is real they may mock and scoff. But when the chips are down, they will come looking for you for answers.
When the Columbine incident happened, people headed for churches in droves. When September 11th exploded into our lives, people headed for the churches again looking for answers. When a friend or co-worker loses a loved one or suffers another serious loss, they may come looking for you asking questions. Then the door is open to simply share the Lord who has given you the answers to your questions.
1 Peter 3:15-16 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. (NIV)