Tuesday after the First Sunday after Epiphany
Scripture: St. John 1:35-42 (NKJV)
35 Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. 36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38 Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?” They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?” 39 He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour). 40 One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, a Stone).
“The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.” Such it is with all believers in Christ. They hear the Word of God, and through the working of the Holy Ghost creating faith in them they follow the Lord Jesus. St. John the Baptist’s sermon is quite simple and short, “Behold the Lamb of God.” The two disciples of St. John the Baptist knew what that meant; He was the Messiah, the Anointed One, Who was come into the world to redeem mankind from their sins. This is the One Whom St. John the Baptist had been preaching about from the beginning of his ministry at the Jordan River. It is the One Who the two disciples had been prepared to receive by the preaching of their master. And led by the Holy Ghost, they followed the Lord Jesus.
We see here the beginning of the New Testament Church, and the beginning of the Office of the Holy Ministry. For, our Lord begins to call those who would preach the Gospel concerning Him in truth and purity, and administer His sacraments according to His institution. The first to be named is St. Andrew, and we assume since he is not named that the other is the writer of the Gospel himself, St. John. We also have their brothers, St. Peter and St. James. This is why Sts. Peter, James and John are the ones who our Lord brings with Him when He does important things, because they were the first. And they are, in a sense, the replacements of St. John the Baptist. They would proclaim the Lord Jesus to the entire world and follow Him in faith until their deaths.