Luther’s Notes on the Gospel: St. Andrew the Apostle (Nov. 30th)

November 30th, 2015
St. Andrew’s Day

John 1:35-42
New King James Version

st-andrew-the-first-called-Duccio-di-Buoninsegna35 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).

Luther’s Explanatory Notes:

35 If Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;
36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master, ) where dwellest thou?
39 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.
40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.

The disciples coming to Christ. In this gospel John the Evangelist does not speak of the calling of the apos tles, but says that merely in a social way they came to Jesus, and also re turned again to their homes after they had formed a friendship with him, but had not yet become his dis ciples. But afterwards Christ came to the sea of Galilee and called them to be his apostles. (Matt. 4:18 ff.) The Evangelist points out by these words that the Lord Christ had a peculiar way and manner to draw the people to himself, and take them into his custody. He does not begin his kingdom with force, or noise and storm; but he treats the people kindly.

Saint Andrew. Here we must first look at the example of St. Andrew. He was a fisherman, and doubtless had a wife and children, like his brother Peter. (Matt. 8:14.) Therefore he had family cares that engrossed his mind. But when John the Baptist appeared, and preached repentance and baptized for the remission of sins, this fisherman, An drew, also approaches, hears the preaching and is baptized. He trusts God for food, and is satisfied with a small supply; and his highest and greatest concern is, that he may come into the kingdom of heaven.

41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.
42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.

We have found the Messias. Christ had never seen Peter before; yet he says to him, “Behold, thou art Simon, the son of Jona, thou shalt be called Cephas.” (That is, a rock, on which one can build a castle, a mountain- rock.) These are very friendly and social talks and words, just like good friends talk with each other at the table; and nothing is said here of Peter’s calling, or ordination for the apostolate, but only another name is given him.

Luther’s Explanatory Notes on the Gospels, pp. 279.

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