John 1:40-42

These three verses, John’s brief story about Andrew and Simon Peter’s call and conversion, give us an insider view of how the gospel becomes the central religious force in the Roman empire. Sociologist Rodney Stark argues in The Rise of Christianity that because family and friends brought one another to the faith, the Jesus movement went from literally a handful of believers, twelve disciples, to 120 followers, to millions by the middle of the fourth century. One family member after another said to a brother or parent or cousin, “We have found the Messiah” (v. 41), and one conversation at a time ultimately changed the world. The math is mysterious but true: one plus one equals a hundred.

The gospel story is about forming a relationship between us and God that leads to new relationships with one another. From the beginning, God called us to share the good news with others. The earliest stories in the Gospels reveal that followers of Jesus’ way offer love, prayer, and forgiveness to those around them. This is where Andrew starts. He doesn’t preach on street corners or take out an ad in the local paper. He doesn’t use social media. He finds one person he knows and shares an honest word about his experience saying, “We have found the Messiah.” Then he offers the same invitation that Jesus gives to come and see. This simple method of honest faith-sharing grows that small group of Christ-followers into the largest faith in the ancient world. Sharing the truth of our experience with Jesus in the context of a personal relationship where love, grace, forgiveness, and understanding are part of our connection remains the most effective ingredient in the mysterious math of God.


Who is your one?


God who has loved me enough to embrace me and show me love, enable and empower me to do the same for another. Amen.

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