Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Sunday Word

Having the right teacher certainly helps.
If you want to learn a new skill, say, surfing, for instance, you could buy a surfboard, read a surfing how-to-book, watch a surfing instructional video, and then give it a go on the rolling surf of 2-to 4-footers by yourself. 

Trouble is — you’ll likely be wiping out more often than not.

Eventually you might learn surfing through trial and error. You’ll get the thrill, but miss out on the skill. If you’re not overly careful, you’ll probably pick up a few bad habits, too.

There is a shortcut to learning new skills — find a competent teacher. Find a master — someone who has the know-how, and then go to that major player to learn.

Andrew the apostle wanted to learn about God, so he started following the hair-shirted Baptist and became a willing student. Later on, when the authentic item showed up in our story today, when the Christ himself came walking by, Andrew ditched John the Baptist, grabbed his brother Peter by his tunic lapels and said, “I’ve found the Messiah!” Together the brothers went off on the greatest adventure ever — an adventure about which stories are still told.

Peter and Andrew did pretty much the same thing. They knew what they wanted to learn, so they went to where the master lived.

All the better that Jesus invited them to join him “where he was staying.” It’s a good start for any novice to get an invitation to hang with the greatest teacher of them all, and to have the chance to learn the skills that change lives. Andrew seizes the opportunity and pulls Peter along for the ride.

It’s clear in the story today that those brothers know what they want. They want God. They want the Messiah. They know with whom they wish to apprentice — the Rabbi Jesus, the Messiah. They found the teacher who’ll give them unsurpassed instruction. There’s no point in learning from the second best when the best is available.

There’s an old saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

Peter and Andrew were ready. Which raises the question: Are we ready? Are we willing to go where Jesus lives and to learn?