Shelby G. Floyd
According to history Archimedes of Syracuse, Greece (287bc-c212bc), uttered eureka—“I have found it” when he discovered the adulteration of gold in the crown of King Hiero II.
A city in California has been named Eureka. I think someone said eureka when gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill in 1848. This started the Great Gold Rush of that era. Eureka derives from the Greek heureka from heuriskein, and means “I have found it.” A form of this word was used by the disciples when they found the Christ who was more valuable than gold. All should exclaim “Eureka—I have found Him” when we become Christians!
Christ Came To Seek and Save the Lost
The whole life of Christ centered on his supreme mission to seek and to save the lost. Jesus himself said, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19: 10). Jesus also desired that his disciples would have the same interest in the lost which he did. Therefore, his invitation to some of his first disciples was, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4: 19). So, today, we also must be concerned about the lost, and bring them to Christ the savior of the world.
John the Baptist Was One of the First Evangelists
One of the first evangelists of Christ was his predecessor, John the Baptist. John the Baptist pointed his hearers to Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. In the book of John we have this record, “Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, Behold the Lamb of God! The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus” (John 1: 35-37). On a previous day, John the Baptist had seen Jesus coming unto him and had said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1: 29)!
We should be like John the Baptist in that we must preach Christ and not ourselves. From the statement of John the Baptist, we learn that Christ is the Lamb of God and the great sin offering of which all animal sacrifices under the Old Testament era were only types. It is through the precious blood of Christ that we are redeemed from our sins. Like Paul, we must be determined not to know anything except Jesus Christ and he crucified (1 Corinthians 2: 2). When John the Baptist preached the word, his hearers followed Christ and not him. We do not need leading brethren nearly as much as we need following brethren. It is to the credit of John’s preaching that his hearers followed Christ. This is an index to the value of any man’s preaching if it causes people to follow Christ.
A Disciple Is a Follower of Christ
We also notice that the two disciples who heard John speak followed Jesus literally, and then religiously. They followed Jesus to his abiding place, and after spending a night with him, they followed him religiously. We must encourage people to follow Jesus by following in his footsteps. The apostle Peter states that Christ left us an example that we should follow in his steps (1 Peter 2: 21).
A Soul Winner Is Wise
We observe that Jesus Christ used unusual wisdom in winning these two disciples of John to follow him religiously. “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?” 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)” (John 1: 38-39). The wisdom of Christ is demonstrated in this conversation in that he asked questions to start a conversation and to draw them out. He asked the question, “What do you seek?” or in other words, “what are you looking for, what is your desire, can I help you in any way?” Jesus also used gentleness and hospitality to win these disciples for life. These disciples asked Jesus where he was living or abiding. He then invited them to his home or abiding place by saying, “Come and see.” Suppose Christ had said, “It’s none of your business where I live, why don’t you mind your own business.” Many people would have replied in that manner, and those who do will never win anybody to Christ. Jesus used hospitality and gentleness to win these people to a favorable hearing of his word.
Eureka—We Have Found Him!
As a result of spending a day with Christ, the next day the two disciples went out from Christ’s presence looking for their relatives saying joyfully, “We have found the Messiah” (John 1:41). One of the disciples, Andrew, first found his own brother Simon, and brought him to Christ. Then John the apostle brought his brother, James, to Christ. We must be evangelistic like Andrew and John the apostle:
One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). 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) (John 1: 40-42).
As a result of the work of Andrew and John the apostle, the number of disciples doubled in just a short time. Andrew found his brother first; this means John also found his brother. Think of how the church would grow today if each disciple would find one more. The number could be doubled in only a short time. When Andrew found his brother, he said, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ)” (John 1: 41). Andrew was enthusiastic about his message which is expressed by the words, “We have found the Messiah.” The phrase “we have found” translates the Greek term eurisko which means to find or to discover something:
“Andrew’s exclamation of delight on finding the Messiah is the same attributed to Archimedes when he made his discovery of the amount of adulteration in Hiero’s crown. The cry of each was Eureka, ‘I have found.’ The grandest discovery ever made, greater than that of a continent, was the finding of Christ, the hope of the world” (B. W. Johnson, A Commentary on John, p. 40).
The Kingdom of God Is Like the Costly Pearl
Think how successful every member of the church could be today in winning people to Christ if we were as enthusiastic as Andrew when he found the Christ. When we find the Christ and the salvation that is offered through him, we should be just as enthusiastic about it as a man who would find a treasure hid in a field. Jesus said, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it” (Matthew 13: 44-46).
We notice in the work of Andrew and John that they began their work at home with their families and then extended outward to all mankind. Someone has said, “We love the heathen at a distance, but we are indifferent to the lost at home.” If a man has never obeyed the gospel, he is lost whether he is an educated and civilized man in America or an ignorant person in the far away corners of the earth.” So unless we are enthusiastic about taking the gospel to the lost at home, it is doubtful if we will have much interest in the lost that are across the oceans and on the islands of the sea.
Copyright © 2014 Shelby Floyd All Rights Reserved
Shelby G. Floyd