Boletim dos Obreiros

The Great Discovery

"We have found the Messiah"

(John 1:41b)

April is a month of great historic meaning. It was on this month back in 1500 that the brave and daring Portuguese countrymen, venturing in remarkable exploring actions, sailed along seas never before navigated, following dangerous routes unknown until then, to discover, among other lands, our dear Brazil.

What a great discovery! The memorable discoveries of new lands at that time marked in the historic annals the so-called phase of the great discoveries, of capital importance for the new world which was opened up. Discoveries are very important, at any time and in any part of the experience of human life. Many of them have changed the course of history and opened new perspectives for the direction of humanity in all the fields of knowledge and of human realisation.

Good discoveries define the convictions and the choices indispensable for the enjoyment of personal, family, social and professional success, and other titles. Bad discoveries lead to dire results in these same experiences of life, whether individually or collectively.

In John 1:29-45 we find the report of the "Great Discovery" which Andrew, brother of Simon Peter, and John the Evangelist made and proclaimed with much enthusiasm. They were assiduous disciples of John the Baptist, forerunner of Jesus Christ, learning his teaching attentively and the strong exhortation regarding the need to repentance and renunciation of hypocrisy and evil practice, so much to the taste of the "religious leaders" of the time.

But the most important happening, by reason of this advantageous conviviality with the prophet of the desert, was the "Great Discovery": Jesus Christ! Andrew couldn't contain himself and straight away went happily to proclaim it to his brother Simon Peter: "We have found the Messiah!" (v. 41b); and soon the chain of "discoverers" was being made with Philip, Nathaniel and others. Philip said to Nathaniel: "We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote: Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."

Truly, all the ministry of John the Baptist was in preparation so that the world could make this "Great Discovery", in accordance with the prophetic Scriptures. There is no more important "discovery" than this. I know many say they have made it. Would this be true?

This "Great Discovery" does not imply intellectual or religious knowledge of the Person and of the exciting history of Jesus Christ. Andrew and John, in the light of the text referred to, help us to perceive what is necessary for the Great Discovery. Let us see:

  • RIGHT COMMUNICATION: "The two disciples heard him speak" (v. 37a) - The "Great Discovery" was only made possible because they had the "right communication", by the word of the prophet, introducing them to Jesus Christ, the only means by which they could obtain redemption: "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (vv. 29 e 36). The glorious message of Redemption, after all, had been announced correctly to them! They believed in it and, through faith, made the "Great Discovery" (Rom. 10:17). Beware! "To hear" is not only to "listen", but to believe in the truths proclaimed through right communication.
  • RIGHT BEHAVIOUR: "they followed Jesus" (v. 37b) - The only attitude to be assumed, after believing in the message communicated correctly, which presents Jesus to us as the exclusive Way for us to reach spiritual blessings, is to follow Him. Authentic Christianity is that which commits the Christian to this right behaviour. If we walk far from Christ, we deprive ourselves from extraordinary discoveries of unspeakable spiritual value! This was always the serious advice of the Lord to those who became His disciples: "Follow me" (see 1 Peter 2:21). To follow Him implies: a) to abdicate from what I am, what I think and what I own; b) to accept His methods and His command; c) to do what He teaches (see John 10:27).
  • RIGHT COMPANY: "and they remained with Him" (v.39) - It is essential for us to "remain with Him", seeking to maintain full and permanent fellowship with the Lord so that we may make unique discoveries, never comparable to the conquests of our natural knowledge. The Lord approved the attitude of Mary, who stayed at His feet hearing his teaching, saying she "had chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her". The disciples of Emmaus discovered Him because they asked Him to stay with them (Luke 24:29). His company implies in: a) to learn from Him; b) to live with Him; c) to live for Him.

We must not selfishly hide the "Great Discovery", but it is our duty to proclaim it to those who have not yet made it, taking them to Jesus. Andrew not only revealed it to his brother Simon Peter, but also took him to Jesus, and Simon Peter made the "Great Discovery" (vv. 41-42). So also did Philip (v.45). Let us do the same, one day the Lord will charge us for it!