Ask Your Preacher
In tracing the apostles’ calling, one of the gospels says Andrew was with John the Baptist and then went and found his brother Simon Peter to tell him. Another book says they both were in their boat when Jesus called them. Please explain.
Two Places At Once?
Dear Two Places At Once,
If all we do is read Matt 4:18-20, it is easy to get the impression that when Jesus told Andrew and Peter to leave their boat and follow Him that it was the very first time they had met Jesus, but that wasn’t the case. By the time Jesus called those two men to leave their fishing and become “fishers of men”, they were already well-acquainted with Jesus, and they knew exactly who they would be following.
In Jhn 1:35-42, we see the very first encounter that Andrew and Peter had with Jesus. As you said, Andrew was told about Jesus because he had been listening to John the Baptist preach, and Peter found out because Andrew told him. This happened right when Jesus first began to preach and teach… He hadn’t even performed a miracle yet (we won’t see that miracle until Jhn 2:1-11).
When we read in Matt 4:18-22, Mk 1:16-20, and Lk 5:9-11 of Peter and Andrew leaving their boats and following Christ – this was a totally different level of commitment that happened later. Peter and Andrew knew who Jesus was at this point, and now Jesus was calling them to not just listen to Him, but to help Him in His preaching.
In Acts 1:20, Peter quotes Psalm 109:8. Can it be said that Psalm 109, especially verse eight, serves as a prophecy as well as a hymn by King David?
Pointing To Prophecy
Dear Pointing To Prophecy,
Sometimes, Old Testament verses are quoted in the New Testament because they are prophecies that are being fulfilled – like Peter did in Acts 2:16-21. However, we must also remember that the Old Testament does more than just prophecy about Christ and His kingdom. The Old Testament is full of examples and principles that are useful to us (1 Cor 10:11). In the case of Acts 1:20, Peter and the rest of the apostles had to decide what to do about Judas’ death. Should they leave his position vacant? Should they replace him with another apostle? How should they handle the void created in the apostleship by this wicked man? Peter quotes Ps 109:8 because that Psalm addresses the principle that it is a good thing when a good man replaces the office of a bad man. Peter referred to Ps 109, not because it was prophetic about their specific circumstance, but because it is a universal truth that good people should take the place of bad people in positions of authority.
Did Jesus marry Mary Magdalene?
Dear Wedding Bells,
There is ZERO reason to believe that Jesus had a relationship with Mary Magdalene… that is just apocryphal mumbo-jumbo. Apocryphal books are books outside of the Bible that were written years after the Bible was completed… most of them hundreds of years after. Read “Books of the Apocrypha” to better understand that topic.
Ever since Jesus lived, people have been trying to create stories to alter His life and smear His reputation. However, when we go to the Bible, we see that Jesus was never married. Mary Magdalene was one of many women that followed Christ and supported Him in His preaching, but He was not married to her (Lk 8:1-3).
What is truth? Please explain John 8:31-33.
Dear Define It,
Jesus says that if we live our lives in the truth, we will be free. In Jhn 17:17, Jesus says that God’s Word, the Bible, is truth. The truth that will set us free is the truth that can only be found in the Bible. Rom 1:16 says that the Bible is God’s power to save mankind. When we use the Bible as our instruction manual for life, we will be saved. If you would like to know what the Bible says you must do to be saved, please read our post, “Five Steps To Salvation”. The Bible is God’s roadmap for our lives.
How do I get into the Bible and how do I read the Bible?
Starting To Study
Dear Starting To Study,
The key to any kind of worship or Bible study is to make it a regular habit. Daniel had a habit of praying (Dan 6:10). Make a decision to put Bible study into your day first (Matt 6:33) and schedule other things around it. Most people fail to study their Bibles because it isn’t a part of their regular life. Make it a part of your morning routine, your lunch break, or bedtime ritual. Somehow schedule it into your life and make it a habit.
After you do that, it is just a matter of what you want to learn first. Many people read a Psalm a day, a chapter of Proverbs each week, or use a ‘read the Bible in a year program’, or you grab one of those five things you want to look at and read away. Any of these is a perfectly acceptable system. In fact, you can buy Bibles that are organized, so that you read a little of the Old Testament and a little of the New Testament every day. For new Bible students, I often recommend reading the gospel of Matthew or the gospel of John first, so that you become acquainted with Christ’s life; then follow that up with the book of Acts and familiarize yourself with the first century church.
The goal is to study your Bible, not just read it. God tells us to study to show ourselves approved (2 Tim 2:15) and to meditate upon God’s Word (Ps 119:15). You could read through an entire book of the Bible in an hour or so but fail to appreciate any of it. Read your Bible with a notepad beside you and a pen or highlighter in hand. Write down your questions and get them answered. Highlight meaningful verses. If you don’t understand something, don’t move on until you do. It is more important that you understand than that you read a large portion of text. And lastly, enjoy your Bible reading time; you are reading the most influential and meaningful book on the planet!