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§ 113. John and Andrew, Disciples of John, attach themselves to Jesus.—Gradual Attraction of others.

These words of the Baptist were listened to by two Galilean youths, who stood in the circle of his disciples—John and Andrew. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon, when, obeying the hint of the Baptist, they followed Jesus; refraining, however, in reverence, from Disturbing his meditations. The Saviour, noticing them, turned kindly and asked what they desired. Even then they did not venture to express their longing to be honoured with his friendship; but only timidly inquired where he dwelt. Anticipating their request, he kindly invited them to visit him. The few hours that remained before evening were spent in his society. This was their first impression of Christ: he left it to work in their hearts. Thus was it also with Simon (John, i., 42), in whom Christ discerned in a moment the yet dormant spirit of the Man of Rock. And those whose first impressions were thus received pointed Christ out to their fellows; and thus arose the first circle of disciples, which accompanied him from Peraea back to Galilee.249249   John, i., 42-47. It is apparent from John’s statement alone that Christ did not take these young disciples, who were afterward to be his organs, immediately into close fellowship, but left them for a while to themselves. John gives us no further account of the forming of the Apostolic community; he presupposes many things, which we must endeavour to fill up by comparing the synoptical Gospels.

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