He first findeth his own brother Simon
Either before the other disciple, or before he found any other person: after he and the other disciple departed from Christ, being affected with the grace bestowed upon him, and his heart warm with the conversation he had had with him, and transported with joy at finding the Messiah, goes in all haste in search of his relations, friends, and acquaintance, to communicate what he had seen and heard, in order to bring them to the knowledge of the same; for such is the nature of grace, it is very communicative, and those that have it, are very desirous that all others should be partakers of it: and the first person he lighted on was Simon, who was afterwards called Peter, who was his own brother; not a brother-in-law, but his own brother, by father and mother's side, and so dear unto him by the ties of nature and blood:
and saith unto him;
with all eagerness imaginable, and in a rapture of joy:
we have found the Messias;
I, and a fellow disciple have had the Messiah, so often foretold by the prophets, and so long expected by our fathers, pointed out to us; and we have followed him, and have had conversation with him, and are well assured he is that illustrious person:
which is, being interpreted, the Christ;
which, as in ( John 1:38 ) , are the words of the evangelist, and not Andrew, and are therefore left out in the Syriac version; the word Messiah needing no interpretation in that language, and which was the language in which Andrew spoke. This name, Messiah, was well known among the Jews, for that who was promised, and they expected as a Saviour and Redeemer; though it is not very often mentioned in the books of the Old Testament, chiefly in the following places, ( Psalms 2:2 ) ( 18:50 ) ( Psalms 89:39 Psalms 89:51 ) ( Daniel 9:25 Daniel 9:26 ) ; but is very much used in the Chaldee paraphrases: Elias Levita F7 says, he found it in more than fifty verses; and Buxtorf F8 has added others to them, and the word appears in "seventy one" places, which he takes notice of, and are worthy of regard; for they show the sense of the ancient synagogue, concerning the passages of the Old Testament, respecting the Messiah: this Hebrew word is interpreted by the Greek word, "Christ"; and both signify "anointed", and well agree with the person to whom they belong, to which there is an allusion in ( Song of Solomon 1:3 ) , "thy name is as ointment poured forth": he is so called, because he was anointed from everlasting, to be prophet, priest, and king; see ( Psalms 2:6 ) ( 89:20 ) ( Proverbs 8:22 Proverbs 8:23 ) , and he was anointed as man, with the oil of gladness, with the graces of the Spirit, without measure, ( Psalms 45:7 ) ( Acts 10:38 ) . And it is from him the saints receive the anointing, or grace in measure; and are from him called Christians, and are really anointed ones; see ( 1 John 2:27 ) ( Acts 11:24 ) ( 2 Corinthians 1:21 ) , hence it is a name precious to the saints, and savoury to them. These words were delivered by Andrew, in a very exulting strain, expressing great joy; as indeed what can be greater joy to a sensible soul, than to find Christ? which in a spiritual sense, is to have a clear sight of him by faith, to go unto him, and lay hold on him, as the only Saviour and Redeemer: who is to be found in the Scriptures of truth, which testify of him; in the promises of grace, which are full of him and in the Gospel, of which he is the sum and substance; and in the ordinances of it, where he shows himself; for he is not to be found by the light of nature, or by carnal reason, nor by the law of Moses, but by means of the Gospel, and the Spirit of God attending that, as a spirit of wisdom and revelation, in the knowledge of him: and happy are those souls that find Christ under his direction; for they find life, spiritual and eternal, in him; a justifying righteousness; free and full pardon of their sins; spiritual food for their souls; and peace, comfort, joy, and rest, and eternal glory: wherefore this must needs be matter of joy unto them, since such a finding is a rich one, a pearl of great price, riches durable and unsearchable; and which a man that has found, would not part with for all the world; but parts with all he has for it; and is what can never be lost again; and, particularly to two sorts of persons, finding Christ must give a peculiar pleasure, and an inexpressible joy; to such as are under a sense of sin and damnation, and to such who have been under desertion. The phrase of "finding" a person, twice used in this text, and hereafter in some following verses, is frequent in Talmudic and Rabbinic writings; as
``he went, (brl hyxkva) , "and found him with Rab" F9.''
F7 Prefat ad Methurgemen, & in voce (xvm) .
F8 Lexicon Talmud p. 1268.
F9 T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 108. 1. Zohar in Lev. fol. 15. 3.