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Home Sections The Daily B.R.E.A.D. Sunday's Gospel: John 1:35-42
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Sections - The Daily B.R.E.A.D.
Sunday, 18 January 2009 04:11

E mbrace the dark times and gain the wisdom that God intends for you from these times.

 

John 1:35-42  The next day again John was standing

with two of his disciples; 36 and he looked at Jesus

as he walked, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God!"

37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they

followed Jesus. 38 Jesus turned, and saw them

following, and said to them, "What do you seek?" And

they said to him, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher),

"where are you staying?"  39 He said to them, "Come

and see." They came and saw where he was staying; and

they stayed with him that day, for it was about the

tenth hour.  40 One of the two who heard John speak,

and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.

41 He first found his brother Simon, and said to him,

"We have found the Messiah" (which means Christ).  42

 

He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him, and

said, "So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be

called Cephas" (which means Peter).

 

 

In quick succession, John the Gospel writer laid out

the evangelization of the first disciples. Unlike

Matthew, Mark, or Luke, John clearly connected the

Baptist's followers to those of Jesus. In other words,

John saw the ministry of the Baptist flow into the

ministry of the Galilean.

 

In John 1:19-51, the evangelist presented six

stories of witness and testimony over seven days. This

gospel represent the activity of days three through

four in a seven day week. Scripture scholars see this

"week" as the new creation. God created a new people,

starting with the testimony of the Baptist, and ending

with the miracle at the Cana wedding feast. The first

day was studied in John 1:19-28 (the Third Sunday in

Advent: Cycle B) where the Baptist defined his

ministry as " . . . a voice crying out in the desert;

'Make straight the way of the Lord!'" (see 1:23) This

gospel presented the next two stories. Unlike 1:19-28

where the Baptist testified to the Jewish leadership,

he evangelized his own followers, who, in turn,

evangelized others.

 

When the Baptist saw Jesus, he proclaimed "Look! The

Lamb of God!" While this title might strike us as

enigmatic, the proclaimed title caused two followers

to follow Jesus. Why? As gentle, docile animals, lambs

were prized for their tender meat and fine coat; in

other words, they gave all they had for their masters.

The "Lamb of God" referred to the sacrificial animal,

slaughtered at the Temple for the Passover meal. (See

John 19:14, 31, 42) In John, this was the same day

Jesus was crucified. Jesus was the One the Baptist

foretold, because he gave himself totally for his

followers, even to death. This theme resonated with

Isaiah's Suffering Servant ("He was oppressed, and he

was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a

lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep

that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his

mouth." Isaiah 53:7, RSV)

 

 (Note how John wove discipleship, sacrifice, and

meal together in one title. Don't we see the same

themes in Eucharist, a meal of sacrifice and

discipleship?) [1:36]

 

Two disciples left John and followed Jesus. Since

any legal testimony required more than one witness,

the gospel writer presented two disciples to assure

the veracity of the Baptist's claim. [1:37] Even

though they sought the Lord, notice the initiative of

Jesus. He first asked the followers intent and invited

them to join him. The gospel writer used the

invitation "come and see" in other contexts of

evangelization. Philip invited Nathaniel to meet Jesus

with the phrase "come and see" in 1:45. The Samaritan

woman at the well invited others in her town to "come

and see the man who told me everything I have done" in

4:29. The invitation begun by Jesus was continued with

followers bringing others into the community.

[1:38-39]

 

John used one of the two followers as the transition

point between the Baptist and the new Rabbi. Andrew

invited his brother, Simon, to meet his new Teacher.

Again note the language of Andrew's invitation. "We

(dual witnesses indicating the veracity of the claim)

have found the Messiah (the title definitively

claiming what the Baptist inferred)." The invitation

sealed the transition. Jesus was the Christ, the focal

point of revelation. [1:40-41]

 

When Jesus met Simon, he gave the follower a new

identity. He called Simon by his formal name to

clearly identify him. Then Jesus gave him his new

name: "Cephas" (Aramaic for "Rock;" the Greek

translated the word as "Petros," from which we get the

name "Peter"). When Jesus gave Simon his new name, he

defined the new disciple's role in the community.

Simon was like solid rock, not a pebble or a stone

that could be moved. Peter was a rock layer strong

enough to securely build the foundation of a house. In

light of the other gospels, Jesus gave Simon a

leadership role with the new name. Remember that, in

the time of Jesus, one's name revealed one's strength

of character and abilities. In other words, a name

defined one's power. [1:42]


"The Lamb who takes away the sins of the world"

When John the Baptist pointed to Jesus as the "Lamb of

God," he recognized not only the role of Jesus in

salvation; he inferred the relationship of the Son to

the Father. As he had come from the Father, Jesus gave

himself back to the Father. His self-giving began with

his Incarnation, became explicit in his baptism,

continued through his ministry, and culminated on the

cross. He gave himself because he loved the Father and

loved all God's creatures. The Baptist's declaration

("The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the

world") revealed both the character and the mission of

Jesus. Through his love, he accepted the role of the

Suffering Servant. He gave himself to his Father for

our sake in spite of suffering and death.

 

Why is self-giving so unusual? Have you ever been

impressed by others who give their time and talent to

others? Have they ever asked you to join them? What

happened? Did their invitation change you?

 

A simple invitation can be life-changing. Come and

see . . . That invitation can come in different ways,

from a letter or a look to a simple act of unselfish

love. Come and see . . . When we invite others to

faith, we ask them to encounter the One after whom we

pattern our lives. Come and see . . . the Lord. He

will show us the loving way to live and he will give

us a new identity as a Christian. He will show us the

way to the Father. Come and see . . .

 

How have you influenced others to become

Christ-like? Have you extended them acts of love? Have

you ever asked them to join you at Church? Try to help

someone this week and invite him or her closer to the

Lord.

 

Permission for use. All materials found in

www.word-sunday.com are the property of Larry Broding

(Copyright 1999 -2007). Viewers may copy any material

found in these pages for their personal use or for use

in any non-profit ministry. Materials may not be sold

or used for commercial purposes.

 

 

Supplementary Reading

 

When God Seems Far Away - Os Hillman

 

W hy, O Lord, do You stand far off? Why do You hide

Yourself in times of trouble? ~ Psalm 10:1

 

 

One of the great mysteries of God is His ways. Some of

His ways almost appear to bring us into the most

difficult places, as if He were indifferent to our

circumstances. It would appear that He is turning His

head from our sorrows. These events in our lives have

a particular objective to perform for us.  That

objective is to bring us to the end of ourselves that

we might discover the treasure of darkness. "Yet when

I hoped for good, evil came; when I looked for light,

then came darkness" (Job 30:26).

 

When we are taken into these dark periods, we begin to

see light that we never knew existed. Our

sensitivities become heightened and our ability to see

through spiritual eyes is illuminated. Unless we are

taken into these times, our souls never develop any

depth of character. We do not gain wisdom, only

knowledge. Knowledge is gained through understanding;

wisdom is gained through the experience of darkness.

 

After we go through these periods, we discover that

God was, in fact, with us throughout the entire time.

It does not feel or appear that He is there when we

are in the midst of the dark periods. However, He is

there walking with us. He has told us countless times

that He will never leave us. However, when we are in

those dark periods, it does not feel like He is there

because He does not rescue us from the circumstances.

He does this for our benefit in order that we might

become more like Jesus. Jesus learned obedience from

the things He suffered (see Heb. 5:8). What does that

say about how you and I will learn obedience? Embrace

the dark times and gain the wisdom that God intends

for you from these times.

  

GOD BLESS US ALL!

Many who plan to seek God at the 11th hour, die at

10:30 – Author Unknown

http://his-ways-better-than-our-ways.blogspot.com

 

 



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