REFLECTIONS ON JOHN 1:35-42 - JEN MATIAS, ST. AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY EPISCOPAL CHURCH, OKLAHOMA CITY
John 1: 35-42
The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”
They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”
“Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”
So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.
Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).
One of my favorite singer/songwriters as a youth, David Crowder, wrote a song that I used to listen to repeatedly. In it, he sings, “come and listen, come to the water’s edge all you who know and fear the Lord. Let me tell you what he’s done for me, what he’s done for you, what he’s done for us…Come and listen to what he’s done.”
It’s a simple, repetitive lyric with a really sweet melody, but I think the simplicity of the message is what makes it so meaningful.
Come. Listen. See. Experience Love. Be changed. Extend the invitation…
I often feel inept when engaging in conversations about things that matter. I’m one who will sit and analyze a conversation hours afterward, thinking of things I “could’ve/should’ve/would’ve said”... Especially when it comes to such topics as my beliefs and values, I feel deeply the ways that I have grown and changed as I’ve journeyed through life, but I have a hard time expressing them sometimes, and especially trying to justify them to those whose viewpoints haven’t shifted in the same direction mine have. I find myself saying, “I’m still navigating the complexities of that issue…” as almost an apology and a cop-out. This passage, the reminder of Christ’s invitation to “come and see,” is a relief to me. It reminds me that I’m not responsible for changing someone, but I am invited to extend to them the same love that has been extended to me.
Jesus invites us to come and see how loving our neighbor and praying for those who hurt us can speak louder than any convincing words we might string together. He invites us to follow him, not out of guilt or coercion, but as a response to being loved. He did not come into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world, through him.
His invitation remains, every moment of every day, for us to accept over and over again.
Come. See. Follow me.
Lord, thank you for the gift of love you have given us in your son, Jesus. Help us to accept your love and grace in every moment, especially when we feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the darkness around us and within us. Give us the opportunity and the courage to extend that love to everyone around us, especially those we might differ with. Amen.
Submitted by Jen Matias, St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church, Oklahoma City
Various Clergy and members of St. Augustine contribute to authoring the blog on a variety of topics.