Our lectionary guide invites us to stay another day or two at the River Jordan, and draws us into the gospel narrative in John 1:29-42 where John the Baptist is explaining to his followers who Jesus is, and how he came to know this One.
“Here is the Lamb of god who takes away the sin of the world!
This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks
Before ahead of me because he was before me.’” 1:29,30
John now speaks to them of his own experience:
“I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it
remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who
sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the
Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’
And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”
We begin to get the idea that recognizing who Jesus truly is, is not something we can do on our own. As John also says, “I myself did not know him. . .” We need God’s help in some way to recognize and know who Jesus is.
The following day we join John and his followers again on the banks of the River Jordan, and again John directs their – and our – attention to Jesus as he walks by:
“Look, here is the Lamb of God!”
It has been my experience that most of us need people like John the Baptist who direct our attention to Jesus, and not just once, but more than once. When I was a teenager, a kind Bible Study leader, Irene Bergg, served as a signpost, directing our attention in her own quiet way to Jesus as we studied the scriptures together. I remember being drawn into the gospel texts we were reading and studying, and found that I wanted to know who this Jesus was, and what he might be asking of me.
Two of John’s disciples do leave John’s side and begin to follow Jesus. When Jesus turns and asks, “What are you looking for?” they may have been a little nonplussed as to how to reply. How do we bring the longings of our soul into words? Finally they are able to say, “Where are you staying?” Jesus responds to their question—and ours– with graced hospitality, and invites them to “Come and see.”
Jesus meets us all—each of us–with this question, “What are you looking for?”
This week, spend some time listening to the response you discover within your own heart and mind. And then voice your reply to Jesus. As you wait, notice in what way Jesus responds to you, what his invitation may be for you.
Prayer before reading:
Lord Jesus Christ,
You come to us.
Help me to see as you see,
To recognize your presence,
To receive the gift of your Spirit
Who guides us as we walk in your way.
Read slowly. Listen deeply. Indwell the scripture.
Season of Epiphany: Week Two
- 1/10 Monday: John 1:29-34
- 1/11 Tuesday: John 1:35-42
- 1/12 Wednesday: Psalm 40:1-11
- 1/13 Thursday: Isaiah 49:1-7
- 1/14 Friday: I Corinthians 1:1-9
- 1/15 Saturday: John 1:29-34
- 1/16 Sunday: John 21:35-42