Reflection on the Gospel of John 1: 29-42: Second Sunday after the Epiphany, January 15, 2023

The Gospel of John 1:29-42

John saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “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 ahead of me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.” And John testified, “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.”

The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon. One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Anointed). He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).

Let us Pray: Perfect Light of revelation, as you shown in the life of Jesus, whose epiphany we celebrate, so shine in us and through us, that we may become beacons of truth and compassion, enlightening all creation with deeds of justice and mercy. Amen.

The most meaningful things to most of us are things we have experienced, witnessed, seen, heard, tasted, touched, felt in some real, human way. These are things that are our lives, things we are able to understand. Then we read this gospel and we wonder what things might we experience if we were able to stick around Jesus, if we sought out intentional time to commune with God through him? We could experience the power of Holy Spirit in our lives as we spend time with the Lamb of God. For Jesus as the Lamb of God removes the obstacle to the world’s reception of the divine gift of life. We could be strengthened in our witness to his unique status as the Son of God. We could open our inward lives to the Spirit, which lit upon Jesus that he continues to bestow. As John tells his disciples “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove and it remained on him”.

As we look at our lives and our relationship with Jesus, we need to ask ourselves a profound and difficult question:  “What are you looking for?” . It is one that exists in every life and community. It is, however, a question we often avoid or deny. For most of us it is not the subject of everyday social conversation. To face our deepest longings, to acknowledge the emptiness within, to inquire about what is of ultimate importance, that which shapes and forms our lives, just is not polite dinner party conversation. It is too risky. It means we would have to get real, be honest, vulnerable, and open. So, we talk mostly about what doesn’t matter until something happens that does matter – a tragedy, a failure, the loss of a loved one, a challenge that seems insurmountable. That’s when the question arises. “What are you looking for”? As we bring Jesus into our lives, He says to us: “come and see.”  “Come and see.”  Doi we?

Let us Pray: Holy God, you gather the whole universe into your radiant presence and continually reveal your Son as our Savior. Bring healing to all wounds, make whole all that is broken, speak truth to all illusion, and shed light in every darkness, that all creation will see your glory and know your Christ. Amen.

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