Wednesday (January 4): Scripture: John 1:35-42
35 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).
Meditation: Who is Jesus for you? John calls Jesus the Lamb of God and thus signifies Jesus’ mission as the One who redeems us from our sins. The blood of the Passover Lamb (Exodus 12) delivered the Israelites in Egypt from death. The blood of Jesus, the true Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7), delivers us from everlasting death and destruction. It is significant that John was the son of a priest, Zachariah, who participated in the daily sacrifice of a lamb in the temple for the sins of the people (Exodus 29). In Jesus he saw the true and only sacrifice which can deliver us from sin. How did John know the true identity of Jesus, as the Messiah? The Holy Spirit revealed to John Jesus’ true nature, such that John bore witness that this is the Son of God. How can we be certain that Jesus is truly the Christ, the Son of the God? The Holy Spirit makes Christ known to us through the gift of faith. God gives us freely of his Spirit that we may comprehend the great mystery and plan of God to unite all things in his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
John in his characteristic humility was eager to point beyond himself to the Christ. He did not hesitate to direct his disciples to the Lord Jesus. When two of John’s disciples began to seek Jesus out, Jesus took the initiative to invite them into his company. He did not wait for them to get his attention. Instead he met them halfway. He asked them one of the most fundamental questions of life: “What are you looking for?” What were they looking for in Jesus and what were they aiming to get out of life? Jesus asks each of us the same question: “What’s the goal of your life? What are you aiming for and trying to get out of life?”
Jesus invites each of us to “come and see” for ourselves that his word is true and everlasting. “Come and see” is God’s invitation for fellowship and communion with the One who made us in love for love. Augustine of Hippo tells us something very important about God and how he relates to us: “If you hadn’t been called by God, what could you have done to turn back? Didn’t the very One who called you when you were opposed to Him make it possible for you to turn back?” It is God who initiates and who draws us to himself. Without his grace, mercy, and help we could not find him.
When we discover something very important and valuable it’s natural to want to share it with those closest to us. Andrew immediately went to his brother Simon and told him the good news of his discovery of Jesus. And it didn’t take much to get Simon to “come and see” who this Jesus was. Jesus reached out to Simon in the same way he did to Andrew earlier. He not only addressed Simon by his personal name, but he gave him a new name which signified the call God had for him. “Cephas” or “Peter” literally means “rock”. To call someone a “rock” was one of the greatest compliments. The ancient rabbis had a saying that when God saw Abraham, he exclaimed: “I have discovered a rock to found the world upon”. Through Abraham God established a nation for himself. Through faith Peter grasped who Jesus truly was — the Anointed One (Messiah and Christ) and the only begotten Son of God. The New Testament describes the church as a spiritual house or temple with each member joined together as living stones (see 1 Peter 2:5). Faith in Jesus Christ makes us into rocks or spiritual stones. The Holy Spirit gives us the gift of faith to know Jesus personally, power to live the gospel faithfully, and courage to witness to others the joy and truth of the gospel. The Lord Jesus is ever ready to draw us near to himself. Do you seek to grow in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ?
“Lord Jesus Christ, fill me with the power of your Holy Spirit and let me grow in the knowledge of your love and truth. Let your Spirit be aflame in my heart that I may know and love you more fervently and strive to do your will in all things.”
1 O sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have gotten him victory.
7 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who dwell in it!
8 Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together
9 before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.