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John’s gospel Post 13: Follow

September 6, 2013

“If you walk away, walk away, I walk away, walk away. I will follow” – U2 – I will follow (from the album “Boy”)

John 1: 35 – 42

Now look Ant – this is all very well. But you’ve done 12 posts on John’s gospel now and we haven’t even met Jesus yet! Lots of talk about him. Can’t we get on with it? Well good news, it’s time to meet Jesus.

But I just need to mention John the Baptist once more. Hope that’s okay.

For now the change comes. Again we are back with John. And again he repeats “Here he is – the Lamb of God”. It’s not like he was secretive about Jesus was it? But this time he’s talking to two of his own disciples. John had his followers, his own apprentices, who were learning from him. But the greatest thing he wanted them to learn was who Jesus was.

This time an instant reaction. The two disciples don’t say “perhaps you can tell us a bit more about the Lamb over coffee” (John was tea- total (see other gospels)). It was time for action, and they set off after Jesus. And so Jesus turns and utters his first words in John’s gospel – “what do you want?” We don’t know what his tone was. But it was a very straight question!

The disciples address him as a teacher and he welcomes them to the place where he is staying. And they spend a day together. We are told nothing at all about the day’s activities, what the teacher taught them. Not much detail to go on. But whatever they saw and heard, it was plainly enough for them to go on.

Oddly again we are only told the name of one of the disciples. He is Andrew. He seems to be one of those people who is more famous because of a more famous relative. I get that a lot! But Andrew goes off to get his brother – Simon Peter. He brings him a message. “We have found the Messiah”. The one that the prophets have promised.

What had convinced him? John’s teaching? Or a day in Jesus’ company, in his classroom? Not only does he tell Simon Peter, but this is so big that he brings Peter to meet Jesus. He wants Simon Peter to meet Jesus or maybe he wanted Jesus to meet his more famous brother.

Seems perhaps though that when we first meet the brother he is just Simon. And the first thing Jesus does is to change his name. You are now called Peter. Interesting. “What do you want”, “Come and see”,”You are now called Peter”. Just a few fragments of conversation.

But what have we got. A man who left his own teacher to follow another. Who couldn’t help but go and tell others what he had found. Another man who’s name is changed.

People who have met Jesus want to talk about it.

And to follow Jesus, is it about a change of name? Or are there much greater changes in store for Peter and those who follow in his footsteps?

We have still read so little about Jesus, but we are up and running.


From → Christianity

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