Lenten Daily Gospel Reflection - 15 February 2013
The next day John was standing again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus walking along he said, “Look! The Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard what he said, and they followed Jesus.
When Jesus turned and saw them following, he asked, “What are you looking for?”
They said, “Rabbi (which is translated Teacher), where are you staying?”
He replied, “Come and see.” So they went 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 disciples who heard what John said and followed Jesus was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Christ). He led him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon, son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).
One of the “tactics” to get new converts to witness is this passage. The leader (youth, Sunday School teacher, evangelist, etc.) uses this passage as a springboard to show that “anyone can witness!” “Just tell your family members or closest friends about your relationship with Jesus,” they say. Then they take the sentence, “He led him to Jesus” to mean that the family member or close friend said the sinner’s prayer and became a Christian (or maybe that was just us Baptists?).
But I want to push back on that idea and turn the jewel* to look at a different way of seeing this passage.
First of all, I think that Andrew was in a good relationship with his brother. So much so that Simon dropped whatever he was doing and followed Andrew. Some of us don’t have a good relationship with our families. They know all about us and, sometimes, if we were mean or hurtful, they might not be too quick to follow us.
And that leads me to another point.
Notice that Andrew didn’t just tell Simon about Jesus. He showed him Jesus. Looking at this as a poetic image, I see in it “being Christ to those we meet.” People need to see Jesus in us before we can tell people about him. They have to experience him through us. It is only after they experience Jesus through us that they will be aware of something different. It’s then that we will have the opportunity to explain what they’re seeing.
In the Love of the Three in One,
Br. Jack+, LC
I use the metaphor of a jewel or gemstone a lot. I think that our way of seeing is only through one facet of the jewel. Other’s see things through the facets facing them. We’re all looking at the same jewel, but we’re usually only focused on one facet. When we turn the jewel, we may learn to see things differently.