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Everybody’s Looking for Something – John 1:19-51

September 24, 2013

John 1:1-19-51 – Everybody’s Looking for Something

Sometimes scripture evokes a soundtrack in my mind. Preparing for last weeks’s class on John 1:19-51, that soundtrack was a repeating loop of the Eurhythmics’ 1983 hit, “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).” Why? Well, to borrow Annie Lennox’s oft-repeated line from the song, “Everybody’s looking for something.”

Moving out of the Prologue, grounding the narrative of the Word in eternity, John drops the story down into a flurry of activity. What follows in the remainer of chapter one is four-day series of vignettes in which everyone is searching, seeking, looking. John the Baptist is looking for the Christ, the Lamb of God. The priests and the Levites are looking for John the Baptist to see if they can catch him in a punishable offense. Then there are some folks who don’t seem to know what exactly there looking for but who are looking nonetheless. And Jesus? He seems to be looking for some people to teach.

Jesus sees two men following him and asks them, pointedly, “What are you looking for?” They respond with a question of their own: “Rabbi, where are you staying?” Jesus says to them, “Come and see.” Here, finally, Jesus brings us to the point: You want to find what you’re looking for? Come and spend some time with me and I will show you what you’re looking for.

“Come and see.” This becomes the pattern for invitation and enlightenment. We need to be shown Jesus, who in turn reveals God to us. So Andrew, one of the first to hear Jesus’ invitation, goes to invite his brother, Simon Peter. Next, Jesus finds Philip, who in turn goes to Nathanael and offers the chance to “come and see” the one about who Moses and the prophets wrote.

We’re all looking for something. Meaning. Purpose. Truth. God. But we can’t find it on our own. We need someone. We need an Andrew or a Philip who, once found by Jesus, will come with gracious words of invitation. I reflect often on my own brother who, like Andrew long ago in Peter’s life, made sure I had opportunities to come and see Jesus at work in my life and in God’s world. This is, in a roundabout sort of way, one reason why our son’s name, Anders, has such meaning to me. It’s a tribute to those who, like my brother, go and tell so that others may come and see.

So. For whom can you be an Andrew today? Who is looking for something that they can’t quite find or define? For those who have heard the Word and seen the light and life of the world, your calling is simple. Go and tell that they may come and see.

“He first found his brother Simon and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which is translated Anointed).” John 1:41

Note: I apologize for not blogging this last Thursday. It was my birthday and I was, you know, busy celebrating. Look for thoughts on John 2 this Thursday. The image above is, in fact, a print I received as a birthday present. St. Andrews was once a home for me – a wonderful town named after the first apostle.

From → Scripture

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