Reflecting on John 1:35-42
Every once in a while the gospels inadvertently let a bit of history seep into the narrative. Today we get that interesting background into the ministry of John the Baptist, that he had disciples himself before the public ministry of Jesus.
One of those disciples, who must have been in John’s inner circle in order to have been close enough to hear John say, about Jesus, “Behold, the Lamb of God,” was no less than Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter.
So, we know that Andrew was a seeker. He traveled with John the Baptist, and had certainly heard many fiery sermons from John. But at the very moment that John identified Jesus as the Lamb of God, Andrew and the other (unnamed) disciple left John and followed Jesus.
In fact, Andrew went straight to his brother and announced that they had found the long-awaited Messiah. He brought Simon to Jesus, who then did what Rabbis did for their most prominent disciples. He changed his name to Cephas (Petra, which means “rock”).
The history of the Church can be written from what follows in this short account towards the beginning of John’s gospel. Andrew and the other disciple seem to understand that John is bidding them goodbye. Their time with him is over, because the “Lamb of God” has been identified, and it is their destiny to follow him.
Simon, too, comes with his brother to see where Jesus is staying. He, too, must have been a seeker. Upon meeting his Lord, he submits to having his very name changed, never realizing that it will be his faith that will be the “rock” upon which the Church will be founded.
What split-second decisions have you made that changed your life?
Kathy McGovern ©2024