At the very beginning of our reading today a phrase jumps out that is bold and full-spirited. As Jesus walked by, John exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” This description of Jesus is well-known within the Church, yet interestingly it only appears within scripture in this form on two occasions and both cases within this first chapter of John’s Gospel. Some explanation is probably required as to why John, in recognising Jesus and introducing him to others, would refer to him in this way. It is likely that what John had in mind was to introduce a theme at the outset of his Gospel which would be built on later, as further indicators and testimony would be developed as to the identity and purpose of this man Jesus. As the Gospel proceeds, layer upon layer is added to enhance his importance, relationship to the Father, and fulfillment of the longed-for promise of a Saviour.
This week the disciples are beginning to gather and the news of Jesus is being spread via word of mouth. First, we have John the Baptist pointing to Jesus as the one to follow and believe in. John refers to Jesus as ‘the Lamb of God’ and then we hear the stories of how Andrew, Peter, Philip and Nathanael come to meet and ultimately follow Jesus. Jesus invites them with the words ‘Come and see’.
It is John the Baptists’ words of witness that point the disciples to follow Jesus, and it is their words of witness that brought more and more people to Jesus. Here is but one of our challenges from this reading – how do we pass on the knowledge of Christ to others? What are our words of witness?
As we plan for our Murrumbeena Street Party, connect with our neighbours, open our doors to groups and other local organisations we are beginning those words of witness showing those around us just what a life with Jesus can be like. This is our ministry and our mission. As we head into 2018 perhaps we need to take these words of witness with us to share.
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