Tuesday 20 June 2017

Bible Book:

“Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.’” (v. 46)

John 1:35-51 Tuesday 20 June 2017

Psalm: Psalm 21:1-7


If it's 'the next day', then it is good to be curious about whathappened the previous day. It started in much the same manner,according to verse 29. John the Baptist, keen to emphasise he'sonly able to offer water Baptism one by one, points towards the"Lamb of God [Jesus] who takes away the sin of the world". John isalways testifying that Jesus is the one to watch. He's the one onwhom God's Spirit descended at his own Baptism (John1:32) and the one God will use to transmit that Spirit toothers (John 1:33): a completely new kind of Baptism.John's role has been merely to prepare the way and point a fingerexcitedly in the right direction. Look - that one!

In today's passage, John the Baptist again refers to Jesus as"the Lamb of God" (v. 35)' and two disciples immediately up andfollow. It sets off a fascinating chain of other encounters withJesus and a wealth of grandiose titles attributed to him. As wellas Lambof God, we have Rabbi,Messiah,son of Joseph from Nazareth,Son of God, Kingof Israel, and Son of Man. Space doesn't permit commentary on all these so dofollow the links. What we can note, though, is how skillfully inthe first chapter of John's Gospel the whole purpose of the book isbeing flagged up. The reader is introduced to Jesus and invited tobelieve in him as someone far more extraordinary and expansive thanjust the carpenter's son from Nazareth, that obscure village dissedby Nathanael from the more notable Cana in Galilee. When Johnstarts wrapping up the Gospel, he nails it in John20:31: "These things are written so that you may come tobelieve that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that throughbelieving you may have life in his name". At which point, Nathanaelreappears (John 21:2) for a decisive encounter with therisen Christ whom he almost dismissed at first meeting, butsubsequently recognised and revered. Good that we meet him at theGospel's end as well as its start. A lot of baptismal water hasflowed under the bridge by then.

To Ponder

  • Do Christians need to take on board all the titles given toJesus in the New Testament? Why?
  • Have you ever disrespected a person or place and then been madeto think again? What happened?
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