Tuesday

16 June 2020

John 1:35-51

When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, ‘What are you looking for?’ They said to him, ‘Rabbi, where are you staying?’ (v. 38)

Psalm: Psalm 54

Background

John was the last of the Gospels to be written. The Gospel contains no parables and the miracle stories are seen by John as 'signs' that will show God’s glory.

There are several recurring themes in the Gospel. One such theme is sight and light. In John 1:4-5, Jesus is referred to as the light. And Jesus said in John 8:12 that he is the light of the world and in John 9 he heals a man born blind and once again refers to light.

The passage preceding today's reading talks about John the Baptiser pointing to Jesus as the 'lamb of God'. When John the Baptist's disciples saw Jesus they followed him and John faded into the background.

In the study passage there are several references to looking and seeing. Interestingly, in verse 38 Jesus does not ask: “whom are you looking for?” but “what are you looking for?” And the disciples did not answer him directly but answered with a question: “where are you staying?” This means that they wanted to be with Jesus. And then the next day there is more coming and seeing.

This 'seeing' is both literal and figurative but notice that always there is both 'come' and 'see'. Thus, seeing is not passive; it involves doing something: coming, seeing, looking. John is the only Gospel in which Nathanael is mentioned. And in verse 49 Nathanael recognises Jesus as the son of God. Nathanael saw both literally and figuratively. And in verse 51 Jesus tells Nathanael that he will see even greater things.  

 

To Ponder:

  • Imagine if Jesus was to ask you what you are looking for. How would you answer him?
  • How does this passage challenge to come and see in a more active and involved way? 

Bible notes author

Revd Lynita Conradie

Lynita Conradie was ordained in 2005 in the Methodist Church of Southern Africa and worked part-time as a minister and also as a human rights lawyer and editor of the Namibian Law Reports, in Namibia. Lynita came to Britain in September 2013 and served as a presbyter in the Nottingham (North) Circuit until August 2018. She is currently in the Harrow and Hillingdon Circuit. In her spare time, Lynita follows cricket and rugby and likes reading and travelling.

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