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The good news for the day January 4, 2017

Third Christmas weekday (205)

John was standing with two of his followers. As he watched Jesus walk by, he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” The two men heard what he said; they followed Jesus. Turning, Jesus saw them following him. He addressed them, “What are you looking for?” They replied, “Rabbi”—the word means roughly our word, “Teacher”—”where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come along, and you will see.” So they went, saw where He was staying, and stayed with him that day. (It was about four in the afternoon.) Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two men who had heard John and had followed Jesus. Before anything else, he found his brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah,”—a word which in Greek means an anointed one, (or the Christ). Then Andrew brought Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon Johnson; you will be called Cephas (“rock” in Semitic),” which is translated Peter (“a rock” in Greek as well as Latin) (John 1)

Andrew brings Simon to Jesus. Jesus relabels Simon with the name, or nickname—“Rocky:” Why does the evangelist tell us this story?  How does it tend to inspire us today?

First of all, the openness, curiosity and readiness of John’s “disciples” to follow a different person’s teachings and example. It is not just the charisma of Jesus, His charm or personality—but that “staying all day” was a teaching moment—when—IN ONE DAY—they realized here was someone worth following –He was telling the truth, showing the way—and promising a Life that is more than just living.

Secondly—that teaching moment led them not just to a conviction (“He is the Messiah [whatever that might have meant in those days]”) but the further point that he was worth bringing others to listen to him. Certainly, you may or may not “bring others,” but your commitment suggests it is that kind of attitude which marks a true follower of Jesus—He is worth it.

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