Pilgrim: Jesus

Our first session into the Pilgrim course (the week before writing) focused on the following passage from the bible. and what it represents to us as individuals.

John 1:35-42

John’s Disciples Follow Jesus

35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”

37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus.38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”

They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”

39 “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”

So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.

40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.

Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter[a]).

Footnotes:

  1. John 1:42 Cephas (Aramaic) and Peter (Greek) both mean rock.

John the Baptist’s followers knew enough of his teachings to understand what he meant by the Lamb of God. It goes as far back as Exodus when the families used lambs blood to protect themselves from the devastation that was to befall Egypt prior to the journey through the desert.  That link between the two explains a lot about who Jesus is to those two disciples of John’s.  It brings to mind the link with God, the overall protection and safety that was offered to God’s chosen people, the sense of command and leadership reflected in history, and the enormity of the power that was demonstrated over time.

The question Jesus asks them is very open and immensely deep.

“What do you want?”

If we visualise Jesus asking us the same question … “what do we want?”.  It is not so simple a question that we can provide a simple answer to, however, their answer, while appearing simple, has a lot of depth, and is quite probably the most perfectly humble answer they could have given,

“Rabbi, where are you staying?”

They demonstrate their acknowledgement of Jesus as a teacher, and imply a request to spend time with the teacher so they might learn from him; that is hugely important as pupils in their day followed their masters everywhere (there were no shortcuts to learning) and possibly did chores in between lessons (educational reform had its good points).

NLP techniques include something called modelling. It’s a process whereby you learn from someone that you admire, want to be like, that possesses traits, skills, and techniques that you wish to acquire.  You model yourself after that person, by doing what they do.  In a sense this is precisely what the disciples have asked to do, but in their time, acquiring knowledge involved being where their model is, at all times, which in this case means being around Jesus throughout the day; listening, watching, absorbing everything and anything that is offered so that you can model yourself off that person. 

The next key phrase here leaves no doubt in the mind of the reader as to who they believed Jesus to be; after a short time of following him.

“We have found the Messiah”

It needs several exclamation marks on that.

“We have found the Messiah!!!”

It’s such a powerful phrase.

People were waiting for the Messiah, living in hope and now they’d found him. I can imagine Andrew rushing around looking for Simon until eventually, he finds him.  I see him there fixing something under a wooden awning, in the shade at the side of a building and you can almost sense the unbridled joy in Andrews’ voice as he trundles up, finds him there and persuades him to come to see; it’s virtually bursting out of him.  The enthusiasm, the happiness, the pure unadulterated innocence of joy.

When was the last time you had something so joyous you had to share it that if you didn’t, it’d literally bubble up inside and burst out of you?

Lord, today we have seen one perspective of who Jesus is.
We know how much he meant to his early followers,
and the joy they felt in finding him
and acknowledge that he is the Messiah.

Grant to us all the same joy in finding our way to Jesus,
so that we too may learn of him, of your word
and share in your wisdom.
For in learning more about Jesus we also learn of you
and build a strong foundation for our relationship with you
through Jesus Christ, our saviour.

Amen.