Messiah News

Come and See!

Our Gospel Lesson for this Sunday, January 15, 2023, is John 1:29-42.  This is John's version of the baptism of Jesus and it is quite different than the one I preached on last Sunday, Matthew 3:13-17. What is the same, though, is that the story focuses on proclamation of who Jesus is as opposed to Jesus' personal experience of being claimed by God in Baptism.

"Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the Sin of the world!" we hear John the Baptist shout as Jesus comes to the River. I'm guessing that the little Nepalese girl below knows something about sheep. I mostly don't. John, and the Jewish audience for whom he writes live with and by sheep. They tell stories about sacrificial lambs, lost sheep, scape goats and trust. John's proclamation is undoubtedly rich in meaning for them in a way it is not for me. I like this little girl and her friend from Nepal, though.

Image by Peter Colgan from Pixabay

This week's Gospel Lesson offers other names or images for Jesus as well. John also calls Jesus the "Son of God" in verse 34. A couple disciples to be call him "Rabbi or 'Teacher'" in verse 38, and Andrew refers to Jesus as "The Messiah" in verse 41. It feels like somebody has just dumped out the scrabble board and there are in infinite possibilities as to whom we might understand Jesus to be.

Jillian Engelhardt, Adjunct Instructor at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas considers this plethora of names in our Gospel lesson and writes, "What is particularly poignant to me about this passage is that these markers of Jesus' identity are not used to elevate him above everyone else, making him unapproachable. Instead, Jesus invites his new disciples into participation with him. He invites them to follow him further to discover what they seek to know. The rest of the gospel provides us with deeper insights into Jesus' identity if only we will "come and see."

I think maybe that preaches! What do you "seek to know" at this point in your life? Do you think the person of Jesus, known to you either personally in prayer, or communally through Messiah Lutheran, can help you discover that? Come and see.

Pr. Dave Brauer-Rieke 

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