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Andrew Meeting Jesus

II quite frequently especially at wedding and baptisms approach people who have arrived before the service and ask them “are you local” or “have you come far?” as an opening conversational tactic but so far at any rate no-one has replied “come and see?” Last week we heard about Jesus’ baptism and the way in which he revealed himself to the people and the first half of our Gospel reading this morning confirms all of that allowing John the Baptist the following day to say to two of his disciples “Look, here is the lamb of God.” The two disciples stimulated and interested follow Jesus and have the conversation:

“What are you looking for?”
“Rabbi, where are you staying?2
“Come and see”

This is a meeting and an exchange from another age: “What are you looking for?”
This is not an assistant in Sainsbury’s wondering if you have been unable to find the mustard but a far deeper question and an implicit invitation: “Tell me, as you know who I am, what is it that you want to find in me?”

The disciples seem to reply tangentially, or perhaps at a rather mundane level, maybe they do not know what they are looking for or are taken aback by Jesus’ presence and question and so take refuge on safer ground: “Rabbi, where are you staying?” they ask. But then Jesus replies “Come and see!”

As a too modern disciple, I worry that in their place I would have instinctively (or from habit) have looked at my watch to busily calculate whether there were enough minutes before my next scheduled event or whether I could pop round for a quick cup of tea, but Andrew and his companion do not say “sorry but we have a meeting to go to just now” and instead agree to follow Jesus where they spend the rest of the day with them. What an opportunity the preoccupied would have missed,, hours in conversation with the Son of God and we can gauge the impact by Andrew’s immediate reaction.
“He first found his brother Simon.”
It is true isn’t it that when we have good news we are impatient to share it with our family and fiends, last week a friend was accepted on an MA course, they were thrilled and shared it with parents and grandparents (and their friends on twitter) wanting them to be a part of their joy. So I always imagine Andrew excitedly running from Jesus’ house to find Simon brimming over with all that he had heard and experienced that afternoon. Simon understood his brother’s enthusiasm and came with Andrew to meet Jesus.

In this short rich passage right at the beginning of John’s Gospel and Jesus’ ministry we are introduced to three big ideas and these are that Jesus is called Rabbi, which means teacher, Jesus is called Messiah meaning ‘the deliverer, or the anointed and Peter is called Cephas meaning rock. And all of that is important and will develop in importance during Jesus’ time on earth but what I want us to think about this morning is that meeting the encounter between Andrew and Jesus. Note please how they listened to one another, not the simple words but the true sense of what they were saying, how their engagement with that moment allowed the three of them, the two disciples and Jesus to recognize that whatever they had planned wherever they were individually going that afternoon was less important than this - the chance to be together and to talk right then.

We can learn much I think from these three lines of dialogue, there are things we can for ourselves not simply in our prayer lives when we meet with God but also when we meet one another.

Let us pray

Eternal Father help us to learn from the disciples and from your son to take time to truly meet one another to recognise what is precious in our conversations with others and to be always graceful and gentle. Amen


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