Introduction: The previous text John 1:35-39, did not reveal the names of the two disciples who left John and went after Jesus, it was until vv40-42 that the Evangelist introduces us the two disciples one named Andrew and the other unnamed (presumably it was John the Evangelist himself). They became the first two closest disciples of Jesus and the first eye witnesses who saw the Messiah, the Son of God.
Give me the grace to know the person of
your Son Jesus, his vision and his mission
so that I may commit myself entirely to him
and your plan of Salvation.
- Read the Gospel of John 1:40-42; read the text slowly and listen attentively with the ‘ear of your heart’. What word, sentence or phrase stands out for you?
- Reflect: read the text again and pay attention of what touches you; why is it meaningful for you. What thought or reflection comes to you.
- Respond: read the text again but this time respond spontaneously to the word of God. In other words, make a dialogue with God what comes from within you. What gift does this text lead me to ask for from the Lord?
- Stay with the Word: read the text a final time and rest in the word. Allow God to speak to you in deep silence. Don’t say anything just listen to God’s words. What is He saying?
- Take now the word, sentence or phase, into your daily life/activity; allow it to become part of you. Always listen to it, reflect on it, pray over it and rest on it as time allows during the day. Then allow the Word lead you action.
Concluding your ‘Lectio Divina’ with the ‘Our Father’…
Reflection: the encounter of the two former disciples of John the Baptist with Jesus is an exploratory one, I say exploratory because they were eager to discover and know the person of Jesus, who he was, how was he like, where he lived etc., they only knew him by hearsay “there is the Lamb of God” (v29), meaning the “Servant of God” as told by the prophets. They really wanted to discover who Jesus really was. Jesus in returned not only reveal himself to them but make them his first disciples.
Central Message: “Andrew…was one of the two who heard what John had said and followed Jesus. Early next morning, he found his brother Simon and said to him, “we have found the Messiah” … and he brought Simon to Jesus. Jesus look at him and said “You are Simon son of John, but you shall be called Cephas” (which means Rock).
a) “Andrew… was one of the two who heard what John had said and followed Jesus” … (V40). Here Andrew is introduced by the Evangelist for the first time not only by name but also by his blood connection, he was “the brother of Simon”. Andrew, like many other Jews, learnt from the teaching of the prophets about the coming of the Messiah, especially from John. His hope to meet and see the Messiah was the expectation of so many in Israel and still is, the Messiah has not come for most of them yet. So Andrew was given the grace to meet Jesus the Son of God and to enter into deep relationship with him as he was invited to stay with him the day he met him. When Jesus invited Andrew to “come and see” his physical eyes, as well as the eyes of his faith, were wildly opened and thus his dream came true “We have seen the Messiah”. That afternoon Andrew and the other disciple talked to him asking him many questions about him. In return He told them everything about him and vice versa. That was an unforgettable experience for both disciples and a turning point of their lives, they left everything and went after Jesus. They became Jesus’ first disciples.
b) Early next morning, he found his brother Simon and said to him, “we have found the Messiah… and he brought Simon to Jesus” … (v41-42). The experience of meeting Jesus burse in such explosive joy that Andrew could not contain for himself what he saw but had to share with others the impact that such a meeting made on him. So he went straight to his brother Simon to tell him of his discovery convincing him to “come and see” too, so that he could also have his own experience meeting the Messiah. Andrew then turned into a missionary of Jesus, although he is not implicitly sent, but he felt compel to do that by the very fact of his experience meeting him. No one can remain static or passive after meeting Jesus, he burns hearts with fire of zeal and enthusiasm in order to speak of him of all that he does in us and through us. That is the model of Jesus’ discipleship: one who is called, who stays with him in order to know him and be sent to speak about him according to how one experience him.
c) …” And brought Simon to Jesus” … Andrew did not force or drag Simon out to see the Messiah, No, it was Andrew’s sharing experience that moved Simon to a deep desire of seeing and knowing personally the Messiah. He wanted to see Him by his own eyes that he hurried up to meet the Lord. This last verse tells about one of the characteristics of the discipleship of Jesus, as we recall his very words: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Mat 28:19). We may also have come to Jesus because of another person who spoke to us of him, our grandparents, our parents, a teacher, a priest, a nun, a friend, a mentor etc., for sure there has been someone up there who stirred our desire to meet the Son of God, Jesus our Saviour.
The conversation that Jesus had with Simon seemed to be very short but rich in meaning. …Jesus look at him and said “You are Simon son of John, but you shall be called Cephas” (which means Rock). When Jesus Looks at someone he first loves him/her for what s/he is, not for how s/he appear like. He looks at Simon and loves him and then he changes his name given him a new name which is a sign of a new a life, a new person, a new mission: the future support of the Christian community. Simon doesn’t know what it really means yet, he is too excited to think about it.
Some questions for our reflexion:
- The name of the other disciple is not mention in the text, perhaps the intention of author of the Gospel was to add your name instead, to be the companion of Andrew with a name? Could you tray?
- Andrew shared the joy of discovering Jesus in his life, how do you share the joy of the Gospel in your life?
- Jesus comes and looks at you and loves you, what do you think he wants from you?