Scripture: John 1:43-51
Key verse: (43) “The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.”
Reflection: I have always been fascinated by the call of the first disciples. It’s hard to understand how someone would follow a man they don’t know just because he said “follow me”. Part of me wants to fill in the blanks and create the back story. The original gospel writers don’t seem to be very interested in these details. Just reading Jesus’ words makes me want to stop and say “hey, wait a minute.” I have so many questions. How does someone just walk away from their lives? This invitation involved a big decision. They must have heard Jesus teach before or they went home one day after hearing him preach and prayed a lot about whether to go or not. Nope. None of that happened in these stories. But, there is a bit more conversation involved in today’s passage when Jesus calls Phillip and Nathanael. I can relate to Nathanael. He actually asks some questions and even makes a snide remark about Nazareth which, at the time, was a backwater town of no import located in Galilee. Philip answers Nathanael’s questions with three words – come and see.
As I reflect on this passage, it occurs to me that these three words are the most important part of the invitation. Come and see is the kind of invitation that we make all the time when we want to share something important with someone else. Come and see is what happens when we go to a Bible study for the first time, or accept an invitation to church, or even go to a concert or event. Come and see is the invitation followers of Jesus offer again and again to those they know. Once you experience Jesus, it’s natural to want to invite others to discover what you have discovered. Nathanael asks Jesus “where did you get to know me?” And Jesus says “I saw you.” When we realize that God sees us, we believe. It happened in 1st Century Israel and it happens today. Come and see what God is doing. The invitation to follow continues.
Prayer: Calling Lord, we are grateful that you see us and know us. Help us to see what you are doing in the world as we commit ourselves to follow. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Author: Deborah Conner
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].