Friday of Epiphany 2 – John 1:29-42a

29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”

35 The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38 Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39 He said to them, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. 40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). 42 He brought him to Jesus.

She stood out from her classmates. Her luxurious black hair and liquid brown eyes set her apart from her predominantly blue-eyed and blond-haired classmates. Her name also stood out. Its unusual use of the letters j, m, and r meant many stumbled when they spoke her name. Her parents had come from India and raised their daughter in a culturally Indian home. From their days in India, they had heard that Christian schools were some of the best, so they enrolled their little girl in the local Lutheran parochial school.

Even though she stood out, she was also one little girl in a sea of very Teutonic faces. She could not be asked to represent all Indian culture, yet, how would this become her classroom too? Her teacher wondered how to do this. Soon a meeting took place with the parents. The teacher asked the most important question of all, “What are you looking for?” Later those Indian parents would say that this question was incredibly moving for them. Someone had seen their struggle to fit into a strange world and was asking what they wanted for their beloved little girl.

Did you hear Jesus ask that question of the men He found following Him one day? On multiple occasions you might see that Jesus responds to various people who have answered Jesus’ question here. A woman will say, “Give me this water,” in chapter 4. His response to her, challenging her life and calling her faith is the water of life she sought.  The people of Capernaum will say, “Give us this bread you speak of,” in chapter 6. His long discourse which follows was as Peter later confessed, “the words of eternal life.”

Jesus has not come to impose his solutions on you either. He really listens to your prayers and wants to hear what you want. He has been a little boy in a village. He has been surrounded by grownups and has gone to work for the first time. He has stood on a boat that rocked and he has yearned for the rain when it was hot and dry. He turns and looks at you today and asks, “What are you seeking?” He really wants you to answer that question and tell Him.  

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