Monday, November 30, 2009

“Behold the Lamb of God.” John 1.36

New Testament Challenge, Day 16, John 1-5

Today’s reading brings back many good, yet tedious, memories of seminary at Holy Cross. As a method of learning New Testament Greek we had to memorize the first fifteen verses of the Gospel of John. I can still stay them in my sleep...I always think of my first year at seminary when I read the first chapters of John.

It is another blessing that these passages find their way to our lips on the day we celebrate the Feast of Saint Andrew the First-called Apostle. In the Divine Liturgy this morning we read the account of the calling of the Apostles in John 1.35-51 where we see the calling of Andrew. It’s always a blessing to see a connection in scripture to our daily lives.

Since we are in the Advent Lent, I wish to focus upon the ministry of John the Baptist today which is made obvious in the reading at this morning’s Divine Liturgy. “And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, ‘Behold the Lamb of God!’ The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.” (John 1.36-37) This, taken with “He must increase, but I must decrease,” (John 3.30) reveals to us the ministry of John the Baptist – to point others to Christ.

Andrew and Peter recognized Christ because John had prepared them to see Him. We should use John the Baptist as a role model in our lives as well. We should each “be John the Baptist” and direct people’s attention to Jesus Christ. Everything we do should be directed at revealing Jesus Christ to others. And when we received credit for a task well done, we should not accept the credit but give credit to God as John the Baptist said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven.” (John 3.27)

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