Gospel

New Best Friend

Epiphany 2A John 1:29-42

As I start a new writing commitment, to myself and to my calling, it seems only right to begin with a day when something new happened to quite a few people. And since it's John's gloss on the story, it sounds a little different. Instead of being present at the baptism of Jesus, we hear John tell about seeing the Spirit descend like a dove upon him. There is no meeting of the minds, as there was in Matthew's account, no agreement that although it might seem odd for John to baptize Jesus, they had better go along with it anyway. For all we know, in John there was no baptism. Instead we hear John make reference to the mystical idea that Jesus was present before him, an allusion to the earliest verses of John 1, "In the beginning was the Word."

This is the earliest meeting we have with Peter in a gospel. We read that his brother Andrew is one of John's followers, and encourages Peter to go with him to meet Jesus, who they believe, on John's word, is the Messiah.

Such a momentous meeting!

Have you ever met someone and known this person would be special to you, known there would be a deep and lasting connection? In movies, when men meet and become friends, we catch something being telegraphed between them, even if they don't get along right from the beginning. Peter will be such an important lieutenant to his captain, Jesus. And Jesus gives him a new name, a nickname, right from the beginning. Peter will be his rock.

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