The First Day
January 15th, 2020
From: "The Parable of Joy: Reflections on the Wisdom of the Book of John"
35 The next day John stood there again with two of his disciples. 36 He saw Jesus walking by and said, "LOOK! The Lamb of God!"
37 The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.
38 Jesus turned around and saw them following and said, "What are you looking for?" And they said to Him, "Rabbi (which is translated 'teacher'), where are You staying?"
39 He said to them, "Come and see."
They went and saw where He was staying and spent the day with Him. (It was around 4:00pm.)
It was a Sunday. Their first day together. John, the disciple, was with the Baptist, along with Andrew, beside the Jordan when Jesus passed by. Jesus said nothing. The prophet looked up and with a tone so full of hope and wonder it would be impossible to describe said, "Look!"
As John turned and saw Jesus, the Baptist whispered in amazement, "The Lamb of God." John could no more have stayed there by the river than he could have suspended himself in the morning air. There was simply nothing else to do but follow.
"What are you looking for?" They were the first words Jesus had ever spoken to him. His voice was flat, surprisingly normal, but sincere. Jesus had a northern accent, a drawl, that might have been embarrassing to some northerners because generally, people tended to think it made them sound ignorant. As John writes these first words, alone in his room, he starts and looks around. It is as if he heard them spoken over his shoulder, "What do you want?"
After all, how do you answer such a question from the Messiah? "What do I want? What am I looking for? The world, eternal life, a place beside You in the Kingdom, to be reborn, to never lose hope again, to be whole..." John might have asked for anything, but his simplicity, his embarrassment, his nerves perhaps, made him stutter only, "Where are You staying?" It was a question that meant more than even John knew then. He was not merely asking to see Jesus' domicile; in his heart he was asking to see a home.
Jesus' house belonged to someone else. It was a place of poverty, even by John's standards, but it was clean and full of air and light.
They sat down together, the three of them - Jesus, Andrew, and John - around a low, bare table. This first meeting was where it all began for John. Later he remembered every word Jesus said, every expression that passed across His face, every story, every word of banter between them. Excited, as all new friends are at finding one another, they shared a secret joy as they realized they would become lifelong companions. Before any of them realized it, the day had passed. Through the small window they could see that it was getting dark outside. Andrew and John stood up, stiff at having sat in one position for so long. They were embarrassed at how difficult it was to say good-bye, though they had just met Jesus a few hours ago. They walked out into the dusk. The excitement they both felt seemed to fill the air around them; they were numb with it and filled with it. And this was only their first day.