The Gospel this Sunday is not from Mark’s Gospel, as you might have expected given that we are in Year B of the Lectionary’s Sunday cycle, but from John’s.
The opening of Mark’s Gospel leads us so abruptly from Jesus’ baptism to the temptations, to a very brief and stark account of the calling of the first disciples. It would seem that the Lectionary’s compilers saw an opportunity to include a key moment from John’s Gospel that otherwise would be lost to our Sunday hearing of that Gospel…
A pity to miss the characteristic starkness of Mark though… Take a look at Chapter 1, if you can. You’ll hear Mark’s story of the call of the first disciples next week anyway, but it sounds very different when prepared for this week’s very different account of call and response.
John stood with two of his disciples, Jesus passed, and John stared hard at him and said, ‘Look, there is the lamb of God.’ Hearing this, the two disciples followed Jesus. Jesus turned round, saw them following and said, ‘What do you want?’ They answered, ‘Rabbi,’ – which means Teacher –’where do you live?’ ‘Come and see’ he replied; so they went and saw where he lived, and stayed with him the rest of that day. It was about the tenth hour.
One of these two who became followers of Jesus after hearing what John had said was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. Early next morning, Andrew met his brother and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ – which means the Christ – and he took Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked hard at him and said, ‘You are Simon son of John; you are to be called Cephas’ – meaning Rock.
When and where do you find the opportunity to spend time with the Lord? To explore what you want – at the deeper level than May at first sight be implied by his simple question to them. And to learn not only ‘where’ he lives but ‘how’ and ‘why’.
Photograph of Assisi. (C) 2014, Allen Morris.