As 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.
Throughout the Gospels we read of how people’s lives were changed by their encounters with Jesus, perhaps none more so than his disciples who came to the realisation that Jesus was far more than a Rabbi, he was the Messiah.
Jesus’ encounter with the two disciples reflects our own relationship with him. While we may seek to know and love him, it is Jesus who invites us into a deeper and more intimate relationship. He is both the giver and the gift.
How do we respond when he invites us to ‘come and see’? Do we place our trust in him, or are we like the rich young man (Mark 10:17-22) who goes away saddened, unable to accept the invitation and the challenges of Christian discipleship?
True Christian discipleship is not only about nurturing a personal relationship with Jesus. Rather it requires us to lead others to Jesus in the very same way that Andrew shared his new-found joy ‘we have found the Messiah’ with his brother Simon, and then took him to meet the Lord.
Pope Benedict reminds us “Jesus takes nothing away. Rather, he gives us everything. When we give ourselves to him we receive a hundredfold in return.”