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2014.03.27 20:00:00

     In John 1:29-42 (NRSV) we find John the Baptist with a large number of committed followers. They believe in his call for everyone to repent and be baptized. These believers are motivated to develop a deeper relationship with God. Some even want to believe that John might be the Savior that the prophets had been talking about for so long. Everyone is living in great anticipation of great changes to come.

     Jesus of Nazareth appears and John changes his followers focus away from himself. In a sense, John has to remove himself from the pedestal that many have placed him upon and redirect everyone's attention. He declares Jesus as the "... Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" Versus 30 through 36 describes John's effort to redirect people toward Jesus. He declares that the Spirit of God has come as a dove and is now one with Jesus. This Spirit remained with Jesus from that time forward. So Jesus is the example whom everyone should learn from and follow.

     This redirection from the ministry of John the Baptist to Jesus Christ begins and in verse 37 through 42, we read of two who heard John's revelation, turn and now desires to know more about this Jesus. Andrew and Peter leave the tutelage of John and go to dialogue with Jesus who they address as Rabbi or 'teacher'. They ask Jesus "where are you staying"? When Jesus responds with "Come and see" they accept the challenge by spending the remainder of the day with Jesus. The kingdom building effort and ministry of Jesus Christ begins.

     Just like Andrew and Simon, a friend of mine in Japan desires and seeks to learn much more about this very special Jesus Christ. She has joined our weekly prayer and worship devotion on Skype and I can tell by her questions that she is reaching for a deeper level of understanding for building her relationship with our Heavenly Father. She understands that the gospel calls us to develop a relationship with God first because, family, friends, and even church members can disappoint us. Only Jesus Christ can always be depended on no matter what the circumstance because He is the Lamb of God that will see us all the way through our life journey. My friend also cherishes the principles of the gospel to live in service to others, always proclaiming Christ as the source of our efforts. She even possesses a unique level of awareness that speaks to how people deal with their journey of life with different levels of spirituality strength - directly related to one's relationship with God.

     I believe Jesus continues to direct my life daily and like John the Baptist declares - Behold, the Lamb of God calls us all to His mission. The Lamb of God promises to be with us always and in every case, spiritual growth will be the reward. How are you actively engaged in Christ's mission? Expand your circle in service to others! Come and see!
                                   (Rex Ishikawa, Kaneohe Congregation)


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