John 1:35-51 examined by Meredith

The part of this text that certainly picks up my attention is the question and answer, “What do you want?” The disciples respond by asking, “Where are you staying?” to which Jesus replies, “Come and you will see.” To me this suggests that in following Jesus, we will see exactly where he dwells. This same invitation could be offered to anyone seeking on the path. For example, Philip extends this same invitation to Nathanael. “Come and see.”

I love that when Jesus sees Nathanael, and knows him, Nathaneal was curious about how that could be true. Jesus recognized in Nathaneal his true self, “in whom there is nothing false.” It is our true selves that are most visible to God, even though we may try to hide behind a façade.

Last, 1:51 references Jacob’s dream in Genesis. Jesus, (metaphorically) is a ladder between heaven and earth. Jesus is not saying that this would be a physical experience – that anyone could see the ladder – but that they would have spiritual insight into Jesus’ true nature and purpose. I love that he says “you shall see heaven open, and angels of God ascending and descending” which to me means that heaven and earth are united.

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4 responses

  1. Hi Meredith – it looks like we had similar reactions to the first part of this reading … I said somewhere below -When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and see “– Jesus wants to know our deepest desires. We wnat to know what he’s all about. He doesn’t tell us, but asks us to find out for ourselves through experiencing him.

  2. Crystal, I love your comment here.This passage also speaks to me; I am drawn by the invitation of Jesus.Something I have pondered is the role of desire on the spiritual journey. Do we know God because of desire, because we want to and ask for this? I thought this was true, but my requests seem to always be left dangling. What has happened for me is that in the waiting silence I open myself to possibility, to the invitation; in this silent openness I begin to sense something greater, to understand Jesus’ words, and to know and experience God. You write that Jesus wants to know our deepest desires, and that We wnat to know what he is all about. But Jesus doesn’t tell us. We find out for ourselves through experience.In the end, the invitation is lovely, and when we accept, one way or the other, we are blessed. Just some musings…

  3. Hi Meredith. Desire is an important part of Ignatian spirituality – here’s a quote from one of the Jesuit dictionaries …Grace I Desire (*)Or its Latin equivalent, “Id quod volo” (!), is a concept used frequently throughout the Exercises: “The Second Prelude is to ask God our Lord for what I want and desire” [48]. Ignatian spirituality could be called a spirituality of passionate and ordered desires. Frequently during the Exercises journey, a directee is asked to attend carefully to his/her desires because, in some ways, the process of the Exercises can be understood as a purification of one’s desires.

  4. An instance of unanswered questions — it seems to be the only real way to answer questions, by extending an invitation to someone that they find out on their own. Besides, how often do we question the answers we’re given, but if we learn the answers on our own, we then know.

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