John 1:35-42, “Second Sunday in Ordinary Catholic Time”

john-bapt-435 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples, 36 and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” 37 The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus. 38 Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39 He said to them, “Come, and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day. It was about four in the afternoon.40 Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus. 41 He first found his own brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Christ). 42 Then he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John; you will be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).

John was standing with two of his disciples and as he watched Jesus walk by he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God,” or as we’d say today, “There he is.”  The two disciples heard what John said and followed Jesus.

(John is now minus two disciples.  He needs to buy an ad to replace them and training the new disciples will set him beyond the fiscal year’s budget.)

Jesus turns to his newly stolen-from-John disciples and says, “What are you looking for?”

(They reply, “A strong 401K, with Roth IRA investment and deferred tax benefits while on missionary work, a per diem that includes a rental donkey with AM/FM radio, and a small 4-bedroom loft overlooking the sea of Galilee.)

They said to Jesus, “Rabbi, which translates Teacher, where are you staying?”  Jesus said, “Come, and you shall see.”

(As we all know, Jesus was staying at a manger scene that first block the altar but then was lowered for economic purposes.  He’s now staying with friends because of the “no walking stick or second tunic” line that he mentions later on.)

Andrew was one who abandoned John for Jesus for his better benefits which now includes medical/dental which John promised but never delivered and brings along his brother Peter.  He tells his brother that he’s found the Messiah, which translate into “Christ.”  Why he didn’t say “Christ” in the first place eludes readers of the gospel.  Jesus then looks at Peter, ignoring his newest, first employee Andrew and says “You are Simon the son of John, you will be called Cephas which translates into Peter.

Now let’s see what we have here.

The Baptist loses two committed employees who switch to the their new employer with the promise of advancement which is the same promise that John made to them.  The two new guys then want to know where Jesus lives but also want their own time-share 4-bedroom as well.  They call Jesus “Rabbi” which means teacher, then call him “Messiah” which means Christ, then Simon becomes Cephas for only two seconds before him name is changed to Peter.

There appears to be lots of promises made in this short gospel passage.  Lots of promises and hopes and dreams.  And, lots of translating when they could have just said, “Teacher,” “Christ” and “Peter” and skip all the translating.

Lots of switching employers during a big economic depression.  Lots of promises, hopes and dream being thrown about.

And all done in the simple statement that could have saved us all this time “translating” with the simplest and most powerful question asked of anyone in life, “What are you looking for?”
And our response to our own question is, “Can Jesus deliver?”  Or has he already.

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
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