Come And See The Lamb of God

Come And See The Lamb of God

Patti Smith once said: “It was an unexpected encounter that slowly altered the course of my life.” Buy, hey, that’s what happens to us when we have encounters with significant persons.

Now let’s consider an encounter with Jesus Christ. Jesus is God in the flesh. He is risen from the dead. He is alive and has conquered everything that keeps us enslaved to a too-small life gripped by fear. And He wants you and me to be in communion with Him so that we can become like Him.

That kind of encounter, IF I’m awake to the moment, is meant to transform my life.

So, I gotta ask you, is your life being transformed by your encounter with Jesus Christ? If not, why not?

Look at one story of an encounter with Christ that changed all kinds of people in John 1:35-51:

At that time, John was standing with two of his disciples; and he looked at Jesus as he walked, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned, and saw them following, and said to them, “What do you seek?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “Where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying; and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two who heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him, and said, “So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. And he found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! ” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”

Look at all the moments of meeting mentioned here. St. Andrew, the older brother of St. Peter, and the founder of the See of Constantinople. St. Peter is invited to meet Jesus. Then St. Philip encounters Jesus and follows him. Then Philip finds Nathaniel and that “come and see” moment results in the very good man named Nathaniel having his life changed forever.

These stories of meeting Jesus change these men forever. And the encounter with Christ is always meant to do just that in you and me. But we have to unpack the power of the encounter in three distinct phases.

First, The Invitation. St. John the Baptist tells his two disciples, one of whom is Andrew, that Jesus is the “Lamb of God.” They follow Jesus and He tells them to “Come and see.” Then Andrew invited his brother Peter to meet Jesus and Peter accepted the invitation. Then Philip is invited by Christ to follow Him and he does and then he invites Nathaniel to meet Christ by telling him “We have found him whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote.” Nathaniel meets Christ and his life is forever changed. But it all begins with an invitation. And it is never forced. The one invited has to exercise their will to choose to encounter Christ. Every one of the people in this passage has the freedom to say “no.” But by saying “yes” to the invitation, they make the most powerful connection of their lives and they are still all “alive in Christ” to this day.

Next, The Inspiration. Every encounter with Christ inspires even more labor to keep on following Him. Every man in this story will eventually die for their faith in Jesus Christ. But any true encounter with Christ produces the cascading effect of building a stronger will to keep on following Jesus. Look at how Nathaniel is inspired by his meeting with the Lord to radically change his skepticism into a precious confession. Nathaniel’s heart is so prepared by God’s grace for this encounter that it only takes a bit of revelation of WHO Jesus really is for his encounter with Christ to blossom into full-blown worship! That’s normal for an authentic encounter with Jesus. Our lives are meant to be inspired by our connection to Jesus to empower us to keep on being faithful, keep on being transformed, and keep on being made stronger to invite others so that our whole lives are filled with meaning from devotion to Him.

Finally, The Transformation. Each man in this narrative is never the same. Names are changed. Minds are enlightened. Lives are forever altered with new meaning and purpose from their very first encounter with Jesus. But that’s the point. Jesus doesn’t come to minister to us as some guru or religious philosopher. He hasn’t come to merely give us some rules to make us nice people or to just change our behavior. He hasn’t come to encounter us just so we will feel “good” about ourselves. Jesus Christ encounters us with the expressed purpose to change you and me, to transform you and me into “new” creatures, mad like Him so that we will desire nothing higher than to be with Him forever.

As we remember St. Andrew today, let’s allow an encounter with Jesus to accomplish this transformative journey in making us who we were created to be in the first place: the eternal companions of the Uncreated God. Anything smaller than that will just lead us into a dead-end. Living a Normal Orthodox Life means living a transforming life because we have met Him.

P.S. Let us praise the namesake of bravery, the divinely eloquent and first to be called of the Disciples of Christ, the kinsman of Peter. As he called out to him in days of old, so now he calls to us, “Come, we have found Him for whom we yearned.”

Our Annual Campaign continues to row and we are so grateful for your support. I was speaking to my new producer today about our work on developing a long-form program to launch next year and she was sharing with me about our equipment needs. That’s why we need your help at this Giving Season. Please consider a one-time gift of $20, $50, or even $100 to help us. You can also become a monthly supporter by committing $10 or $20 per month.

Just go to our Donation Page today. Thank you so much and God bless you.

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *