This tension might be well illustrated when traveling. For example when moving from one destination to another, it’s often necessary to expend extra time and energy as a part of meeting with helpful, even interesting people along the way. Simultaneously, in the midst of a journey we might also yearn for home… our place to hunker down and just hang out, anticipating restoration from the rigors of a long trip.
Today’s passage implies a similar tension. John and his disciples encounter Jesus while they are on a journey. In the midst of their subsequent conversation John "gives way" to Jesus and suggests to his disciples that Jesus, (not John) is the one to follow, and encourages a transition. The idea might have initially been resisted by John’s disciples because of loyalty, but Andrew decides follow John’s advice and spend some time with Jesus. After a while Andrew sends for his brother Simon. They both decide to follow Jesus. Jesus calls Simon by a new name, Cephas (meaning “stone” in Aramaic.) Among other things, this name change might suggest Cephas' choice to follow Jesus carries a greater weight and permanence.
The lesson for us is how willing John is to point out the Messiah. He beckons his disciples to make a transition. When Andrew and Simon did this they found a spiritual home. They became followers of Christ. We could relate to this by considering how we encounter hearing persuasive speech from a preacher and transition to finding abode in Jesus.
The Calling of Christ.
It’s full of activity, expression of movement
which can arise from seeking wholeness
Within the future dynamically approaching
we need not worry of loyalty encroaching
on others who encourage, cheer, and prod
to enter a home, talk and share with God.
They help us know that we are certainly invited there,
that we too can be received, honored, and welcomed, as heir.
Pastor Rich Wagner