Thursday, June 11, 2009

An urgent invitation

The last couple of days I have been meditating on John 1:41 and 42. In this text, Andrew finds Simon, explains what he has found, and brings him to Jesus. A closer look at the greek text reveals some interesting truths.

The first word is the use of the word "first". Different greek texts have different forms of the word that give some subtle perspectives. The most likely fit is that of an urgent connection with his brother. It is the superlative form of 'before', meaning 'before anything else' he went and found his brother. The implication is one of need and desire to share what he has found. Another ending would suggest the Andrew went first implying that John then went to get James. It is appearent from the rest of the text that both brothers went to get their siblings.

The second nuance is the selection of the word for found. It carries the meaning of 'searching', something more than a simple 'run and get Simon'. It carries the picture of someone who really wanted to find his brother.

The last word of interest is the 'brought' him to Jesus. This word is the one that would be used to lead an animal, pulling it along. Implied could be the idea that there was some resistance on the part of Simon. It clearly wasn't the image of Peter after the road to Emmaus running back to tell the others. It is the image of someone who needed to be brought along.

So what does all of this have to do with today's church? I think we need to somehow recapture this urgency in introducing people to Jesus. One thing that I think that ione thing that inhibits people is that we view the Kingdom as a harvest rather than the sowing. We think somehow we need to get people saved. I don't see that in any of the texts. What I see is a call to bring people to Jesus and make the introduction. What if we could see ourselves as people who bring others to a friend? Could we capture this same passion that was experienced by Andrew? How could we see this happen?