Reflections: The Second Sunday after the Epiphany

Today’s Reading: John 1:29-42a

Daily Lectionary: Ezekiel 37:15-28; Romans 6:1-23

And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.” (John 1:34)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Who is Jesus?  The answer to this question changes everything.  In the reading today, it changes everything for Simon and Andrew, just like it changes everything for John the Baptist.  If Jesus is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world, He is worth following and worth believing.  That means that He is not just another teacher, or just someone with wisdom and insights.  If Jesus is the Son of God, like John the Baptist declares, then everything is different.  Jesus has come to change everything.  The One who was baptized by John when John saw the Holy Spirit descend on Him is the same One who calls Simon and Andrew to follow Him.  

Why should Simon and Andrew follow Jesus?  Because He is the Son of God who takes away the sin of the world!  If He was anything less than that, following Jesus might lead to a better life or a path of wisdom.  But that’s not worth following Jesus completely and totally.  Jesus doesn’t call you to a project or a side-project.  Jesus calls you to a life of devotion, because Jesus has devoted Himself to you.  He is the One who unites Himself with you in the waters of baptism.  You have a death like His, and you have a resurrection like His because you are baptized into Him.  

Jesus is certainly the Lamb of God who has taken away the sin of the world, but never, ever lose sight of the fact that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away your sins.  Jesus isn’t a Savior “in general” but He is a Savior for you. Jesus is the Messiah who invites you to “come and see” all His goodness.  Is He your Savior?  Come and see!  Does He forgive your sins?  Come and see!  Does He love you?  Come and see!  He came for real people with real names, like Simon and Andrew and you.  He has called you His own when He claimed you in the waters of Holy Baptism.  There, He placed you in His name, and He will never give up on you.  In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Almighty and everlasting God, who governs all things in heaven and on earth, mercifully hear the prayers of Your people and grant us Your peace through all our days; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

-Pastor Peter W. Ill is Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church, Millstadt, Illinois.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Patrick Sturdivant, Development and Marketing Executive at Higher Things.

Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.