Dig Deeper into Sunday’s Gospel: Read John 1:35–42
As we begin 2024, so many of us are searching: for something new, for something that promises hope, for change. So we dream, embrace the thrill of 365 blank pages, and write down our resolutions. I, for one, love the prospect of a new year and the possibility that this may be the year I see my resolutions through, or at least beyond the month of February. But the truth is, no matter what I resolve, no matter if I achieve every single goal, I will still be left not entirely satisfied. Deep down, we are all looking for something more than this world can offer.
Sunday’s gospel introduces us to a timeless question: “What are you looking for?” (John 1:38). John, upon seeing Jesus, turns to two of his disciples and declares, “Look, here is the Lamb of God” (John 1:36). Consequently, the two disciples choose to walk away from John and follow Jesus. Noticing them, Jesus asks the two men a poignant question: “What are you looking for?” (John 1:38).
Interestingly, the disciples do not directly answer Jesus; instead, they respond to Jesus with a question: “Where are you staying?” (John 1:38). In this, they reveal that what they are truly looking for is Him. They want to know more about Jesus; they desire a deeper connection with the Lamb of God. After spending time with Jesus, Andrew is inspired to bring Peter to come and meet Him.
There is much to unpack in this gospel, but of particular importance is John 1:38. In this single verse, so much is made known to us about who Jesus is. First, we realize that Jesus is not indifferent but approachable. He notices the disciples following Him, and He takes the time to talk with them, listen, and see their hearts. Second, Jesus’ question, “What are you looking for?” is not only meant for the disciples, but for each of us. In asking it, He reveals that He cares about our deepest needs and desires.
As we pray with this verse, it encourages us to consider our own response to this question.
What are we seeking in our relationship with Him?
When we are invited to “come and see,” are we willing to follow?
Do we desire intimacy with the Lamb of God?
When we spend time with Jesus, do we go out and bring others back to Him, as Andrew did with Peter?
Ultimately, a life with Christ is what we are destined for, and to share Christ with others is what we were made for. As you look over your resolutions and pray about the upcoming year, I encourage you to ponder the question, “What are you looking for?” Do your plans and dreams further you on your journey to heaven? Do they aid you in a life of holiness? As C.S. Lewis writes in Mere Christianity:
If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it...[but only] to suggest the real thing…I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death…I must make it the main object of life to press on to that country and to help others to do the same.
More than anything, may 2024 be a year that helps us to grow as disciples of the Lamb of God, a year that further awakens within us our desire for our true country, our eternal home that is heaven. May this year be one that emboldens us to invite others to come and see Jesus.
Food for thought or journaling...
Do your New Year’s ambitions reflect Jesus’ plan for your life and bring you closer to Him?
Jesus, help me to focus on You in the coming year and to always say yes to Your invitation for a deeper relationship.
 C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (Touchstone: New York, 1996), 121.