Come and see!
2024-01-14 | John 1:43-51

Rev. Prof. Tobias Brandner
  • Associate Director (External Affairs)
  • Professor, Divinity School of Chung Chi College

Today’s episode continues the story of how the first disciples were called into the fellowship of Jesus. After the previous passage with John the Baptist and Andrew, this passage now sees Philip being called and calling others into the fellowship of Jesus. As before, the call comes with the words “come and see.” The one called, Nathanael, does not receive a description of what to do or how to behave but is simply invited to come and see. Jesus’ way of life is his testimony and message, hospitality a main channel of evangelism. Opening ourselves to the stranger and being an invitational community, we share the core values of the gospel. We are first not a community defined by doctrines and rules but an invitational community of a special lifestyle. Orthopraxis comes before orthodoxy (right teaching).

We are called to follow Jesus, not a specific church or congregation. This reminds us of the trans-denominational and trans-congregational dimension of Jesus’ fellowship. I remember some years ago during a breakfast meeting with a visiting Christian leader from the U.S. someone asking him whether a specific person was a born-again Christian. The evangelical leader responded: “I don’t like to speak of born-again Christians – because it divides our community. Should we not better just talk about ‘people who follow Jesus’?” I appreciate this passionately ecumenical response. What binds us together is indeed that we are people who follow Jesus.