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Second Sunday of Epiphany - John 1: 43-51

Second Sunday of Epiphany  -  John 1: 43-51

Jesus found Philip and then Philip found Nathanael.  And then Philip melts back into the background. 

He is the disciple who found another disciple.  Nathanael’s not sure about following Philip who follows Jesus.  Philip doesn’t try to convince him as such.  He just says, ‘Come and see.

Disciples are incredibly important.  The Gospel accounts are about Jesus and his disciples.  The disciples are present throughout the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ adult life.

The story of Jesus’ ministry starts with Jesus finding the disciples. He doesn’t go off healing the sick and telling parable stories until the disciples are all there.  They follow him.  They watch him.  They listen to him.  They question him.  They get things right.  They get things wrong.  They desert him at the cross.  They are led to the empty tomb.  They encounter the risen Christ.  They are filled with the Holy Spirit.  They are sent out to the nations.  Nothing happens without the disciples being involved in some way or other. 

Philip’s invitation to Nathaniel is the invitation to all would-be disciples and followers of Christ.  ‘Come and see’.  He is himself not the most spectacular disciple.  He is not a Peter or a Thomas.  But crucially he models discipleship.  What does he say? ‘We have found him,’ And then he says. ‘Come and see’.  Philip is following and he asks others to follow also.

And we too are invited to follow Jesus and be his disciples.  This is what the Church of England website has to say about discipleship.

‘To be a disciple is to be called to a life of learning and formation in the likeness of Christ. Jesus calls men and women to be disciples: to learn from him, to pattern their lives upon his life, to follow him. Disciples are formed and sustained primarily through the grace of God seen in the witness of the local church. The local church is a community dedicated to a life of prayer, learning, service and worship.  The community live this out when they gather on Sunday for worship.  At the end of the service the congregation are sent out to live their discipleship in daily life.’

What do we say to the people we meet? We have found him.  Come and see.


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