Last night we had our first session of the Disciple Short Course on the Gospel of John. I confessed to the group that John is the gospel I know the least. I tend to stick to Luke. So, the class will be a fun learning experience for me.
During our discussion, the question in the leader’s guide asks what is the image of we have of Jesus from the first two chapters. One person (and I told her I was going to put this in my blog and she was ok with it) said that she said John made Jesus seem mischievous and playful. She said that Jesus is almost coy with the disciples as he doesn’t answer their question – where are you staying – directly, but says, ‘come and see.’ Then again with his mother at the wedding: she asks him to do something, and he asks her what this is to do with him. And then he does something.
I like this image of Jesus, and it is one we don’t seem to get from the other three gospels. John seems to be a game of hide and seek in a mysterious way. It presents a different image that the pious portraits I often see of him, with his face looking out distractedly. Would this Jesus really cause us to stop and take notice, much less follow? In these verses, you almost can’t help imagine the grin and Jesus cutting his eyes as he says, ‘Come and see.’ Maybe even laughing. There must have been something there that brought out their curiousity. I don’t see a slow, single-file march here, but the first disciples almost running to catch up with him.
I’ve never read the gospel of John in this way. Rather than seeing a pious or even argumentative Jesus, but reading a playful mischievous Jesus beckoning us to ‘come and see’.