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Jesus had innumerable followers.
There were men and women as disciples.
There were 72 disciples (Lk 10:1)
BUT Gospels give importance to only 12 (This is to resemble the leaders of the 12 tribes of Israel).
Synoptic Gospels give the stories of five vocations (Peter, Andrew, James , John and Matthew)
John gives the stories of five only (John, Andrew, Peter, Philip, and Nathaniel –Bartholomew).
Only five- Probably these were the pillars of their respective churches.
In Synoptic gospels the disciples are called. They have no choice (directly).
In John’s Gospel they are not called at all.
The disciples follow and they go and bring others to follow.
He tells them to have their own experience.
They have to choose. They have to experience.
It is their decision.
Most of our vocations are of this type. (We cannot blame others and we cannot blame God)
DIFFERENT STAGES OF FOLLOWING
• LISTEN (ACCEPTANCE)
• SEARCH (FOLLOW)
• COME AND SEE
• REMAIN (FAITHFUL)
WITNESS: Someone bears witness to have a vocation. (This could be a thing, a
place, or person) Jn 1:36-37 This is the Lamb of God.
LISTEN : The whole world is witness to God and his goodness. We do not feel it.
They always stay away from us. If we want to have a vocation we should have an experience. We have to be open minded. There should be sense of God in us. We should feel belong to God.
SEARCH: Once accepted then we go searching to find out the person behind the
Experience. “What do you search” Jn 1: 38. God knows what man searches: eternal life, life everlasting, peaceful life (Adam searched for this). Jesus has this: John 10:10 (They may have life and life to the full). You have the word of eternal life John 6:68.
COME AND SEE:
Witness from others is not important. Direct experience is important. Witnesses should become personal experience. That is why Jesus says come and see. Philip also tells Nathanael to come and see (1:46) Nathanael refused to accept the witness but when he saw it for himself accepted and became a disciple. Personal God experience is essential to be a disciple.
REMAIN: Experience is not for a time (not time bound). It should be a continuous one. It should over power the man completely. It should be all pervading one: one’s thoughts, words, and actions. That is why John uses the word “Menew”
(me,nei verb indicative present active 3rd person singular[UBS] me,nw (aor. e;meina, impv. me,inon, inf. mei/naiÈ plpfÅ 3 plÅ memenh,keisan) intrans. remain, stay, abide; live, dwell; last, endure, continue; trans. await, wait for)
John uses this word 66 times (and other NT writers use only 50 times.) This term is John’s own term. He uses it to show God-son relationship; son-disciple relationship. This what he will later on speak about in vine and its branches (Ch 15). This relationship should be based on love.
ONLY WHEN AN INDIVIDUAL LIVES IN LOVE AND BASES HIS RELATIONSHIP ON LOVE OF GOD CAN HE BE A DISCIPLE AND BE FAITHFUL IN HIS VICATION.