• Gabriel von Wendt

John 1:29-34 Hearts That See Jesus

John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He is the one of whom I said, 'A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.' I did not know him, but the reason why I came baptizing with water was that he might be made known to Israel." John testified further, saying, "I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from the sky and remain upon him. I did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.' Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God."

Imagine the scene: In the midst of what had become John the Baptist’s daily routine, he suddenly saw how Jesus approached him. The crowd around him was unaware; the noise, the movement, all the affairs kept going on in exactly the same way. But in John's interior everything slowed down for a second and His heart skipped a beat. Jesus was approaching. The One. The Son of God.


What happened at the shore of the Jordan back then, can happen in the order of grace today. Have you ever experienced it? Have you ever felt how Jesus approached you in the midst of your affairs? The world around you keeps going, nobody sees Him coming, only your heart recognizes that He, the One, is approaching. What do you do?


Today's Gospel suggests that this experience is at the heart of an apostle's mission. After recognizing Jesus, John takes to proclaiming His presence. The Holy Spirit revealed to John the presence of the Son. Thus John became the voice to announce Him.


Jesus wants to approach each and everyone. Alas, in the busy daily life, His presence remains unnoticed for most of the people. However, spiritually sensitive souls see how He approaches. Not usually in some kind of mystical vision; they can “see” Him with their hearts; in the same way as a person can “see” another person in a very different way when they love each other. For the heart can see things. If the heart is enlightened by the Holy Spirit, it can see Jesus.

This is what happens to people with a deep and authentic spiritual life. And that makes them into key players in the order of grace: into Apostles. As the Holy Spirit reveals Jesus to them, He ipse facto commissions them to be witnesses, to be “the voice that calls in the desert.” If not for them, many people would remain unaware of the saving presence of Jesus Christ. So if you see Jesus approaching you, remember that, by approaching you, He is also approaching those who you are called to lead to Him!

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