This passage marks the beginning of Jesus’ ministry with his baptism and the recruitment of his disciples. These particular 12 were chosen. John the Baptist was astonished that he himself was chosen to play a direct role in blessing the Messiah.
The very strangeness of the choosing is an indicator of how we, as his disciples, listen for him and his will. How did the disciples and John the Baptist know that they were to follow Jesus? Who was this man revealed by John, and why should they listen to him? Even John admitted he did not know him, but heard the Spirit of God say: He is the One.
How do you know when to follow the Lord? How can we perceive the gift of knowing the Lord’s voice and knowing when we are in the presence of Jesus, the Son of the living God? By seeing signs and wonders? Perhaps a dove descending? No. He knows us by name, our unique being and purpose. He looks at us, at all that we are, and speaks our name: come and follow me. He sees who we are.
Lord, help me to hear your voice as you call my name. Help me listen as you tell me who I am to you. Amen. — VH