John gazed upon Jesus as He was walking.
“We are designed for gazing, gazing, a lifestyle of intimacy beholding our God.
And the supreme excellence of His divinity exceeds the capacity of our customary speech for God is more truly contemplated than spoken of. And He is more real than our highest experience, greater than our greatest experience, exists more truly than He is contemplated, our God.”
Godfrey Birtill – Gazing.
The result of John the Baptist’s gazing on Jesus resulted in revelation about Jesus – “Behold the Lamb of God” – and the loss of two of John’s most famous disciples to the One whose sandal he felt unworthy to untie.
To our western gentile minds at a remove of 2000 years John the Baptist doesn’t seem like such a big deal. Nevertheless John the Apostle opens the revelatory fourth gospel with a large chunk of words and actions by John the Baptist.
I think John likes John because he was like himself – self effacing. John the apostle mentions only one of the two of John the Baptist’s disciples that left him – Andrew – and we presume the other was John himself characteristically not drawing attention to himself. Throughout John’s gospel it is the same. He is simply the disciple Jesus loved.
My daughter asked me this morning did I get to speak to Godfrey while he was here and did I get anything from him (as if it was a big deal to converse with the man). I explained that Godfrey is just a man, a bit older than myself, probably preferring retirement at this stage and, like so many, fed up of what passes for Christianity in the west these days.
I would still attain to be like Godfrey though, losing followers because they were so taken by my gazing at Jesus, and the revelation that produces, that they just want to follow Him. That is, if I had any followers!