JANUARY 13TH, 2019

“ Behold the Lamb of God.”

Today’s Gospel is very much about the meaning of names and titles. It sets up the background for an understanding of the references to
Jesus and some of the other disciples. Biblical names have underlying meanings. “Rabbi” means “teacher”. “Christ” means “Anointed one”. “Cephas” means “Peter” which also means “Rock”. Each name gives a hint at the role the people will play in the story being told.

The emphasis in the preaching of John is on preparation for the coming of the “Messiah” which means “Savior”. The “lamb” reference in the story hints at the saving action of the blood of the lamb sprinkled on the doorpost of the Jews in Egypt, whose firstborn were delivered by the blood from the experience of death.

Now in this new chapter of salvation history, it is Jesus who is recognized as the “new” lamb whose blood is sacrificed for the salvation of all from death. The ability to see this transference and to commit to it is the basis of the strength of Peter, the “rock” on which the new community of salvation will be formed.

Every generation of Christians who are baptized is called to examine the teachings of the Scriptures and view for themselves the transference and the meaning of “Behold the Lamb of God.”

At each liturgy we proclaim our belief in him, who “takes away the sins of the world.”

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