The invitation from Jesus in John 1 is to come and see. As small groups of curious tradesmen, women, disciples, and businessmen hear about the man John the Baptist speaks of, they stand before Jesus with questions, and all He answers is come and see.
In verse 38 of John 1, they ask a simple and safe question. Where are You staying?
But could they be secretly asking much bigger questions? I wonder….
Who are you? I imagine people hopefully asking in their minds,
Are you the One, the One we’ve been waiting for?
The One we’ve been told about by our prophets throughout the centuries?
Are you the One? Or are you just another carpenter out of Nazareth?
The people of God have been promised and have been waiting. Oh, how they have waited. They know the stories of the Torah. How Abraham made a covenant with God and they would be a people of His own possession. How Moses confronted the Pharaoh and the Feast of Passover began. How God provided the Israelites with manna in the wilderness and the people of God were given the law – giving them the practices of faith they were still followed. How the walls of Jericho fell, and the Red Sea parted. How King David was a man after His own heart, and how Solomon built the temple they prayed at. How they fell into exile and how the prophets confronted them about sin and comforted them with the promise of the coming Messiah. As they now stand before Jesus, under Roman oppression, I imagine them asking – hoping, are You the One?
Then I imagine Jesus’ softly smiling at them. With eyes full of love, with full knowledge of what’s in their hearts, I imagine Jesus looking at them and says, come and see.
His words are an invitation to us today. They are a loving challenge to us who are curious. To those who are discouraged yet remain hopeful. Jesus says, come and see. We are also asking the same questions of the early disciples. Are You the One, Jesus? Are You the answer to this broken world and the brokenness in me? Are You the One to fill the hole in me that nothing has been able to fill? Are You the Savior? My Savior?
Jesus says to us, come. We are going to have to take a step and follow or else we’ll never know. Jesus is not calling us to sit on the sidelines and watch to see what He does. If we really want to know if He’s the One our hearts are waiting for, we are going to have to follow and answer His invitation. We are not going to have all our doubts relieved. Not all our questions about where Jesus leads is going to be answered. He’s not going to show us how He’s going to answer every prayer or bring us through every circumstance before we get onto the field. We are going to have to come. We are going to have to follow. That’s what His invitation means. Follow Me.
We are going to have to follow Jesus. We are going to have to put our feet in the footprints He left for us. He has shown us not the entire path, but He has shown us Who He is. He has shown us the way He loves and obeys Father. He has shown us the way He prayed. He has shown us the way and who He loved. He shows us what He cried over and what He got angry about. He showed us the cross He carried and the death He conquered.
When Jesus replies, come and see, He is inviting us to walk beside Him. We get dusty as we pick up the dust from the path He walked. We listen to His voice and His words become ours. When we see how He loved people and felt compassion for them, our heart begins to beat the same way. When Jesus says, come, He’s not inviting us to VIP seats in the stands and watch the all-stars on the field. He’s inviting us to get into the game. Following Jesus is not just for the “professionals” of faith - the pastors, the ministers, the priests, those who have gone to seminary or Bible college or those on the mission field. Jesus is inviting us all. He’s asking the fishermen, the tax collectors, the prostitutes, the children, the Samaritans, the immigrant, the powerful, the sick, the lonely, and the wealthy. His only qualification is for people to actually come.
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,” John 1:12 (NASB)
This year, we are going to Come and See who Jesus is, where He went, and what He’s asking of you and me. Through traveling through the Gospel of John, we will discover Jesus, again. Who He is in His word may be very different than what you’ve heard, and many things may surprise you. Open your heart and mind to the One who came from Heaven to show you the Father.
Jesus invites you to come and see.
Mary Quillin is a city-girl-turned-country-girl in her new life in North Dakota. She has been married to her hubby for 16 years and has 3 wonderfully, different kids who have begun their teen years (and she would appreciate all the prayers as possible on that note). After many years in full time ministry, Mary is learning how to show up and daily discover the journey of being available for whatever Jesus leads her to. She spends her days trying to build a welcoming shabby chic home in the heartland of North Dakota while learning to write and run.