In an earlier blog, I wrote, “Jesus reveals the unseen God. If we want to know God, we need look no further than every word Jesus speaks and every deed He accomplishes.”
While I attempt to keep this foremost in my mind when I read the Bible, I also find myself observing the people who actually saw Jesus’ face and observed His actions. I wonder if I would have reacted the same way they did. In them, I see my skepticism, my questions, my devotion to religion rather than devotion to God, my stubbornness and sometimes my surrender and faith. (Please, someone reassure me that I am not the only one!)
Which leads me to the next thing I notice in John’s gospel. John 1:37-39. Just two verses.
Two of John the Baptist’s disciples began following Jesus (which is a devoted pastor’s greatest desire). “Turning around Jesus saw them following and asked, ‘What do you want?”
I think that’s a question Jesus could easily ask everyone who follows Him. “What do you want?” It should challenge us. We must each ask, “Do I want something that He alone can provide…a miracle in my life, peace, answers? Or am I curious about who He really is? Is there a part of me secretly hoping to watch Him fail so I can switch my allegiance back to the world? Or do I want to experience life with Him? Do I want to learn the ways and heart of God? Or is my answer, “I just want You.”
The two men replied, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” Hmmm, maybe that was their honest answer. Maybe they just wanted to see where He was staying. If so, I appreciate their honesty. And I know that it’s as good a start as any.
Jesus replied, “Come and you will see.”
I love that Jesus is always inviting others into His life. I love that about God. He doesn’t coerce people into relationship. He invites us. I see, beginning in Genesis, how God created us for relationship with Him and with others. I see His heart for connection. I see His desire to share His love. But if relationship with Him is to be genuine, it can only be found in our response to His invitation. That is what began to soften my once hardened heart. God wants me but won’t force me.
In response to His invitation, the two men went and saw where Jesus was staying and they spend the day with Him.
Next blog, we can explore the ramifications of a day spent with Jesus.
Questions to ponder:
What is my response to Jesus’ question, “What do you want?”
What is my response to Jesus’ invitation to come and see?