What happens after a day spent with Jesus?
For Andrew, after spending such a day, the very first thing he did was find his brother, tell him about Jesus and take Simon Peter to meet the long awaited Christ. (John 1:40-42)
Why does a follower of Christ feel so compelled to share Jesus? I’ve asked myself that question more than once because I have this ongoing struggle to let go of my selfish nature. It tries to convince me to keep good things for myself. If the world would only ask that same question. Why do we want to share? It makes absolutely no sense…unless the good news is so amazing that we can’t possibly hoard it or even better … because it is an invitation that originates from God Himself.
The next day, Jesus found Philip and said, “Follow me.” To follow someone indicates your agreement to submit to their leadership. Where they lead, you follow. Simple as that … Jesus invited, Philip followed. (John 1:43)
Philip then found Nathaniel and told him all about Jesus. However, his invitation was met with skepticism and prejudice. And that kind of response to our good news can sting, can’t it? So I especially love Philip’s response. He didn’t argue or debate. He didn’t try to defend Jesus. And he didn’t back down. He countered with a simple offer, “Come and see” (John 1:45-46). In my Bible, beside this response I wrote, “This is apologetics at its best.”
Come and see for yourself. Step into the life of Jesus and just see. What have you got to lose? The invitation will come from one who recognizes that each person must have their own personal experience with Jesus. I once had a skeptical friend tell me that if she met Jesus in heaven, she would just tell Him that she was my friend. All I could do for the first thirty seconds was laugh. I told her that statement would get her absolutely nowhere. She needed to know Jesus for herself.
This is my heart behind writing this blog. “Come and see.” It’s what I want to say to everyone who feels hopeless, to everyone who thinks they don’t matter, to everyone who thinks there has got to be more to this life and to everyone who thinks they don’t have a need at all. Come and meet my Jesus.
I realize that the majority of you who take the time to read this blog already love Jesus and follow Him. I know you read because you will grab any opportunity to know Him better. But if anyone reading is a bit of a skeptic or has preconceived ideas about Jesus, I implore you to respond, “I’ve got nothing to lose but 5 minutes. So sure, I’ll come along and consider what is written about Jesus.” Great things might happen. More than you can imagine! That’s part of my story.
And then, let’s not forget Nathanael. Jesus approached this devout Jew and revealed that He already knew Nathanael’s heart and thoughts. God sees us way before we see Him. This personal, intimate encounter led to profound recognition of who Jesus is…the Son of God, the King. And that led to a promise of seeing greater things.
Perhaps Nathanael was sitting under a real fig tree. Perhaps he had been studying Scripture (Rabbis used the fig tree analogy to describe meditating on Scripture). And perhaps he had been pondering Genesis 28. I kinda’ think he was doing all of these things but it really doesn’t matter. Jesus revealed that He saw and knew Nathanael in a way that astounded Nathanael. Nathanael listened as Jesus used Genesis 28:12 to reveal Himself, the Son of Man, as Jacob’s ladder. Jesus would be the ladder from earth to heaven, the connection to God.
Four men all decided to follow Jesus because of different experiences.
Andrew heard John the Baptist preaching about Jesus and wanted to get to know Jesus personally.
Peter was invited by his brother to meet Jesus.
Philip received his own personal invitation from Jesus.
And Nathaniel had a miraculous encounter.
I love that about God. He invites … and He invites in different ways. In my immediate family of three, one of us was drawn to a living relationship with Jesus through Bible study, one through missions and one through community. And we had to each make our own rsvp. I’m forever grateful for the invitations.
Questions to ponder:
Will I consider what is written about Jesus? And if your answer is yes, please consider signing up to receive this blog via email.
On a daily basis, what is my response to the invite to follow Jesus (remember that part above about submitting to His leadership 😃)?
Why do I want to share Jesus with others? What keeps me from sharing Him?