29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, `A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, `The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.” 35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” 37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39 “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him. It was about the tenth hour. 40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).
In our text for today, we have two main sections:
- Verses 29-34 John the Baptist witnesses to the fact that Jesus is the Messiah, the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He tells this to his disciples. In earlier verses he has also told this to the Jewish leaders who question him.
- Verses 35-42 Two of John’s disciples follow Jesus, encounter him, have a conversation with him, and then become his followers, bringing other friends along.
Jesus’ first words in the book of John are a question: “What do you want?” or “What are you looking for?” …or “What do you seek?”
The disciples respond with a question of their own “Where are you staying?” From the context and translation it seems clear that they are asking, not where he is literally staying….but more… “Where can we find you? Where shall we go to be with you, to receive what you have to offer? Where can we be in the very presence of God?”
Jesus then answers them “Come, and see….”
The gospel of John goes on to answer what Jesus might mean by this simple statement:
- If you want to drink water that will always quench your thirst….
- If you want to be born again….
- If you want bread that never perishes….
- If you want to see the light of the world…..
- If you want to experience the way, the truth, and the life…
- If you want to enter into eternal life….
Then, come….and see Jesus. Abide in Jesus. If you want to know God, then come and see Jesus. Encounter Jesus for yourself!
The two disciples end up spending the day with Jesus. We don’t know what they did….or the details. But it’s obvious that it was life changing because the “Come and see” statement of Jesus now repeats itself in the lives of the disciples.
- In verse 41, Andrew – one of the first two disciples – goes and finds his brother Simon (Peter) and says. “We’ve found the Messiah…. Come ….and see..”
- In the passage directly after this one, Philip becomes a follower of Jesus and immediately tells his friend Nathaniel about Jesus….using the same words as Jesus…”come and see” – verse 1:46.
- In John chapter 4 the Samaritan woman does the same thing. She encounters Jesus deeply, his identity is revealed to her, and she receives eternal life. She immediately goes and testifies about Jesus to the people of her town saying…. “come and see”.
Two statements from Jesus today:
- What are you seeking?
- Come and see
The first question is one that each of us as individuals must continually ask ourselves and reconfirm. Are we seeking a world that can be attained through stuff, wealth, health?, etc. Or are we seeking for something deeper, something that will last longer, that is more eternal, that is more in line with the Kingdom of God that Jesus spoke of?
It is also a question that we must ask as a church / congregation. What are we seeking to do? Are we seeking to survive, to not close our doors, to maintain our buildings properly? What are the goals that are most important to us? Are we truly seeking to invite others to “Come and See… come and meet Jesus”?
The second statement of Jesus is an invitation….to each of us….and to JCC as a church. Come and See! It’s an invitation to encounter Jesus deeply…..and to experience God through Jesus, and to find meaning and abundant answers to all of our longings and desires….through Jesus.
We then can invite others using the same words…..
WHAT ARE YOU SEEKING?
COME AND SEE…..!