After Jesus’ baptism, two of JB’s disciples began to tag after Jesus (John 1:35-39). Jesus spotted these secretive observers and asked a deep question, “What are you looking for?” I could write my whole Sunday sermon on Jesus’ question. What are we looking for when we come to prayer, Bible study, or worship?
The two responded with their own question, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” Again, one could dwell with that question for a long time; where is Jesus staying today? Where do we find him? Is he in the obvious or in the hidden?
Then came Jesus’ response, “Come and see.” I have often thought of these words as a gracious invitation to explore a relationship with Jesus Christ. As if Jesus were giving the two followers the choice on whether to stay with him or go someplace else. In our American culture, we like to have choices, options, possiblities. We want to decide what we do or don’t do. And so we see this word of Jesus as a choice. A choice that seems to ebb and flow in our lives among the many choices. Some days we respond with joy; some days with hesitation or fear.
But could “come and see” be more like a command or declaration? Like when Jesus commands the sea to be calm or when Lazarus is raised from the dead (John 11)? Later Jesus declared, “No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me” (John 6:44). The two disciples responded as if it was a command. “They came and saw where he was staying” (John 1:39).
Could it be that our faith is more a gift of God than a heroic choice by us? I find comfort and hope in the promise that the Father draws me to Jesus. Some called it “irrestible grace.” Jesus pulls me along, rather than me running to catch up. The more I think about it the more I am looking forward to preaching on Sunday!
How have you experienced the pull of God in your spiritual life?