What Are You Seeking?
35The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, 36and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” 37The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39He said to them, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. 40One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). 42He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter). 43The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” 48Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
When I was a kid we sometimes (when there wasn’t anything better to do) would play “Follow the Leader.” And of course, I always wanted to be the leader. (It’s been a problem all of my life.) When the other kids were leaders there would be long lag times while they stood around and thought of something else to make us do. I always thought of something while they were doing the last thing so there was no stand around time. Clearly leadership material, right? Being the leader is serious business!
During the time that Jesus walked the earth, inside of the Jewish community, being the rabbi was serious business. After the children were educated (both boys and girls) through age 13 or so, they would head either into the community to be trained for work or if they had the aptitude, on to further education (if they were boys.) These boys would then find a rabbi who would consent to continuing their education. At this point they would begin to model their lives after that of the rabbi. John the Baptist now begins to point his followers in Jesus’ direction. He is the true Messiah and they need to follow Him, not John. The text tells us Andrew is one of John’s disciples to follow Jesus. It is believed that the unnamed disciple of John who goes with Andrew is John, the writer of the Gospel. Both of these two men have brothers. Andrew’s brother is Simon (Peter) and John’s brother is James. Andrew goes to get Simon and we can assume (although the text doesn’t say so here) that John went and got his brother as well. The group of men following Christ grows. I think that we must also hold on the fact that Jesus was in charge. The Twelve who end up as His disciples are handpicked by Him. How they got to him is immaterial. He called – they came.
What captured my imagination this morning were the red words. As I went back to highlight the words of Jesus in red my eye was captured by the three phrases that instantly jump forward.
“What are you seeking?”
“Come and you will see.”
“What are you seeking?”
Here’s a question we should probably ask ourselves every single day. What am I seeking from the Lord today? There are probably millions of answers to that question. But as I pondered what I would seek today I was struck by my final answer: I’m seeking You, Lord. Plain and simple. I just want Jesus. Not what He can give me or what He can do for me, for that is infinite. But what I truly want is just to be with Him and gaze upon His beauty. I know – sounds really pious doesn’t it? But upon examination I find that is my final answer.
“Come and you will see.”
Then surprisingly I find that I have an open invitation to “come and see”. Those words carry impact because we always want to see something remarkable and new. That’s what Jesus is offering us today. “Come and see” what I will do. “Come and see” where I will take you. “Come and see” my grace and love.
And how do I know where to go to see what’s next? I follow Jesus. Now there’s a four word sentence that seems alarmingly simple but is truly difficult. When we are constantly distracted by the next shiny object, it’s tough to stay on that “follow me” path. But these words have at least inspired in me a desire to make that my business today!