What an invitation 'Come and see'
We heard in the Gospel reading this morning that this was the moment that Jesus started to gather up his disciples.
But before this in the same chapter of John's Gospel in verse 29 the scene was set...
John the Baptist was standing talking with two of his own disciples and as he watched Jesus walk by, he declaired 'Look here is the Lamb of God'. Directing them away from himself to Jesus,they were immediately drawn to Jesus calling him 'Rabbi 'which translated means 'Teacher'.
Jesus conforms to Jewish rabbinical models, as teachers were usually surrounded by 'learners' which when translated 'learner means disciple'. But in Judaism normally the student found his own teacher, but in this case, Jesus took his own initiative, but did not apply any pressure to anyone by asking the question................................. 'What are you looking for?' This is a searching question that we may ask ourselves many times in our lives, we get to a crossroads and the signposts pops up again asking us this same question and points us down another path.
The two disciples then asked him 'Where are you staying?'
Jesus replied 'Come and see'
The door was opening the invitation was there but there was no force or pressure on them, he just simply invited them to
Andrew was the first named disciple to follow Jesus, he was the brother of Simon Peter which Jesus later goes on to call Peter the 'rock' the foundation on which the Church was built, then Jesus went to Galilee he found Philip who then found Nathanael and Philip then invited him to 'Come and see'.
This was the start of building a community of faith. Jesus knew it was time to start gathering his disciples around him, not educated, no college or university degrees, most of them having day to day jobs like, fishermen and tax collectors. He knew he needed people he could trust and rely on and most importantly who would carry on his work, proclaiming the Word of God after he was crucified.
Now, walking alongside someone on their journey is a wonderful part of our faith, as brothers and sisters in Christ. Talking about our faith is fine, but actually inviting people to 'come and see' for themselves is more powerful. And this is exactly what Andrew did, he told everyone about this Messiah, this Saviour, that the prophets had spoken of many years earlier and his many teachings, these disciples were full of love, passion and the Holy Spirit and loved Jesus dearly.
'Come and see.... Let's walk together and I will introduce you to Christ, that is a wonderful exciting way to experience evangelisation, and it is a great way of building a community of faith, which is what Jesus was doing. So, for us to invite people in to a service or a bible study group, or even a fundraising event can be so much more nurturing. Sometimes we have to think, it is not always an easy thing to do, to walk into church or on a journey on your own, it can be daunting especially when there are people we don't know and not only that, people
come to church for different reasons and we have to be mindful of this.
As a community it shows we care and are willing to listen and get to know our neighbours, whatever their background. Once we have made the effort to come and have seen things with our own eyes, we are then called to action to follow Christ. This is the core of our faith and an amazing privilege.
Jesus' call to follow Him is much more than an invitation to simply pray with Him or to Him. It is a call to follow Him with our lives as it was with the disciples, a passion and a meaning we have to lose the lives we think we want to have and find new life with Him.
In the Old testament reading this morning Eli's sight had grown dim, because if you remember God points Eli to Samuel who in turn turns to God and when Samuel hears God's call he responds with that wonderful sentence, 'Speak Lord for your Servant is listening'.
And like Samuel and many more in the Bible who were called by God, everything changes, transformation take place to follow Him and that is what happened to these
disciples it changed their lives, they left families, friends, jobs and decided to follow Jesus. It can happen to anyone of us at any time, I know my life has changed in so many ways and I am so thankful of this and my heart rejoices.
In a book by John MacArthur 'Twelve Ordinary Men' he said 'of being a disciple of Christ our old self melts away in Christ's warming light, to build a new truer self in each and every one of us'.
It does not matter what background we come from we are all children of God; Jesus wants us to be his disciples. As our Lord and Father calls us, so may we invite people to 'Come and see' and help each other in the search of 'What are you looking for'.
And may we learn to follow and serve Christ and each other.
Twelve Ordinary Men - John MacArthur
Message of John - Bruce Milne
John the Peoples Bible Commentary Richard A Burridge
Harper Collins Study Bible
Complete Bible Handbook-John Bowker