John begins his Gospel with his first testimony. He jumps us into the “Who’s Who” of his testimony. In addition, John brings God’s model of invitation as he points to Jesus and Jesus invites us to ‘come and see.’
The Priests and Levites ask, “Who are you?” They ask because they are tasked to, but I also hear a deeply personal question: “We’re asking for ourselves also. It has been hundreds of years since the last Jewish prophet so…could this BE…?”
John clearly defines who he IS and whose he is as he immediately points us towards who Jesus is: “the lamb of God,” (v27, v29, v34, v36), “the son of God.” He is “the Messiah of the whole world,” (v29), not just part or some and not the sins of the world, but the sin of the whole world. (Isaiah 52:15; 53:11) Now that’s some good news!
Jesus continues on this “Who’s Who” with his teaching method of asking us in verse 38, “What are YOU looking for?” Are you looking for the Lion that history and maybe the Pharisees and Scribes seek or the Lamb of the whole world that John is pointing to? Jesus begins his series of invitations to us—not a demand but an invitation to come and see what we seek—and offers us a model of invitation to bring others that have been praying for God’s comfort and answers (v45).
John points those who would listen to Jesus, Andrew extends the invitation to Simon, and Phillip extends the invitation to Nathaniel. “What are you looking for?” Looking for a Lion or a Lamb (v38)?
In Jesus’ call to companionship, he reveals that God is mindful of the individual. Whether it is Phillip’s expectation of a future revelation, the deepest prayer under the fig tree, or my own unspoken prayers of my heart.
Jesus simply asks us to “come and see.”
Gerald and his wife Margaret live and worship in Asheville, NC. Their home is nestled up against the Mountain to Sea Trail and they walk, garden, and get to be with grandchildren. Gerald also serves as Music Coordinator/Webmaster for the Church of the Advocate, serving the homeless in Asheville since 1997.
1. When asked, who would I say I am and define myself?
2. What am I looking for in Jesus and how would I describe Jesus in order to invite someone to meet him?
All-knowing God, we more easily define ourselves by what we are against, by who else is wrong instead of by what we believe in and love. In Jesus you personally invite Nathanael and us to know and proclaim who Jesus is and to see/imitate him in his journey of full incarnation in our lives Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer. Amen.
And, if you sing your prayers, try: I Love to tell the story (ELW #661), I heard the voice of Jesus say (ELW #332,#611), Come thou long expected Jesus (ELW# 254), Taste and see (ELW# 493).