“As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and then declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” Then John’s two disciples turned and followed Jesus. Jesus looked around and saw them following. “What do you want?” he asked them. They replied, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” “Come and see,” he said. “John 1:36-39
Come and see. It was more than an invitation to see where Jesus lived. It was an invitation to see how Jesus lived. The two disciples, John and Andrew had been seekers for a while at this point in the scriptures. They had been following John the Baptist. Now Jesus comes on the scene and John fulfills his role as messenger and directs the disciples to the Lamb of God. And what do Andrew and John do? “Then John’s two disciples turned and followed Jesus.” No debate, no hesitation, no looking back. They turned and followed. Jesus then tests their motives with the question, “What do you want?” Doesn’t Jesus know everything? Surely He knew what they wanted. I think he wanted the two disciples to voice what he knew was in their hearts. “Teacher, where are you staying?” implies we want to learn from you and we want to go with you. It is then Jesus issues the divine invitation to come and see.
Later in the book of John, we see Andrew bringing his brother Simon Peter to meet the Lord. John also at some point brought his brother, James to meet Jesus as evidenced by the fact that throughout the gospels where you find John, you will also find James.
Come and See. I want this to be the anthem of my life. Jesus issued the invitation to John and Andrew. John and Andrew issued the invitation to James and Peter, and the four of them took the invitation to the world. As Bob Bennett said so eloquently in his song, “Come and See,”
“Come and see, come and see
Come and see a Man from Heaven
Come and see, hear Him speak
He has seen the face of God
Come and see, come and see
This Jesus of Nazareth
Come and see the One that we
Have heard of all our lives.”©
I want my life to be an invitation to meet Jesus. I have come to realize that the invitation is given in quiet ways. It is given with a smile to the cashier and a “thank you” to the clerk. It is given by holding open a door for an elderly woman or to a mom pushing a stroller. It is given by serving my family and my neighbors.
After ten years, I am just beginning to know my neighbors. I have struggled to love my neighbor across the alley, Christina. She is quite eccentric and a bit odd. She wears clothes that are too big, speaks a mixture of English and Spanish and has only a few teeth. She collects junk (mostly the neighborhood cast offs like our old recliner) and piles it into her backyard. She has two Great Danes who stay in the house all the times and 20+ cats that live outside. Her cats like to use my backyard and at one time my dirt basement for their litter box. I saw Christina as an annoyance not a neighbor.
She has started to lose her memory lately. She has come to my door many times to tell me about our house which she thinks she owns. I came home the other day and she was outside with only a flannel shirt on. No shoes, no pants, no underpants. I gently took her by the arm and escorted her into her home to help her find some clothes. She asked my name and where I lived many times in the course of our conversation. She told me about her life in old Mexico and how she used to be a rich woman. We had a lovely conversation and I thanked her for letting me visit. Several days later I found her wandering down the block late at night looking for her daughter. She was worried because her daughter had not come home yet. I walked her home and we discovered that her daughter was indeed home and did not know that her mother had left the house.
Jesus said the greatest commandment was to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves. When asked, “who is my neighbor,” Jesus told the story of the good Samaritan and ended it by saying the neighbor is the one who showed mercy. “And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” (Luke 10:29)
That is why I will not judge Christina or her daughter. I have not walked in their shoes. Nor will I try to “fix” their problem or rescue her from what some may see as a bad situation. I will care for her, try to keep her clothed, feed her, and bring her home. I will show mercy and I will show love, and hopely my life will invite her and her daughter to “Come and See.”
“Follow Me, Follow Me
And I will show you My Father
Follow Me and you will see
The Heavens opened wide
Come and see, come and see
Come and see this Man from Heaven
Oh, could it be? Could it be
We will see the face of God?” ©
W/M: Bob Bennett & Michael Aguilar© 1982 Straightway Music (ASCAP)
used with permission