Imagine that you see your neighbor checking his mail and you say “Hey neighbor, what are you up to?” and he says “come over and see!”. You may make an excuse and head back to your house or you may take him up on his offer. But were you really serious when you asked “what are you up to?” or were you just being nice? Did you really want to follow him if he invited you over?
In John 1:38 two of John’s disciples heard Jesus speak and began to follow Him and they had a similar question.
Jesus saw them following and asked “What do you seek”? Instead of answering Him, they asked Him, “where are you staying”? Of course, Jesus then famously answers “Come and see”.
I love the fact that we have to actively follow to know Him. It’s not enough to just study about Him. We have to choose to pursue Him…not what we can learn about Him.
If you’re like me, at times you may not know the answer to the question “what do you seek?”, but it’s worth us all considering this Christmas season. Do I seek health for my new business, do I seek strong relationships with friends and family, do I seek to be humble and loving, do I seek to “know” Him?
How bad do I want what I seek? Will I forgo other things to pursue what I seek?
Like me much of the time, the disciples answer Jesus’ question with a sort of technical question in return – “where are you staying?”. It seems the disciples of John wanted to know facts about Jesus. Maybe they wanted to know where His ministry was headquartered, or perhaps to know if He had any means or other followers, or what His plans were, or maybe they were just throwing up a smoke-screen and didn’t want to answer his original question.
So, what do you seek most of all? Would you stop to consider the answer to that question or perhaps, better, ask God to reveal the answer to you?
Jesus’ response “come and see” is one of my all-time favorite verses in the Bible. It reminds me to leave where I am and move toward Him…toward some unknown place where He is headed. “Follow me” forces me to be curious, to act and to be ok with just being with Him on His journey, not knowing the outcome.
I like facts and figures and knowing where I’m going. I like having a plan. But Jesus here calls us to a journey of following. Following to me implies that I don’t know where I’m going and my flesh hates that – my Spirit yearns for it, but my mind and flesh hate it. I like to be buttoned up with answers and plans.
I pray for each of you in 2020 that we will just follow…each day, each moment, each week…in small and in big situations. The ‘not knowing’ where He is leading is the trust part…and it brings us to one of the greatest things Jesus asked of us – obedience.