Come and See
An appointment you don't want to miss
When was the last time someone enthusiastically told you about something ‘Come and See’. What can be so new and exciting? These words are heard at the beginning of John’s Gospel. They are an invitation, an appointment none of us would want to miss.
Read: John 1:35-42
The Invite Needs to Be heard
In this passage once again John the Baptist appears. He is sending an ‘indirect invitation’to all of us: ‘Look, See the Lamb of God’. In other words, ‘Go, guys, go after him’.
His own disciples who heard these words knew that the ‘Lamb of God’was not a cute little animal. They knew that by giving Him this title, John was saying that Jesus was the answer to one of man’s most profound needs and desires: to be forgiven and loved!
Many of us have heard John the Baptist in our lives: muzew, duttrina, parents, meetings. However we ‘looked’but didn’t necessarily ‘see’. But the Lord still uses many things again in our life to attract our attention so that we might heed the invitation.
So we need to stop and ask ourselves: who or what may be urging me to ‘go and see’? A person, a friend, a difficult moment in my life? Why not thank Him for it now.
The Invite Needs to Be Answered
If Andrew and the other disciples lived today they may have gone to check Jesus out on Facebook first before actually following Him. Facebook will help you get to know the age, work, looks, interests, activities and life events but not the real person. To get to know the real not virtual person, you need to meet.
So the disciples make a move and begin to follow, but they follow at a distance. This happens to many people: they are curious and start to pray, start to attend a meeting, to go to mass. It is indeed a good place to start.
But they are shocked at what happens next. We read ‘Turning around, Jesus saw them following’. This is true of us too. We are seen, known and loved by God long before we even begin to be interested in Him. And if we take some steps towards Him, it is because He Himself is drawing us to Him.
When Hagar, Abraham and Sarah’s slave girl was being mistreated by Sarah she fled into the desert and would have died there had it not been for an angel who appears to her and comforts her and sends her back. Hagar then realises how deeply God cares for her and so we read:
“She (Hagar) gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,’for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me’”
But let’s go on.The first thing God says after Adam and Eve sinned was a question ‘Adam where are you?’. The first things Jesus says in the Gospel of John is also a question: ‘What do you want?’ He asks the same question to you: ‘What are you looking for?’
Maybe our first answers are a bit mixed up: ‘I want to do well in my job, I want that relationship with him/her to work out, I want Juve to win’…. but is it what we are really looking for? St Ignatius taught that every time we pray we should ask God ‘to give us what we are looking for’. And in truth we are looking for God!
So there answer is ‘Where are you staying Rabbi?How do we get to know you better?’
The Invite Needs to Be Built On an Experience
So Jesus utters the famous words: Come and See. They weren’t enthralled because He had a nice villa, or because Jesus was a good philosopher, or because He said good jokes, or because He promised them a good job. They had met someone who penetrated their deep hearts, who had an answer for their deepest longing, their pains, their sins, their questions and eternity.
Note the detail: So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him. It was about the tenth hour. We really care only about those things which make a difference and that meeting made a tremendous difference to the disciples.
Who knows what joy, peace and security they felt there. Enough to make them run to Peter and Philip (who is called by Jesus’initiative) to run to get Nathaniel (perhaps Bartholomew of the synoptics) who also uses the words: Come and See.
When you go to a restaurant you read the menu, the ingredient and maybe you ask the waiter questions … but the menu doesn’t satisfy your hunger. You need to eat, to taste. “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him” (Psalm 34,8). In biblical terms ‘to see’ is ‘to experience’.
This was not an appointment the disciples went to without the intention of repeating. It was the beginning of the most important relationship. That is why the two most important decisions we will ever take in our lives is to encounter Jesus as the Saviour and Lord of our lives and to sustain that relationship through daily prayer.