John 1:37, “What are you looking for?” This is the question that Jesus asks of all of us. Do we have an answer for him? In this passage from the opening chapter of John’s gospel, we see two disciples of John the Baptist go off to follow Jesus after they hear the Baptist say of Jesus, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” (verse 36) Jesus sees them following him and asks this question.
The two disciples, full of wonder and curiosity answered him with their own question, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” And Jesus says, “Come, and you will see.” Thus begins the great journey that Andrew and John will take with the One they come to realize is indeed the Messiah, the Promised One foretold by all of the prophets of old.
Here we are given an opportunity to meditate on this moment. It is a moment not unfamiliar to every one of us who have decided to follow this Jesus to “see where he is staying,” to get to know him personally. We can imagine what that might have been like for these two disciples. We can imagine that they were sincere believers in the promise of the Messiah, and when they heard the Baptist’s words describing Jesus, their hearts must have lept within them, and they had to see for themselves. Jesus, knowing their hearts, seeing in their eyes and hearing in their voices the depth of their hope and curiosity, invites them to come and see where he is staying and who he really is.
One of the two is Andrew. After listening to Jesus all day, he goes off at around 4:00 in the afternoon to tell his brother, Simon, about what he has seen and heard. He brings Simon back to see Jesus himself and Jesus, seeing Simon, knows his heart, and says to him, “You are Simon, the son of John; you will be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter)” (verse 42). We are to take these moments into our own hearts as we read them here in the scriptures. Do we not here Jesus saying to us, “What are you looking for?” Are we not moved like Andrew, and John, and Peter to follow this Jesus to see where he is staying? Do we not also see in Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of God. Are we not moved as they were to follow him to the end, which is not an end at all, but the beginning of everything that is good, true, beautiful, and eternal.
Lord, give us disciple’s hearts. Fill us with the desire to humbly follow you and to know you. Give us courageous hearts ready to live in accord with your heavenly will, especially when we are challenged and ridiculed for doing so. We pray these things in your name, Jesus. Amen!
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