John begins his gospel account of Jesus in a very different way that the other three gospels. Matthew, Mark, and Luke are similar. They may well have had access to each other’s documents and while they wrote to different audiences, they share many of the same stories. John on the other hand does not begin with a birth narrative or a genealogy or Jesus baptism. John goes all the way back to the beginning of everything. His gospel begins just like Genesis…In the beginning. John calls Jesus the Word, who was with God and who WAS God. He was in the beginning with God. John is showing Jesus existence throughout eternity with God. “The Word” conveys the idea of Divine expression or speech. God speaks and things come into being.
Before the first chapter is over, John is already telling of how Jesus called His disciples. First it was Andrew and Peter. Next came Phillip. He in turn found Nathanael and told him “we have found Him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael responded with disdain, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” It is Philip’s answer that I love. Philip said…Come and see! In other words if you don’t believe me, come, and see for yourself.
How many of us have been around kids who desperately want to show us something and their invitation is come and see? Come and see what I found! Come and see what I did! Come and see what I made! And we dutifully go, excited by what we might find or see. It has happened with nieces and nephews, kids at camp and on retreat. Even my wife has asked me to come and see something. It is a common phrase. But how many times have we been like Phillip and invited someone to come and see something about Jesus? That is what Phillip’s invitation was. Come and see for yourself what Jesus is all about.
We can invite people to many things that way. Come and see what we are doing in worship. Come and see what we are doing in Sunday School, Bible School, Youth group or confirmation. Come and see what we are doing in our small group study. Come and see what the men are doing, or the quilters. By and large, people are somewhat curious. And when we issue an invitation, they just might come…and see.
As we look at Jesus ministry, there was always someone inviting another to come and see what Jesus was doing. Word of a healing or a miracle prompted a multitude of invitations to come and see what Jesus was doing or might do. Jesus and His disciples were traveling through Samaria. They came to Sychar and Jesus sat down by the well while His disciples went into town to buy food. A Samaritan woman appeared at the well, coming for water. She came in the middle of the day because people liked to talk about her, point fingers and make snide remarks. It was easier to come in the heat of the day when no one would be at the well. Except this day Jesus was there. He offered her living water. He knew that she was living with a man who was not her husband. And her eyes were opened. She ran back into town and issued the invitation.
“Come and see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” And even though she was the ridicule of many town jokes. Even though people had very little regard for her, her invitation was compelling enough that they followed her out of town to “see” Jesus. He taught, healed, and preached. The Samaritans asked Him to stay with them. And Jesus stayed two days. Many came to faith in Jesus over that time…all because one woman issued an invitation to ‘Come and See’.
Jesus issues that invitation to us. He invites us to come and see what He has done, what He has to offer. Come and see what it looks like to leave your burdens with me, and you can walk away free of that load. Come and see what it feels like to have my grace and mercy wash over you like warm cleansing waters. Come and see what happens when you avail yourself to me in prayer. Come and see what I will show you when you spend time in my Word. Come and see what means to know forgiveness. The possibilities are limitless. Jesus has much to offer us and show us. His offer for us to come and see is a standing offer. It is also an offer He expects us to extend to others. What Jesus has to offer is not just for us. It is for everyone.
Don’t be bashful. Ask those people in your life who are important to you, those people you are worried about to…come and see.
In His Grip
Pastor Matt W