He’s not like us. We subtly beg for compliments, we subversively seek affirmation, we passive-aggressively look for allies – but not Jesus. Jesus knows what He’s about. And He knows that what He offers is the only thing that truly satisfies.
It’s against that backdrop that we find the very simple but profound invitation of John 1. To set the context, John the Baptist was the religious draw of the day. With his eccentric dress, his biting rhetoric, and his fearless demeanor, he challenged the religious establishment calling all who heard his message to repent for the kingdom was at hand.
But John also knew that he was only a messenger; his entire life was meant to point to another. So, in John 1, when Jesus came walking toward him, to deflect the attention from himself and onto Jesus was the perfect thing to do for him.
“Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
There were those who heard John say this – those who had been following John himself. But hearing the pronouncement, they stopped following John and started following Jesus. And the Bible tells us that Jesus, knowing these two men were following Him turned to them and asked them a simple question:
“What are you looking for?” (John 1:38)
The truth is, they didn’t know. At least not yet. They didn’t know what they were getting into. They didn’t understand the journey Jesus was about to take them on. They didn’t grasp the fullness of what it meant to truly follow Jesus. So they returned Jesus’ question with another question:
“Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” (John 1:38)
That’s when Jesus said three words that changed their lives. And three words that can change your life today:
“Come and you’ll see.” (John 1:29)
This is a statement of profound confidence. There is no self justification; there is no offer of proof; there is no cajoling or sweet talk to get them to follow suit. Only these three, simple words that changed the trajectory of their lives: “Come and you’ll see.”
Jesus knows. Jesus knows that He is the only one that satisfies. Jesus knows that He alone can offer true life. Jesus knows that He alone can show us the true nature of all things. Jesus knows that only by following Him will we discover the true meaning we so long for. So, without any other preamble or elaboration, He offers the simple invitation: “Come and you’ll see.”
It occurs to me that Jesus is still extending this same invitation today. And that He extends this same invitation to all, regardless of their national origin, their socioeconomic status, or their educational level: “Come and you’ll see.”
Further, it's this invitation that we extend as leaders in the church. We aren't presenting ourselves, our clever vision, our best ideas, or our new take on the old church. Ultimately, we are holding up the Son of God for all to see and making the same offer that Jesus has made to us:
“Come and you’ll see.”
Come, and you’ll see the water that doesn’t run dry. Come, and you’ll see the Bread of Life. Come and you’ll see the Living Word. Come, and you’ll see the antidote to sin. Come and you’ll see the way to hope. Come and you’ll see.
So confident is the Son of God. So self-assured. So much so that He holds Himself out to us, day after day, with the same invitation. And because of His confidence, we can also be confident as we extend the invitation to others: “Come and you’ll see.”