39 He said to them, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. John 1:39
When Andrew and his companion asked Jesus where he was staying, Jesus understood it was not simply a question out of curiosity or to make conversation. They wanted to spend time with him. They wanted to get to know him because they were intrigued by John the Baptists description of Jesus as The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. So instead of just saying where he was staying, Jesus invited them to come and see for themselves.
As a result of the invitation to come and see, the two men spent that day with Jesus. They had their desire fulfilled beyond their wildest imaginations. They got to know Jesus better than they could have ever dared hope. Andrew was so enthralled by Jesus after spending time with him that he went and found his brother Peter and declared that he had found the Messiah.
We see a few things in this brief encounter. First there is the openness on the part of Jesus to engage anyone who is curious about his. But he engages them on levels far deeper than they anticipated. Andrew could have never anticipated the way Jesus set aside his entire day and devoted it to Andrew and his friend. And this is what Jesus does. He doesn’t simply answer your request for information. He invites you into a relationship that is a journey beyond your dreams. He invites you to come and see who he is and what he is doing. He invites you to sit down to a meal and share life together.
Second, we see what a real encounter with Jesus can do to you. Andrew could not help but let others know about Jesus. When you encounter Jesus and have your life changed by him, you feel a compelling desire to let others know about this wonderful savior who has brought you freedom from guilt and shame, who has made you feel alive again, who has given you forgiveness and purpose.
That is as is should be. And yet we see little evidence of such a compelling story from followers of Jesus today. One recent study reports that 25% of all Americans identify as Evangelical. That means in part that they believe Jesus is the Messiah and their faith in him has brought them the freedom and forgiveness previously mentioned. That is one out of every four Americans. Yet we see very little of the kind of joy that drove Andrew to find Peter and share the good news with him. What is missing? Among so many things I have to believe that far too few of them have actually answered the call of Jesus to come and see, come and spend time, come be on the journey to change your life and your perspective. Rather, we have turned a relationship with Jesus into a quick prescription for forgiveness and a minor tweak of a life’s complication so we can move on feeling better about ourselves rather than enamored with and in love with Jesus.
Have you answered the call of Jesus to come and see, come and spend time, come and devote your life to him so that he can bring you what you really need, freedom, and forgiveness, and a new life?