"Come and see."
Those are the first words of Jesus' invitation to his followers in the Gospel of John. John the Baptist had just pointed to Jesus as "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." This caught the curiosity of those around Jesus. And they wanted to know where Jesus was staying. They wanted to know if they could go there to be with Him. And it was then that Jesus invited them to "Come and see" (John 1).
Seeing is often the first step towards knowing. When I first heard about my future wife I was tree planting in the northern regions of British Columbia. My friend was telling me about this girl that he thought I would like. And while the description of her was nice, it wasn't until two months later that I had the chance to actually see her. But even then, part of "seeing her" was seeing her personality, her laugh, her smile and all the other things that drew me in. Seeing her was the beginning of coming to know her. And so it is in our journey with Jesus.
Many don't know Jesus because they haven't come to see Jesus. Some may have even prayed and asked Him to forgive them of their sin and come into their hearts. But since that prayer they barely recognize Him. Seeing is crucial to knowing. Seeing happens as we come and hear, as we enter in, as we put ourselves in places and spaces where Jesus is. Seeing is at the heart of knowing.
But then, just a few verses later, Jesus invites those around Him to "Come and follow me." Seeing has now moved further down the path of faith towards following. Seeing has given way to participation and intentionality. And therein lies one of the biggest challenges to a transformative faith.
People often hear about Jesus. Some even come and see. But following Him, that takes something else. That means I'll have to get up a little earlier tomorrow morning. That means I won't have my evening free to watch Season 2 of whatever-it-is I need to watch on Netflix.
Following involves me going somewhere. It means I leave some things behind. Yet Jesus' invitation is the same: to see and to follow Him.
As we approach Holy Week. We have an opportunity to come and see.
But we have another opportunity, not only to see, but--
To enter in. To follow Him.
What will you do?