Thoughts over a cuppa. . .
Come and See
The year we thought might never end has finally gone and here’s to a new year, which to date seems a continuation of the same. But may we all find more joy in the journey and experience a deeper confidence in our ongoing relationship with Jesus whom we are privileged to call brother, Lord and King. He is at work both in us and in this world and He wins!
“Come and see” are some of Jesus’ first words as he began his earthly ministry—at least in the way John constructs his narrative. If you are a viewer of the television production The Chosen, you will recognise the phrase. It was when the two disciples of John the Baptist heard him, their prophet and mentor, refer once to Jesus walking past as ‘the Lamb of God’. They immediately left John and followed along behind Jesus. It appears they knew of Jesus mostly through their mentor, and were convicted to follow him. Jesus turned around and said “What is it you want?” Their response was another question: “Where do you abide?” To our modern ears, that is a rather abrupt and personal question to ask someone not well known to you, especially as the day was nearly ending. However, Jesus had asked them what it was they were wanting and they, with their answering query, showed just what it was they wanted…some time with him. Jesus’ immediate welcoming response is “Come and see!”
This word translated ‘see’ (Gr. eido) is one that is used much the same in Greek as we would in English and can be translated: to physically see with the eyes (the magi ‘saw the star in the east’); to perceive or understand with the mind (Peter to Jesus on the beach—'you know I love you’); to be well acquainted with someone (Peter in the courtyard to the servants ‘I never knew the man’); or to converse with (Mary and her sons waiting outside the house ‘wanting to see Jesus’).
John here concludes the story with: “They came and saw where he dwelt and abode with him that day.” So, the disciples came and saw and they stayed! For the next 3-1/2 years they knew where he was abiding, because they were dwelling with him. During that time he befriended them, he helped them to ‘see’ who he was, to perceive a little at a time what he was about, they had the chance to be together, getting to really know him, spending time in conversation, sharing life together so they could truly see him. He spent three plus years welcoming them in generously, letting them see him in all situations, sharing himself with them. They got to see not just where he dwelt but who he was. It is interesting to see how many times the word ‘abide’ or ‘dwell’ is woven into John’s gospel narrative after this passage in the first chapter.
The deepest answer to their question— “where do you abide?”—wasn’t given to them until the night Jesus would be arrested. It was in his last hours that Jesus tells them that the Father dwells (abides) in him and that he is also in the Father. Jesus then goes on to invite them to abide in him. They had been abiding with him ever since that first day—now he’s inviting them to abide in him and he will abide in them. The ultimate answer to their question was three years in the making. Paraphrased, Jesus’ complete answer was: “I dwell in the Father and the Father dwells in me and I want you to abide in me so you (and all who believe) can also abide in us.”
Those two disciples could never have imagined the answer to that first simple question -- where do you abide? -- would have such an overwhelmingly significant answer and be the key to their eternal personal relationship with the God of their fathers.
“Come and see!” What a welcome! Such an unimaginable generous invitation given to each of us—to see and know Jesus, to even abide where he abides. My prayer for this new year is that it be a time to see him, know him, and dwell with him more personally, viewing whatever 2022 may bring our way through the lens of King Jesus’ wonderful ongoing invitation: “Come and see!”
1:35-40; Matthew 2:2; John 21:15; Mark 14:71; Luke 8:29, John 14:10; John 15;4, John 17:21