Come and See
There are times when the words of Jesus stand out as so perfectly simple that our hearts are touched and we cannot help but to be drawn toward Jesus. One of these times happens for me at the beginning of John’s Gospel. Jesus is calling some of his first disciples who ask him a couple of questions:
“Where are you staying?”
“Can anything from Nazareth be good?”
(Side note, when meeting someone, I do not recommend asking them if their hometown can produce anything good. It will probably come off as rude. Unless that person is from somewhere in Oklahoma–then ask away! Just kidding to those from Oklahoma!)
But Jesus’ response is the same to both questions:
“Come and see.”
It is such a simple invitation that the disciples whom Jesus is calling follow. They end up spending the next three years listening to the teachings of Jesus, seeing the amazing signs he is able to perform, and then ultimately, they witness his death, his sacrifice, and subsequent resurrection.
Their journey begins with three simple words: Come and see. And it ends in the most important event in all of history.
And this leads me to think about these three words in our own context. How might Jesus be offering us an invitation in our world today?
First of all, there is the invitation to follow Jesus through baptism. To commit to a life of discipleship where we are being formed and shaped into the image of God that we see in the person, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus. This invitation is already not for the faint of heart. Jesus is clear what it will cost–he says we must give up our very lives in order to live in this other way. But the invitation is there, plain and simple. Come and see. Come and see how your life might change, and how you might change other people’s lives. Come and see what life lived to the fullest truly looks like. Come and see what God is doing in the world and through those who choose to follow.
But there are also other invitations of Jesus that come to us everyday.
I think of the invitation to come and see when we encounter someone with a different background than us. Perhaps Jesus, in that moment, is asking us to come and see what it might look like to simply listen and learn. Or what it might be like to work for reconciliation when needed with someone who is different than you.
I think of the invitation to come and see what could happen if we don’t allow our calendars and schedules to let us miss out on an opportunity to help someone or to show them a simple act of kindness.
I think of the invitation to come and see what it might look like to swallow your pride or need to be right and instead offer compassion to someone else, perhaps a coworker, family member, or someone on social media.
I think of the invitation to come and see how you might be able to serve someone else, and how your service might provide a smile and a bit of happiness to someone who didn’t even know they needed it.
There are invitations all around us. Jesus invites us to come and see what a life lived in devotion to him can lead to. May we have eyes to see and may we take the time to answer his invitation today and this week by following his invitation.