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Jul 29, 2021

The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus.  Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means
“Teacher”), “where are you staying?” “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” So, they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon. (John 1:35-39)

Perhaps I could have started my discussion of Jesus call to us as disciples with this passage. After all, this comes earlier than the passage in Luke 5 that I have been sitting with over the last few days. The two disciples here were among the disciples of John the Baptist so would likely have in verses 29-34 seen the baptism of Jesus and heard John’s testimony of Him “This is the One I meant when I said, ‘A
man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’” So it’s interesting that they started following Jesus after the statement of John the Baptist the next day, “Look, the Lamb of God!” when Jesus was simply passing by.

Jesus in this passage turns to the two disciples who are in verse 40 named as Andrew and another disciple, likely John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, and asks them a question. It seems like a strange
question. But perhaps Jesus had seen them following John as He baptized Jesus. Why would Andrew and John follow Jesus now and not have made the decision to do so the previous day? “What do you want?” Jesus says to them.

I don’t think that I’m being overly unkind in saying that the disciples seem to be a bit dense in their response. They could tell Jesus that they want to learn more about who He is, they could tell Him that they want to become his disciples (after all, being the disciple of a teacher was a profession in itself in
biblical times), they could tell Jesus that they want Him to prove His divinity. They could have told Jesus anything! What did they choose to say in response? “Rabbi, where are you staying?” … cue the awkward silence.

But Jesus doesn’t leave the two disciples with an awkward look and silence such as one like myself might have done. Instead, He offers them an invitation: “Come, and you will see.” He doesn’t treat them with contempt or offence that they would want to know something seemingly so unimportant. Discipleship is a gradual process. We are not born with the right questions or answers on our lips and hearts and even after years as a Christian we still blunder through with silly excuses and responses when God asks
something of us that we’re not sure of the answer to right away.

The key in all of this is that Andrew and John accepted Jesus’ invitation and stayed with Him for the day. Jesus doesn’t mind if we just don’t “get it” once in a while. He only asks that we accept His invitation to stay with Him. “Abide in me, and I in you.” (John 15:4). But Jesus in John 15 asks even more of his
disciples to whom He is speaking, “If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit, apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned” (v.5-6).

Jesus says in these verses that if we do not abide with Him that we will be like the branches that are cut from the grapevine, good for nothing more than kindling for the fire once is has been severed from the vine. So are we when we do not accept Jesus’ invitation to “Come and see.” He wants us to abide with Him. In His Word in the Bible, in prayer, communing with Him. To see His goodness in our days, His grace in our “stuff,” His love never ending and never failing. We find Jesus when we find ourselves in Him, abiding in Him and abiding with Him.

What do you want? Why do you want to follow Jesus? Because your parents did and their parents before them? Because it’s the right thing to do? Because of the peace, grace, and love of God that you experience because of His presence in your life? Because you want to learn more about who He is and who you are in Him? What do you want from following Jesus? Who is Jesus to you?