When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, "What are you looking for?" They said to him, "Rabbi" (which translated means Teacher), "where are you staying?" He said to them, "Come and see." (John 1:37-39 NRSV)
Jesus asks “What are you looking for?” The two new disciples of Jesus reply that they want to know where Jesus is staying. Jesus grants their request not by giving them any information at all but asking them to come on a journey and to see for themselves. The two who set out on this journey will be transformed by him. Andrew will be the first Christian evangelist as he will invite his brother Peter to come along on the journey to meet the Messiah he has found. The other disciple who will remain unnamed will occupy a special place in Jesus’ heart as John’s Gospel will call him beloved. (Church tradition names him John).
This simple encounter reveals to us God’s desire for those who seek Him. God does not want to merely give us information about Him; he wishes that we begin a journey with Him to see for ourselves. Jesus desires this out of love because He knows that good journeys always transform us. People need God because they are incomplete without Him. The only way to be with Him is to walk with Him.
To have some information about a place is never the same as taking a journey to that place. We may know all the facts there are to know about Europe or Asia or even the Holy Land, but until we go through the security checkpoint and get on the plane and make the journey we will actually know very little about those places. Indeed the most important aspect of the journey will be getting to know the people who actually live there. The same is true of our faith, until we take the journey by actively following Jesus we will in reality know far too little about God. Until we meet those who are living with God we will know little about our faith. Please know that I understand that these journeys are expensive. I also know that they are messy, inconvenient, and we can sometimes lose sleep or even some of our luggage. There is a clear cost of discipleship.
The Real Danger
This is why the devil tries to tempt us with information. Satan is a master of information (just see his portrayal in Matthew 4, Luke 4, and Job 1-2); and he wants us to have the illusion that by obtaining only information we will have enough. The devil wants us to believe we can have it all free of any price. The devil wants you to stay home! Satan wants you to think that you can have it all without getting up and getting on the road with Jesus and may even try to convince you that the there is too much danger on the journey. Jesus reveals the truth that real danger is to stay home and miss the transformation that can happen in your life when walking with Him. This I know is true; Jesus turns around to us just as he did when we turned around for Andrew and John and asks us to come and see. There will be adventure and challenge on the road. These experiences will reveal to us what we are really made of, but there will be no danger because we will not be alone. God will be with us. So I plead to you, don’t stay behind; come and see! You will find Jesus, who will help you find your own soul.