Summary: Jesus calls us to "come and see" what he has to offer the world.
Sermon on John 1:35 - 51
Come and See
There is nothing that beats first hand experience. It is harder to believe what someone tells us if we cannot experience it for ourselves. Surely this is the very reason John the Baptist pointed out the "Lamb of God", and why in v39 Jesus says, "Come and see". Philip then uses exactly the same words when speaking to Nathaniel about Jesus, emphasizing the need for first hand experience of the Christ.
Christians our task is surely to say to believers, "Come and see" and encourage them to meet with the risen Christ as we have, not just to hear about him. Let’s face it however, when it comes to witnessing two things tend to mark us all out. The first is that we all desire to see our friends and relatives being saved from the punishment for their sins. However the second thing about many of us is that we are at a loss about how we should speak of Christ to our friends and relatives. It’s not that we don’t want to share our faith, and it’s not that we don’t have a concern, because we do care. We’re just not sure how to translate the concern into useful action.
One thing is sure - we mustn’t try to make ourselves sound smart or smarmy and hence confuse the issue by using a lot of terms and concepts that the unsaved don’t understand. However we must have an eagerness to share the Gospel. Andrew had such a concern. He had only met Jesus himself, yet he goes straight out to tell Peter about him also. Do we have such eagerness, in prayer, and in witnessing?
There used to be a window sticker on cars which read, "Carpenter from Nazareth seeks joiners". The great thing is that Jesus still seeks for those to join Him by giving their lives to Him. Another sticker read, "Wise men sought Jesus, they still do!" Have you sought Jesus, because if you do you will find Him, and eternal life through Him. In verse 36 once again we find John the Baptist referring to Jesus as "the Lamb", hence underlining the atoning work He came to do.
Andrew & John Followed Jesus
Andrew & John had followed John the Baptist closely for quite some time. They were probably religious enough to know about the O.T. prophecies regarding the Messiah. Therefore when they heard John describe this person as the Lamb of God they were intrigued and began to follow Him to find out more.
In verse 38 Jesus turns and asks them, "What do you seek?" Note that He didn’t ask, "Who do you seek?", but "What ...?" Was Jesus perhaps suggesting that they were looking for the removal of sin from this Lamb of God, or were they seeking for something even more mundane, maybe even thinking in terms of politics. Jimmy Cricket, the comedian had a phrase years ago, "Come a little closer", and it is as if Jesus is saying that to Andrew & John here, "Come and see". In other words, Jesus is going to answer their questions. I once had a keyring, and on one side it said, "Christ is the answer", and on the reverse, "Now what’s the question?" - how true this is.
Andrew & John showed Jesus respect by calling him "Rabbi" which simply means, "great master/teacher". They wanted to know where Jesus was staying - why? Surely this was so they could find out more - to spend some uninterupted time with this special man. Even though Jesus was buy and undoubtedly had much work to do, yet he gave his time to these two enquirers. Jesus is still not too busy to hear your heart’s cry. Will you come to Him today? Here Jesus said to these men, "Come and See", and elsewhere He said, "Come unto me ... and I will give you rest." Do you need rest for your soul? Jesus is the only one who can supply that peace which goes beyond human understanding.
We are told in verse 39 that it was about the tenth hour. Why should John have bothered to tell us what time it was? It is hardly of relevance to us today! Scholars have argued over this verse, believing it to mean all manner of things depending on whether John was using the Jewish system or Roman system to tell the time. Surely though they have missed the point altogether. If I were to ask you where you were when you heard about the death of Kennedy or Princess Diana, you can probably remember it in every detail. Why is this? It is because it was something very significant, that changed the lives of many. John here remembers the time so well because thsi was the most important meeting of his whole life. This was the time that changed John’s life. Can you speak of a time when your life was also changed?