Summary: Getting to know Jesus takes an investment of time.
Time for an introduction
It took me 7 years to complete my 2 year master’s degree program. Part of the delay was out of my control, part of it was not. If I had to place a primary cause of my delay in graduating, I would say that I had not invested the time I needed to invest in the project.
- I needed to spend time reading
- I needed to spend time researching
- I needed to spend time writing
- I needed to spend time formatting
- I needed to spend time in conference with my advisor
And I kept putting it off. Sometimes for good reasons, sometimes for stupid reasons. Anything worthwhile is going to take an investment in time. An investment in time is something more than allowing years to pass while things around you happen by default.
Our relationship with Jesus will not happen by accident. If our spirits will grow and improve we will need to be intentional about it. As Dan says:
- Change is inevitable
- Improvement is optional
If we are going to become deeply personal disciples of Jesus, the way Andrew and John became disciples of Jesus, it is going to take some investment in time.
That’s how it began for Andrew and John:
The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 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 spent that day with him. It was about the tenth hour.
John 1:35-39 (NIV)
This passage has some notable features for us to explore. Some phrases stand out and invite further examination:
The next day
This is the day after John gives a specific testimony about Jesus’ identity. He sees Jesus and declares Him to be the Lamb of God. Then he recounts his vision at the time of Jesus’ baptism. He knows Jesus for who He is because of the word of the Holy Spirit.
John 1:40 clarifies that one of these two disciples was Andrew. Given John’s humility in referring to himself in this book, he is probably the other.
This tells us also that the disciples were not spiritual novices when they began exploring who Jesus was. They had already learned much about repentance, forgiveness, self denial, and spiritual cleansing from John. They probably had already been baptized.
They followed Jesus
Some say that this is the reason that John identified Jesus to his disciples. John specifically wanted them to quit following him and to turn their allegiance toward Jesus. Also, this is before Jesus saw them fishing and called them to follow permanently.
Where are you staying?
When it came to Jesus, this was a significant question. He probably stayed with a family and followed His own instructions. This is how he told his disciples to operate when they were traveling ministers:
When you enter a house, first say, Peace to this house. If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. Luke 10:5-7 (NIV)
For the most part though, He did not have a permanent home in this region.
When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, ’Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.’
Jesus replied, ’Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.’ Matthew 8:18-20 (NIV)
Asking Him where He was staying was like asking him whose house he was staying at and where it was. The question itself and Jesus’ answer show that the disciples knew they were going to need time for this introduction to take root. There was more to it than exchanging names and phone numbers.
We see that the disciples knew because they did not try to delay Jesus for a short conversation. Instead they invited themselves to his house.
We see Jesus acknowledging this fact, because He invites them over. It is important that He does not answer their question. Instead, He maneuvers them into starting the relationship immediately. He does not give them directions and leave their meeting time to the disciples’ discretion. He indicates that there is no time like the present. He says, if you are going to follow Me, the time to start is now.