Come and See

January 15, 2017

John 1:29-42

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

How many of you remember the first invitation that you received to a birthday party? Or perhaps it was a wedding or a graduation party. I am sure that at some point in all of our lives, you have been invited to join the party. It is exciting to receive that invitation. It gives you something to look forward to.

In the Gospel of John this morning, the two disciples receive an invitation like no other invitation that they have received before. It is an invitation from Jesus, whom they have figured out is the Messiah. The invitation is to “Come and see.” Come and see for themselves what Jesus is all about and to not just take John’s word for it, but truly experience what it means to follow the Messiah. The invitation from Jesus will lead them to uncomfortable places and eventually to the cross. We are invited to be part of the story as well.

The thing is, once we receive the invitation, we at many times keep wondering if there is anything else out there. Is there by chance something better? Is it because of a lack of faith? Is it because we do not trust the person telling us? By chance, it is a combination of the two.

I personally wondered, as I read the passage from John this week, how long have Andrew and the other disciple been looking for something? How long have they been searching? How many different so-called Messiahs have they wandered upon during their journey? The gospel of John is the only gospel of the four that has two of John the Baptists disciples following Jesus. We do not hear of them leaving John the Baptist to follow Jesus in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, or Luke. Yet, Andrew and his brother Simon, are an integral part of the stories of Jesus calling his first disciples, as we will hear next week in the gospel of Matthew.

While Andrew and Simon were busy fishing, they could have also been on the lookout for the Messiah. Through the years, many self-proclaimed Messiahs probably crossed their path. Yet, John the Baptist seemed to be onto something. He was different from the rest. He did not dress the part, rather, he looked like he should be begging for food. When he spoke of someone greater than him coming, there was a sense that this could finally be what they were waiting for. It is at the Jordan River, as we heard last week, that John the Baptist’s prophetic voice was answered and Jesus was named the beloved.

It is in this hope that Andrew and the unnamed disciple accept Jesus’ invitation to come and see. In their searching, I am reminded of a song from U2. “I Still Haven’t Found What I am Looking For.” Perhaps it speaks to you the same way it has spoken to me over the years. The lyrics are:

I have climbed the highest mountains
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you
Only to be with you.

I have run, I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
These city walls
Only to be with you.

But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.
But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.

I have kissed honey lips
Felt the healing in her finger tips
It burned like fire
This burning desire.

I have spoke with the tongue of angels
I have held the hand of a devil
It was warm in the night
I was cold as a stone.

But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.
But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.

I believe in the Kingdom Come
Then all the colours will bleed into one
Bleed into one.
But yes, I’m still running.

You broke the bonds
And you loosed the chains
Carried the cross of my shame
Oh my shame, you know I believe it.

But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.
But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.

Even after we have received the invitation to come and see, we still search. Part of that is human nature. Part of that speaks to our doubt, our lack of faith and our lack of trust. That searching can also be a means to get to know the invitee even better.

Our desire to get to know God. Our desire to experience Jesus walking along side us. Our desire to feel the Holy Spirit at work in our midst and in our community. We search through prayer. We search through reading. We search through being in conversation with one another. We search for a reassurance of Christ and the entire Trinity working in and around us.

This reassurance can be found every week as we confess our sins corporately and are reminded of the grace of God that is full in the forgiveness of those sins. It is found in the font as we are reminded of our baptisms. In the waters of baptism, we die to our sins and are born anew as members in the community of Christ. The reassurance is found in the bread and wine as Jesus gave his life for us, so that we can fully receive God’s grace and eternal life.

What then should we be compelled to do now that we have been reminded of this reassurance that comes to us in the invitation and saving grace of Jesus Christ? We shall follow the example of Andrew when he went to tell his brother, Simon Peter, that “We have found the Messiah!” The joy that abounds in this proclamation is one that is to be shared. We too, shall invite others to “Come and see!”

Categorized as Sermon

By Alex Steward

I am a husband, father, and pastor within the ELCA. I did not grow up in the church and thus come at this pastoring thing with an unique perspective.

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