The Rev. Canon Jan Naylor Cope
The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”
“Come and see” is one of the most frequent and intriguing invitations in John’s gospel. The invitation readily appears in the calling of the first disciples. The Samaritan woman who encounters Jesus at the well offers the same invitation to the people in the city, “Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?” Upon learning of his dear friend Lazarus’ death, Jesus asks those gathered where they have laid him. His friends reply “…come and see.”
In this season of Lent, we, too, are called to follow Jesus and to repeatedly respond to his invitation to “come and see.” We, like the eager disciples, astonished Samaritan woman, and grieving friends of Lazarus, turn to Jesus to see where he will lead us this Lent. My prayer for all of us is that we may follow with eagerness, astonishment, and expectation that we will be changed – restored and renewed for the transformative Kingdom work that Jesus calls us to in our time and place.
Almighty and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities, and in all our dangers and necessities stretch forth your right hand to help and defend us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.