The Rev. Canon Rosemarie Logan Duncan
The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, ‘Look, here is the Lamb of God!’ The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 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.’ They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon. One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which is translated Anointed). He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, ‘You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas’ (which is translated Peter).
I have read these particular verses from John’s gospel more times than I can number, but I never grow tired of being reminded of Jesus’ invitation to know and to follow him.
The text begins with John the Baptist standing with some of his disciples as Jesus passes them by. John exclaims, “Behold the Lamb of God!” John’s disciples immediately leave him to follow Jesus. Noticing that he is being followed, Jesus turns to them and asks, “What are you looking for?” Perhaps they weren’t expecting this question, which may explain why their response seems odd, almost a non-answer, “Where are you staying?” However, they were clearly saying that they wanted to be where Jesus was. They wanted and needed to be in His presence. John may have told them that Jesus was the Lamb of God, but they had to find out for themselves and Jesus knows it. Jesus knows that they are not really wondering where he is staying, but are wondering about the Messiah.
Today Jesus is asking us the same question, “What are you looking for?” Our answer will reflect much about our lives, our hearts, and our real priorities both related to God and the people around us. It is a question we will have to answer at different stages in our life as circumstances change. What do we really want from life, from God? Ultimately, we respond to Jesus’ call by inviting Him into our hearts. For that is where He truly wants to live and rest.
Jesus provides the invitation, “Come and see.” Knowing Jesus and where he stays is not an intellectual exercise. Knowing Jesus is a matter of personal experience. As we begin our Lenten journey, Jesus invites each one of us to come and see – come to know him and spend some time with him. No better time to get started.
Support us, O Lord, with your gracious favor through the fast we have begun; that as we observe it by bodily self-denial, so we may fulfill it with inner sincerity of heart; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(Lesser Feasts and Fasts, Friday after Ash Wednesday)