Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Come and See

I was reading through John yesterday, and I was struck by a profound phrase in chapter 1--"Come and see." The Greek word for "come," erchomai, occurs 11 times in John 1. The word for "see," horaƍ, occurs 9 times in the same chapter. Obviously, there is an emphasis on "coming" and "seeing."

The words occur together in 1:39, 1:46, and 1:47. In 1:39, two of John's disciples ask Jesus where he is staying, and he replies, "Come and you will see." In 1:46, Philip, a follower of Jesus, goes to get his brother Nathanael. He says to Nathanael, "We have found the one of whom Moses and the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth." Nathanael responds, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip says, "Come and see."

To John there is a correlation between "coming" to Jesus and "seeing." He writes about Jesus, "In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it" (John 1:4–5 NIV). Those who follow Jesus comes into the light and they see. Those who do not believe remain in darkness. The prototypical example of this is the contrast between the man born blind and the Pharisees in John 9. The man born blind testifies before the Pharisees, "Whether he is a sinner or not, I don't know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!" (John 9:25 NIV) Later, Jesus says, "For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind" (John 9:39 NIV).

There was something about Jesus that was beyond description. You had to come and see; and then it all made sense.

As I believe that the church continues the ministry of Jesus, I wonder how often people say about us "come and see." Jesus said, "When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning" (John 15:26–27). The work of the Holy Spirit in the church is a testimony to Jesus. In short, when people "come" to us, they should "see" Jesus.

"Father, I pray that we would live in such a way to testify to Jesus. The world is looking for answers, and we confess that we have found them in Your Son. May my life, and the life of the church be such that people tell their friends, 'come and see.'"

1 comment:

Rob Dilfer said...

This is a very important but much neglected truth. John 9:25 is one of my favorite scriptures.