In our text today we again have John telling us who Jesus is . . . He is the sinless Lamb of God -- the One who is Anointed to become the Savior of Israel–the Savior of the World. He is the one who is coming into the world to Baptize the People with the Holy Spirit and He was
existent from ("in") the beginning, that is, before anything or anyone else ever was -- Jesus is God's Son, and He is now (as John is baptizing) "come into the world" to fulfill God's purpose, that is, to be the Savior of all.
Thus, John announces that JESUS has come as the
Anointed one and he begins his ministry as one of us. . .with us
What is interesting is that Jesus does not necessarily remain in the Spot Light of John's gospel for very long. But instead, Right Away, Jesus gets others involved with God's work . . . Actually, it seems as though there is (what we might call) a "voluntary inscription" as
Andrew and an unnamed disciple proceed (right away) to follow Jesus around.
Or is it that the Holy Spirit is radiating from Jesus like rays of light shining into the darkness. Like a light bulb attracts moths on a summers night, or like children are attracted to play with muddy water.
Andrew and the other unnamed disciple cannot help but follow after Jesus.
Or Maybe it is a kind of warmth that Jesus' exudes that causes these "would be disciples" to blindly follow him. We can never really name ourselves as the ultimate cause that causes us to take on a NEW LIFE of following Jesus, but we enter the trail to pursue him with a
SPIRIT-LED Curiosity like Andrew and the other disciple did. We are drawn to Jesus by the Spirit. But notice from the text ‘WHO' makes the first entrance into conversation . . . "What are you looking for?"
In the story:
Now it seems that Andrew and the other disciple were following Jesus with a lot on their mind. Like, imagine yourself, having been told that, "Today your going to meet a very important person." For some of us this could be a potential business client. For another, maybe it is
someone who has come from a distant land who in that country is a highly respected as a leader. Or maybe you are of such an age or place in life that the "Very Important Person" is a potential relationship.
??Can you remember what it's like to get those nervous butterflies in your stomach?? Can you remember how thinking of meeting this "new person" can become so consuming and overwhelming that every other thought and emotion is shut off. I think we can call this TUNNEL VISION ==
perhaps this describes how the disciples felt in the moments before meeting Jesus.
So "caught up" were they, that when Jesus Asks them ""What are you looking for?" They don't have a very sensible answer . . . . in fact, I don't think they ever answered Jesus' question at all -- at least not directly according to what we have in this text (more about that in a
Jesus asks, "What are you looking for?" To which they reply, "Where are you staying?" ... ??Did anyone else notice a little disconnect here??
At first reading, It seems that maybe they were dumbfounded by the Master's question. In response to Jesus question, they simply asked another question, perhaps because They just Needed to make some kind of small-talk with Jesus. "Hey Jesus, wait up, we want to talk with you (to
which Jesus might have replied),
"When you say that you want to talk with me, what kind of conversation are you looking for?" As God's Son, and as one who was present before the Creation of the World, Jesus could have spoken about the powers of the Universe or about how things on earth work or what in history
was going to happen next.
The disciples could never be prepared for the weight and gravity of the "Possibilities" that Jesus' might have expounded to them . . . !!
Who among us could come up with something fitting to say when we are addressed by the one whom we were just instructed (by John) is The Son of God??!! What would you say to God's son if Jesus stood before you or me this morning and asked,
So John, "What is it that you're looking for??"
Or Sally, Amy, James, Andrew BROTHER FRANK, "What is it, exactly, that your looking ?
[Just] "What is it that you are looking for??"
Maybe what we don't have here in the text is the Small talk where the disciples tried to doge the question . . . .
". . . Ahh – yea, nice weather isn't it Jesus?....ya know, I kind of like the way that cloud over there looks kind of like the Sheep Gate at the Temple in Jerusalem . . . ahh, only it's just a little crooked. Boy, the roads sure are dusty this time of year . . ., (Jesus does not
comment on any of this, but just keeps on walking) . . . "Looks like it could rain tomarrow, don't you think so brother??"
(Maybe Andrew turned to his buddy disciple at this point and quietly mutters, hey man I'm dyin' over here, would you please come up with something intelligent to say to Jesus??"
The other disciple then whispers . . . "Ask him where he's staying."
"Ahh, so Jesus, Where are you staying?" ...............
Even though it's fun to play with, small talk with Jesus, doesn't seem to fit very well with the Gospel narratives,
But we recall again what John has said about Jesus,
"Behold!! the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, 'After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.'
I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel." And John testified, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with
water said to me, 'He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God."
Andrew and the others had heard that Jesus was the Lamb of God, the Anointed One. And they knew that not even John could hold a candle to Jesus' Power and Purpose. John was a prophet, but
Jesus is the prophet.
So maybe, when they began to "gingerly" follow after Jesus . . . and he turned and spoke to them. They were kind of Dumbfounded. They could not formulate intelligent words to say. What would you or I say to Jesus Question ????
"What are you looking for?"
But as we think on this question, we can recognize that Jesus provides an invitation for conversation . . . he is not wanting to beat around the bush or waste time on small talk.
Jesus' question goes to the depths of our human journey.
"What are you looking for??"
From the original greek word that essentially means looking, (sounds like) "zhteiÍte", we learn that the kind of looking referred to is an in depth thought process. Not merely seeing something – but studying something or thinking deeply about
an image or an idea.
(1) "As a searching for what is lost seek, try to find, look for; (2) of a man's quest for God and what can be obtained only from him seek, search for, try to obtain; (3) of (?) what God requires or expects (from US) man seek, demand (LU 12.48); (4) as making inquiry or
investigation examine, question, deliberate (JN 16.19); (5) of man's effort to obtain something pursue, endeavor to obtain, strive for (MT 6.33); (6) of man's desire toward something seek for, wish for, want (1C 10.24)."
Jesus' question is weighted -- its heavily laden and directed at our deepest motivations! He does not just mean "what are we looking for, as though we had lost a coin or our dog ran away . . . but it is something more profound. "What are we looking for in life?"
What is it that we would seek with all of our heart, our mind, our talents, our strength?? And if you or I can name that thing . . . then what price might we be willing to pay to gain it??
And so, returning to Jesus', the Teacher's, question -- we can understand why Andrew and his buddy did not answer, but could only muster up, "Where are you staying?" The answer was not one that can be verbalized by most of us in just a few words or in just a few fleeting moments
-- perhaps not even in an hour can we describe what it is that we're looking for in life . . . my God, we don't even know who we are!!!
• "What do you want out of life?? Riches? Comforts?? security?? Health??
"Is there a certain direction to take in your life that will lead to Ultimate Happiness or Enlightenment??
Jesus is asking this kind of a question of the disciples . . . .
"Are you seeking a Truth to Live by that will make each new day worth getting up for??"
"What are you looking for??"
The Question takes on new meaning when you consider Who it Is That Asks . . . . Behold the Lamb of God!
In a moment on the road that day as Andrew and his friend were following Jesus, they realized that they were following the only person in the world and in history who could give to them ultimate purpose, genuine meaning and lasting fulfillment. The answer to the question was
that they had to follow him in order to learn what it was that they should be looking for.
May it be the same in your life and in mine. May we also get onto the path that Jesus is taking and follow him. Be prepared for his penetrating questions about your purpose for living . . . are you living for God? Do you see God in your neighbor? Do you even know and understand
yourself – and what motivates you in life? Jesus will get to the heart of the matter. He is patient, but be prepared also for him to teach you, correct you and make a more loving person out of you. And as you walk the path of discipleship – share your learning with others.
Let us Pray
Lord to whom shall we go?? You have the words of Eternal Life. Teach us to follow after you as Andrew and Peter and the other disciples did. Teach us to think the thoughts of God, and show us the way in which we should go. For your words are truth and life.
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