John 1:35-39

“What are you looking for?” Usually I’m wandering in a bookstore, searching for just the right gift when someone asks me that question. Sometimes, I don’t know the answer. I may have an idea or longing, but just can’t put it into words. Sometimes that longing is deeper than my mere search for a book or gift. I long to fill an emptiness in a way that I haven’t quite discovered.

“What are you looking for?” Jesus asks John’s disciples—and they don’t have an answer (v. 38). Instead, they respond with another question: “Where are you staying?” So Jesus offers a simple invitation: “Come and see” (vv. 38-39). He isn’t inviting them to come and be amazed at his financial assets or the décor in the place where he is staying. He doesn’t provide a list of reasons why they should join him.

In The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer says the most striking thing about Jesus’ invitation is that it’s “void of all content. It gives us no intelligible program for a way of life, no goal or ideal to strive after. It is not a cause which human calculation might deem worthy of our devotion, even the devotion of ourselves.”

Jesus’ “Come and see” is an invitation to discover and experience a way of life in which grace knows no bounds. Jesus is inviting them to a way of filling their emptiness that they have yet to find. Jesus invites them to an ongoing relationship with him. 

Often, we don’t know what we are looking for until we find it. The call to “come and see” is provocative and risky. But a relationship with Christ changes our longings into experiences of grace.


What is Jesus calling you to discover?


God, open my heart and mind to embrace a relationship with you and all of the changes that our relationship will bring. Amen.

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