Devotion for the Third Sunday in January
“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.'” (John 1:38-39)
Each of the gospels offers a different version of some of the first words of Jesus. In Mark, Jesus is baptized and immediately proclaims, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe in the good news.” (Mark 1:15) In Luke, Jesus reads Scripture in the synagogue and declares, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:21) In Matthew, Jesus delivers instructions to his followers in the Sermon on the Mount.
The Gospel of John begins very differently. After John the Baptist points to Jesus to tell two of his disciples who Jesus is, the two follow after Jesus. In response, Jesus asks a question and offers an invitation:
“What are you looking for?”
“Come and see.”
What would happen if we approached our faith life with this attitude? Think about coming to worship or Sunday School or youth group or Bible study: What are you looking for? What do you want to find? What are the desires of your heart and life?
And when you begin to identify those desires and those searchings in your life, hear the invitation of Jesus: Come and see. Come and see the source of life and love found in Jesus. Come and see the love of God there to comfort you and encourage you. Come and see the presence of Jesus that goes with you always. Come and see a meaning for your life and for the lives of others.
And when we begin to see Jesus as the source of our life, our meaning, our wholeness, and our salvation, we then turn to those around us, to our community, to our world. We ask,
What are you looking for?
But we do not simply listen. We also invite them as God and Jesus invited us,
Come and see.
God, I long for hope and love and wholeness. Help me to discover in you and in Jesus a meaning for my life, a forgiveness for my sins, a completion of who I am called to be. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor David Armstrong-Reiner