“Come and See”

John 1:46

JOHN the Baptist stood with his disciples and declared Jesus to be the “Lamb of God.” John’s other statements about our Lord were in terms of His Messiahship, but this, with Isaiah 53:7 in mind, looks toward Calvary.

When two of John’s disciples began to follow the Lord, He enquired, “What seek ye?” What do we seek in Him today? And what do we seek in life? The two asked where Jesus dwelt. That is life’s supreme issue: not where dwells this or that thing we seek, but where does He dwell who is Life and Truth?

The answer, given to these and later by Phillip to Nathanael, is the very heart of the Christian experience: “Come and see.” If you would know the truth about our Lord, it cannot be reached by argument and speculation. “Come and see”—that is the road to certainty. “If any man will to do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself.”

One of the two, Andrew, went for his brother Simon. That is a true mark of discipleship, that we seek our brother. And he brought him to Jesus. No greater thing did Andrew ever do for his Lord. If you are not an “important” disciple as Peter was, you surely can be an Andrew.

Next Philip followed, who soon went after Nathanael (Bartholomew). What a testimony to bring—that he had found the long-expected Messiah! Nathanael is disposed to raise questions, but Philip offers the practical test: “Come and see.” He wisely did not argue the question of whether any good thing could come out of Nazareth. Don’t argue secondary issues with questioners; tell them to come and see. Christ is Himself the answer to their doubts.

Our Lord knew Nathanael in advance as a devout Israelite. He knew the hours Nathanael had spent under the fig tree. God knows our hearts, our tears, the secret prayers, the longings of the soul of which men know nothing. He knows the long, lean years when we prayed and seemed to receive nothing. How it must have seemed sometimes to Nathanael that the Messiah would never come! Don’t give up the fig tree! He sees you through the tedious, commonplace years, and one day your great moment will come, and you shall cry out as did Nathanael: “Thou are the Son of God! Thou art the King of Israel!” He will reveal Himself to the faithful.

And not only that, but we shall see greater things than these! For there is greater glory ever to be revealed, and what we see here is but the foretaste of more to follow. As Jesus told Nathanael, He is the Jacob’s ladder between earth and heaven. “Ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man” (v. 51). Jacob learned at Bethel that all heaven was interested in him. So angels are our ministers (Heb. 1:14), and our Lord Himself is the ladder.

Nathanael’s experience had three stages: first, the long years of prayer and waiting; then the revelation of the Lord; and the rest of his life consisted of increasing fellowship with heaven through Christ. Truly, if we “come and see,” we shall “see greater things than these.”

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