I’m starting a red letter series, studying the words of Jesus in the book of John.
This is the first red letter passage:
Jesus turned and saw them following. “What do you want?” He asked.
They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are You staying?”
“Come and see,” He replied. (John 1:38-39)
I think it’s pretty incredible that Jesus asked the two men following him, “What do you want?” He could have just said to them, “Hey! You need to be my disciples”
And he does speak these words in other circumstances.
But in this case, he asked them what they were looking for.
This really hits me today, because I have been thinking about the aspect of choice. I’ve been wrestling because sometimes I can feel pressured to follow Christ in certain ways. And I don’t like it.
Maybe I should be more humble. But this makes me think about Jesus’s delivery. How much was he emphatic, and how much did he give people a choice?
“What do you want?”
I love to think of him asking me that right now. I don’t have to feel these heavy expectations. I don’t have to feel the burden of all I’m working through. I just have him care about me enough to look at me and ask, “What do you want?”
It’s one of our key life coaching questions, “What do you need for you?” So many times people run around doing so many things. And they forget to ask that question.
Sure, sometimes that could be an excuse for selfishness. But that’s not the case here. It’s a question of motivation. I think Jesus is asking, “What are you looking for? Why are you coming to me? What’s the hunger of your soul?”
And if Jesus asked me that right now, it would cut through all of the struggles I’m having. “I want you,” I would tell Jesus. “You have something better than anything else I can find. I don’t understand everything. But my soul is drawn to you.”
I would ask Jesus, in a sense, what the two disciples asked him, “Where will I be today if I follow you?” Maybe I would even say, “I’m a little scared. I have recent wounds. Can you give me some reassurance?”
And here is Jesus’s answer, “Come and see.” He doesn’t give me specifics. He doesn’t say it will be safe or tidy. He just says. “Come. The answer will be revealed.”
So I say, “Ack!!! Well. Okay.”