I love how insistent and hungry Andrew and his companion are. I love how Jesus responds to them. It is a beautiful conversation that paints a picture of Jesus’ heart towards us – and what our relationship with God can look like each day.
Jesus turns around and sees the two men following him. He asks, “What do you want?” This is not a scolding question nor an information question - it is an invitational question. Truly, “What do you want?” Jesus invites us to be completely open with him, to state our wishes, to express our feelings. What do you desire? What are you longing for today? Jesus does not wait for us to beg. He speaks first. Jesus is the divine initiator of relationship. It isn’t about us keeping the ball rolling in our relationship with God. He is always listening, always speaking, his face always turning toward us, shining on us and being gracious to us (Numbers 6:24-26).
A friend of mine has this relationship with his dad where they talk only when the son makes the phone call. If he doesn’t call – he won’t ever talk to his dad. It’s all on him. One day when my friend was listening for God, He said to him, “I’m not waiting by the phone like your dad. I call you.” Jesus has already turned toward us. He speaks first. A gracious invitation: What do you want? When you strip away all the consumerism and entertainment in your life - what is your heart’s deepest desire?
The disciples respond with a question. “Rabbi, where are you staying?” The two disciples are not content with just having a conversation with Jesus – or even getting together with him regularly. They want to be with Jesus all the time. I don’t know about you but I find that I often have some inner resistance to staying with Jesus. I seem to want to get on with other things. Move on to safer, more comfortable ground - that doesn’t involve facing myself (and my fears, failures and frustrations with myself) so fully. Do you have that resistance? What is it about for you?
Jesus answers, “Come and you will see.” Again, it is a gracious, welcoming, and open response. Jesus invites you and me fully into his own life. He doesn’t go and tidy up first. He does not hold us off at a distance, saying, “this is my space… and this is yours.” He doesn’t limit our access to him. He lets us into the fullness of his life. He brings us along in all that he is doing. He takes us up into his life.
The lovely thing is that the disciples respond to Jesus’ invitation by staying with him that whole day - and in fact for the next three years until Jesus returns to the Father and sends his Spirit to journey with them.
My child, what do you want? I am staying with you. Come and see what I want to do in you and through you.
College Park Covenant Church