John 1:29-50Sharon Taylor, The Lutheran Church of the Resurrection
The word "evangelism" makes many good Christians nervous. Perhaps it is because when we think of witnessing our faith to others we think of strong-arm tactics and Bible-quoting sales pitches. We think that making disciples is forcing faith in Jesus on others and convincing them why they must believe like we do. Yet, in the Gospel of John, we are given a very different picture of evangelism. The word itself comes from a Greek word that simply means "good news". Witnessing is simply sharing the good news of what God has done, and is still doing, in Jesus Christ. Evangelism is a pointing to God's grace and mercy. Evangelism is pointing to the source of our hope and trust. It is an invitation offered in love.
In our passage, John first models this for us. John the Baptist has his own little group of followers by now. Yet, he is clear to say that he is not the one for whom they have been waiting. So when the time is right, John points to Jesus, literally, and says, "Behold the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world". John says, "Here he is!" John points away from himself to Jesus, and that's when it all begins. Once they are looking at Jesus they become intrigued and the invitation is given. They ask Jesus, "Where are you staying?" He replies, "COME AND SEE." With that, the word began to spread. The excitement began to spread. Andrew told Simon. Philip told Nathanael. And when Nathanael's response was less than enthusiastic, Philip simply says, like Jesus did, "COME AND SEE"
This simple invitation is our calling. Someone pointed us to Jesus at some time in our lives. It may have been your parents, grandparents, a neighbor or a classmate. It may have been a friend who asked you to make quilts for refugees. When is the last time you pointed someone to Jesus? When is the last time you saw God working in your daily life and shared that with someone? When is the last time you invited someone to COME AND SEE? Our life in faith is a two-sided coin. One side says COME AND SEE. The other side says GO AND TELL.
As we prepare for The Church Has Left the Building, let us remember both.
Action Step: Reflect on who in your life you need to say "come and see."
Prayer: Dear Lord, please keep our eyes and ears keen to whom we need to point to you. Amen.