Come and See
We all want to be invited into something bigger than ourselves, and we long for our lives to be filled with significance and purpose.
This longing to feel significant is so real to all of us, but the problem is that we typically don’t know what that purpose is or even how to find it! What if I told you that finding your purpose is directly connected to inviting others to experience the greatest story ever told, the story of Christ?
I started thinking about this a few weeks ago when I was sitting in my office, thinking about what God has in store for us this year at our church, City Church Chattanooga. The more I sought the Lord in prayer and devotion, I heard the words, “2018 is the year of the invitation.”
At first, I felt that these words didn’t sound very missional.
Then, the more I thought about it, the more I concluded I was wrong.
The mission of God’s Kingdom is connected to the missional invitation, “Come and see.”
When you read the gospel of John, you can see several themes. John describes the Deity of Jesus, speaks of the Incarnation of Christ, and also reveals to us the mission of God’s Kingdom. In the midst of these themes, you will find what I call the “come and see” principle. Look closely, and you will see it too!
John 1:35-46 says:
The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God!’ When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, ‘What do you want?’ They said, ‘Rabbi’, ‘where are you staying?’ ‘Come,’ He replied, ‘and you will see.’ So they went and saw where He was staying, and they spent that day with Him. It was about four in the afternoon. Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, ‘You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas’. The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’ Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. Philip found Nathanael and told him, ‘We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.’ ‘Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?’ Nathanael asked. ‘Come and see,’ said Philip. (NIV)
The insight is easy to miss, so let’s go through it together. Andrew heard who Jesus was, and the first thing he did was missional. He went and gave an invitation to his brother, Peter, and invited him to come and see. Come and see who? Jesus the Messiah! Then, as Jesus was leaving Galilee, He found Philip, and what did Philip do? He went and found Nathanael and gave him an invitation to come and see!
We see from these first encounters between Jesus and His disciples that the Gospel of Jesus is an invitation. It’s an invitation to a city on a hill, an “open city” where ALL are invited to come and see Jesus! It’s a city full of light that testifies of His love and invites all to receive it!
City Church, I implore you to embrace 2018 as the year of the invitation!
Like Andrew and Philip, we must learn to embody the invitational spirit that says, “Come and see the wonder and mystery of the greatest story ever told, the story of Jesus!” Let’s invite as many people as we can to come and see Jesus! Let’s participate in something bigger than ourselves and fulfill part of our purpose here on earth. It’s His mission He has given us, and it would be a shame to miss out on what He has in store for us this year.