Come and see.
These three little words are a beautiful invitation.
I feel like today that everyone simply wants to tell us what to think. We are saturated with information from news outlets, social media, podcasts, Youtube videos, and newspapers. In America alone, more than a million new books are published each year. Indoctrination of our children in liberal theology and lifestyles begins in preschool and continues throughout their elementary, middle and high school years. Both elite private and public colleges produce young men and women who have been taught what to believe and how to think and warned repeatedly against the false hope found in faith in an unseen God. The result is a culture consumed with ourselves, our opinions, and our rights.
How refreshing to read Jesus’ words to the disciples of John who were curious about who He was.
Again, the next day John was standing with two of his disciples, and as he looked at Jesus as He walked, and said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. And Jesus turned and saw them following, and said to them, “What do you seek?” They said to Him, Rabbi (which translated means Teacher), where are You staying? He said to them, “Come and you will see.” (John 1:35-39a)
Why should we come and see?
Here are two reasons.
#1 – He speaks with incomparable authority on the topic of heaven.
Jesus is the only One who has authority to speak of heaven. He came from heaven, sent by God. And He returned to heaven, having accomplished the work He came to do. When Nicodemus expressed skepticism, Jesus simply stated, Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony. If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man. (John 3:11-13)
No one else can make the claims of Jesus, that they came from heaven. All other religions are men trying to get to heaven. Only Jesus has the authority to tell us about eternity, immortality, and heaven. He has intimate knowledge. He knows of what He speaks.
Because Jesus came from heaven, He tells us what He has seen and heard (John 3:31-32). In Jesus’ words to “come and see” we have the opportunity for a front row seat to what is happening in heaven. We have a behind-the-scenes, back-stage pass! We are invited to know the secrets of God, which no man can discover on his own.
#2 – Jesus came to fulfill His Father’s requirements for eternal life for us.
In a previous post, I talked about two things necessary for heaven: spiritual life given by the Spirit of God and believing the truth about Jesus. Jesus said that true worshippers of God worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23). Even before Jesus said these words to the Samaritan woman, John the Baptist confirmed them, testifying that Jesus was One sent from God:
He who has received His testimony [i.e. believed what Jesus says] has set his seal to this, that God is true. For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure. (Jon 3:33-34).
Jesus provides both the truth we must believe, and the Spirit that enables us to believe it. He reminded Nicodemus that unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God, nor can he enter the kingdom of God (John 3:3,5). Not only can we not get to heaven on our own, we can’t even perceive it. The natural, fleshly mind does not understand spiritual things.
1 Corinthians 2:14 – But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
Should we come and see?
John the Baptist came as a witness so that ALL might believe through him. (John 1:7)
Jesus came as the true Light into the world, enlightening EVERY man. (John 1:9)]
John the Baptist invited the crowds to “Behold” (Look at Him!) (John 1:29)
John’s disciples were curious about Jesus; He said, “Come and see.” (John 1:39)
Philip told Nathanael, “Come and see.” (John 1:46)
The woman at the well told the men in the city: “Come, see” (John 4:29)
The invitation is extended to all. But who benefits? “As many as received” and “those who believed” (John 1:12) Only those who “come and see” and “believe.”
What do we see when we look at Jesus? For of His fulness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten of the Father, He has explained Him. (John 1:16-18)
The arrogance of not listening to the One who came from heaven and returned to heaven is like walking into a college classroom on the first day, with no knowledge of the subject and never even having opened the textbook, and telling the professor to stand aside to let you teach! The professor may indulge you and gracefully say that you are perfectly free to ignore his lessons and use your own knowledge and wisdom, but let’s be real. When the day comes for the final exam, you will fail miserably, not to mention all the failures along the way. Grace lets you stay in the class even in your defiance of the teacher’s knowledge and wisdom, but truth will out you in the end.
God doesn’t demand that we believe, although He is perfectly capable of it. He invites us to come and see. I can say from personal experience, those who come with an open heart and a willingness to hear what He says will never be disappointed.
1 Peter 2:6 – For this is contained in Scripture: “Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”