#2 (THE "INVITATION FROM GOD" SERIES)
"COME AND SEE!"
TEXT: Jn. 1:35-42; Hag. 1:5-9; Luke 9:58
INTRO: Why do people flock to all kinds of teachers and seminars? Why do people jump from one thing to another thing? They are all desperately searching for meaning and satisfaction in life!
One of the main reasons people commit suicide is that they cease to believe there is any reason for living anymore, that there is no meaning or purpose to life – so they quit, they give up.
The world is a battlefield today; the forces of darkness are competing for the souls of men and women, drawing them to meaningless existences while filling their lives with so much busyness that they have no satisfaction in anything – and to distract them from the real meaning in life.
With all the emptiness in this world God shouts from the heavens and makes an invitation: "COME AND SEE!" -- come and see the real meaning to life. It is not found in a thing but in a person called Jesus Christ!
PROP SENT: The Bible teaches us that the only real meaning in life is found in a living relationship with God through Jesus Christ, we are invited by God to come and see this for ourselves by inviting Christ into our lives.
I. LOOKING FOR SATISFACTION! -38; Hag. 1:5-9
A. Meaning -38a
1. Andrew and John had become disciples of John the Baptist, they were interested in his call to a real life of service to God.
a. They had felt a real need to know God and through following John the Baptist they had felt something tugging on their hearts.
b. Fishing had not been enough for them, while it provided a means of living it didn't provide satisfaction for their souls!
c. This is still true today, people are always looking for that job or place that will satisfy the longing of their heart but when they get them they discover that ultimately these things still don't satisfy them long term.
2. Though they certainly had enjoyed the ministry of John the Baptist they heard him say one day when Jesus was passing by that Jesus was the "Lamb of God."
a. John the Baptist was not the answer, he was only the one who would point the way to the real answer, the real meaning in life was found in Jesus!
b. When that day came John the Baptist pointed them toward Jesus, the one who could meet their deepest needs and desire – the one to give them meaning!
3. They had wandered here and there in their life and they were tired, they wanted the real thing, much the same way people wander today looking for meaning!
ILLUS: THERE IS A STORY OF A FARMER WHO WAS CHIDED ONE DAY FOR HIS EXHAUSTED DOG WHEN HE GOT INTO TOWN. THE FARMER HAD RIDDEN IN ON A HORSE AND BUGGY AND HIS DOG WAS AT THE WAGON'S SIDE, PANTING AND PUFFING NEARLY READY TO COLLAPSE. PEOPLE CHIDED THE FARMER FOR MAKING THE POOR DOG RUN ALL THE WAY WHILE HE RODE IN COMFORT AND EASE. HOWEVER THE FARMER RESPONDED, "THAT DOG IS NOT TIRED FROM FOLLOWING ME TO TOWN. WHAT TIRED HIM WAS HIS FOOLISH ZIGZAGGING. THERE WAS NOT AN OPEN GATE, A HOLE IN A FENCE, OR A TREE STUMP THAT HE DID NOT EXPLORE ALONG THE WAY. HE IS TIRED FROM ALL HIS ZIGZAGGING FROM THE PATH. HAD HE STAYED BY MY SIDE HE WOULD HAVE BEEN FINE!" THIS IS THE WAY MANY PEOPLE ARE TODAY, INCLUDING SOME CHRISTIANS, THEY WEAR THEMSELVES OUT FROM ALL THE DIVERSIONS OR ZIGZAGGING THEY TAKE FROM GOD ON THE PATH OF LIFE! – SOURCE UNKNOWN
4. Both Andrew and John immediately left the Baptist and began to follow Jesus ... but even here there is a hint that they didn't really understand what it was they were looking for or had found.
a. Jesus turns around and asked them an interesting question: "WHAT do you want?" -- not "WHO do you want?"
b. This indicates that Jesus knew that they were seeking SOMETHING rather than SOMEONE to fill their need.
c. This is still the probing question for everyone: "What are you looking for?"
d. The answer is somewhat of a surprise however, for satisfaction in life will never come from a THING, it will only come from a PERSON – THE PERSON OF JESUS CHRIST!
5. Jesus could tell they were looking in the wrong place for their satisfaction so He is about to share an important message with them.
B. Message 1:38b; Hag. 1:5-9
1. Their response to Jesus' question indicated that they didn't understand who Jesus really was even though John the Baptist had clearly told them that Jesus was the "lamb of God" -- they still referred to Jesus simply as "RABBI" meaning "Teacher."
a. They didn't see Him clearly at all!
b. They saw Jesus in a way like they saw John the Baptist, just another teacher.
c. Much of the world still sees Jesus this way.
ILLUS: A GREAT
GERMAN ATHEIST (FICHTE) SAID OF JESUS, "TILL THE END OF TIME ALL THE SENSIBLE
WILL BOW LOW BEFORE THIS JESUS OF
2. Notice what Haggai said about people living in his day: (READ PASSAGE IN HAGGAI 1:5-9)
a. The people at that time believed in God but their lives were busy for their own pursuits -- God had little priority in their lives. (This is similar to today!)
b. And yet, the more they worked for themselves the emptier they felt; while they seemed to work hard for what they got they ended up with feeling emptier and emptier.
c. They had neglected God's house while building their own, they put God on the back burner in their lives and so were not gaining!
d. This Old Testament passage is the
parallel to the New Testament passage where it is written "Seek first the
3. Their answer to Jesus' question "what do you want" is "Where are you staying?"
a. They thought Jesus might give them a place of security, a place to teach them, a place to settle down.
b. They were simply looking for a place to rest but Jesus will show them something very different from what they might have thought they needed!
II. LOOKING FOR SECURITY ; Lk.
A. Material 1:39a
1. They had asked Jesus "Where are you staying?" and Jesus responds with "Come and see!"
a. While they think they are heading off to some safe place to find security, perhaps a camp where Jesus will teach them the meaning of life, Jesus has in mind however to show them the real place of security!
b. Their focus is the material realm; Jesus however has something very different in mind for them. Where will Jesus take us that will give us meaning and peace in our lives?
c. Jesus' plan however is to show them that security is not found in “something” but “someone” -- namely HIM!
2. Christ's offer is still good “COME AND SEE!” -- CHECK HIM OUT!
ILLUS: JOHN MOSER
HAS BEEN REGARDED AS ONE OF THE MOST LEARNED AND UPRIGHT JURISTS AND JUDGES OF
B. Modify! 1:39b; Lk.
1. They must have been disappointed when they arrived at the place Jesus had invited them to "Come and see!" -- and what they discovered was only Jesus!
a. There certainly wasn't anything spectacular about the accommodations Jesus took them too!
b. How could a place like this offer satisfaction???
c. Jesus begins to open their eyes to see that it is not a PLACE, it is a PERSON ... namely Jesus Himself!
2. If it was some PLACE or some PROGRAM they had to have been disappointed, Jesus later taught them, LK. "And Jesus said unto them, ‘Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has no where to lay his head.’"
a. Jesus didn't put his trust in places, there is no place to lay down or settle down and find real peace, at least not on this planet!
b. There is a better place and the way to get there is through a person, it is Jesus Himself!
3. They needed to modify their understanding of security, it can't be found on this planet, it will only be experienced in heaven -- and the way there is only through Christ!
a. This was a unique message, all other religions promise redemption only if you accomplish some level of success at doing enough good works!
b. Jesus was making the path to security through Him – not through us!
ILLUS: A CONDEMNED BUDDHIST MONK WHO HAD ATTEMPTED TO KILL A LEADER IN HIS COUNTRY WAS WAITING TO DIE, TO BE EXECUTED. THE NIGHT BEFORE HIS EXECUTION HE ASKED THAT A CHRISTIAN MISSIONARY BE BROUGHT TO HIS CELL AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. HE REQUESTED A SPECIFIC MISSIONARY THAT HE HAD KNOWN AND REJECTED BEFORE. WHEN THE ASTONISHED MISSIONARY ARRIVED, KNOWING THIS MAN REJECTED HIM AND HIS MESSAGE BEFORE, HE WAS TAKEN BACK BY THE REQUEST OF THIS MONK TO BE BAPTISED AS A CHRISTIAN BEFORE HE DIED. THE MISSIONARY BEGAN TO EXPLAIN THE IMPLICATIONS OF HIS REQUEST AND THE MEANING OF SALVATION, THE MAN AGREED TO ACCEPT EVERYTHING. THE MISSIONARY THEN ASKED HIM WHY HE WANTED TO BECOME A CHRISTIAN WHEN ALL HIS LIFE HE HAD LIVED AS A BUDDHIST MONK, AND THE MAN RESPONDED, "I WISH TO DIE IN A FAITH BY WHICH I CAN COME FREELY TO GOD, UNRESTRAINED BY PERSONAL WORTHINESS AND CONFIDENT THAT I CAN ENTREAT FORGIVENESS SIMPLY OUT OF GOD'S LOVE AND MERCY." HE HAD FOUND THE PERSON WHO COULD BRING SECURITY, NONE OF HIS WORKS COULD DO THAT, NOR COULD ANY MONASTERY OFFER IT ... ONLY THE PERSON OF JESUS CHRIST -- AND FREELY! – SOURCE UNKNOWN
4. They spent the entire day with Jesus until 4 in the afternoon, and Jesus did show them the place ... it was in Him!
III. LOOKING FOR SALVATION! 1:40-42
A. Messiah! 1:40-41
1. Now that they had accepted Christ's invitation to “COME AND SEE” they realized that Jesus was not just "RABBI" ... He was MESSIAH!
a. Andrew could not keep this news to himself, he needed to go immediately and find his brother Simon to share this "good news" -- the very meaning of the term: “Gospel!”
b. Jesus had honored His invitation, they HAD COME AND THEY HAD SEEN!
c. Their understanding had been opened and their excitement started to pour out, this was too good to keep to oneself!
2. They had found what they were looking for, finally their search had come to an end. Now everything else in life would hold meaning, they could survive the worst of trials and experience the greatest of joys known. Their lives were now fulfilled in Christ, the Savior.
3. They had found something they could finally trust their lives to ... Jesus.
1. Now that they had found salvation in Christ it became a passion for them to bring others to Christ!
a. Andrew not only takes the message to his brother Simon Peter, he also leads him back to Jesus to SEE for himself!
b. Andrew doesn't ask Peter to be like him, but to find Jesus and be like Him!
c. This is the purpose of ministry -- to bring others to Christ!
2. Andrew couldn't offer his brother Simon a perfect brother, but he could offer him the perfect Savior!
ILLUS: A SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER ONCE TAUGHT A FINE LESSON ON HEAVEN AND AFTER THE LESSON ASKED THE CLASS, "WHO WANTS TO GO TO HEAVEN?" EVERY CHILD RAISED THEIR HANDS EXCEPT ONE BOY. THE TEACHER LOOKED AT HIM PERPLEXED AND ASKED HIM, "WHY DON'T YOU WANT TO GO TO HEAVEN?" HE ANSWERED, “REALLY DO BUT NOT WITH THIS CROWD!” HE NEEDED TO GET HIS EYES OFF OF MAN, AND ON CHRIST! – SOURCE UNKNOWN
3. It is not enough that we find satisfaction for our own souls, we must also look to share it with others!
a. No matter how imperfect those others might be, they too need to find the meaning to life in Christ!
b. When Simon came to Jesus his life too was transformed, he was given a new name along with his new life and he too found the greatest longing of his heart!
CONCLUSION: Andrew and John were looking for something special for their lives, for significance and meaning. Jesus invited them to "come and see" -- to come and see what was really important in life. What they saw was different from what they expected at first, but Christ gave real meaning to their lives and He still does today! Have you accepted Jesus' invitation to "come and see?" The invitation is still valid and still open.