Monday, January 23, 2017

Day 8 - Can I Get a Witness?

Read: John 1:40-46

Have you ever had such a profound experience that words utterly failed to describe it accurately? Perhaps it was your wedding day or the birth of a child. Maybe you met a famous person or traveled to some exotic location. No matter how good your communication skills, there were simply no words. Regardless of our ability to articulate to others what we've experienced, we feel compelled to try. This desire comes from a need to validate our experience, a longing for others to share it, or a combination of both. After our words fail to capture the experience, we may finally resort to the phrase, "I guess you just had to be there."

Before John gets through the first chapter of his Gospel, he introduces us to two men who are attempting to describe the indescribable. Andrew and Philip are two of the first evangelists in the New Testament. John introduces Andrew as "Simon Peter's brother" (John 1:40). This introduction indicates that Peter would have been far more known to John's audience than Andrew. However, here we learn that Andrew's famous brother only came to Jesus at the invitation of his little brother. Philip also responds to Jesus' simple invitation to "follow me." Philip, in turn, invites his friend Nathanael to come and meet Jesus. Nathanael tries to resist based on an old religious debate about the Messiah's hometown. Philip is undeterred by Nathanael's argument and simply invites his friend to "come and see."

We learn an important lesson from these two evangelists; a simple invitation to meet Jesus is far more effective than strategies, arguments or philosophic debates. Some things cannot be known apart from a personal experience. Andrew and Philip had one thing to offer – Jesus. Their encounter with Jesus must have had an immediate and profound impact. Not much more will be heard from these two disciples, but not much more is needed.

Whom do you know who needs to hear the simple invitation to “come and see.”

"Could we with ink the ocean fill, And were the skies of parchment made, Were every stalk on earth a quill, And every man a scribe by trade; To write the love of God above Would drain the ocean dry; Nor could the scroll contain the whole, Though stretched from sky to sky." (Rabbi Mayer, 1096).

Word of God, 

help me experience your presence. May my experience with you so change me that others cannot help but see in me what my words alone can never adequately describe. Give me the boldness of Andrew and Philip as I invite others to "come and see."

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