To The Wondering Heart, Jesus Says, Come and See

Bible Book: John  1 : 29-42
Subject: Jesus, Invitation of; Assurance; Operation Andrew
Series: Invitations of Christ

I’m sure most of us have at one point or another received an invitation – perhaps to a birthday party, or a wedding, an anniversary celebration, or maybe a baby shower.

It’s exciting to receive such an invitation, but truly the most thrilling invitations that I’ve found are in the New Testament scriptures. They are the invitations that Jesus issued. They are the Calls of Christ. They are the Savior’s Summons’.

We have been looking recently at some of these Invitations of Christ. We looked at Christ’s Call in John 11 where He said to Lazarus in verse 43, “Come forth.” We looked at His Call to Zacchaeus in Luke 19:5 when He said, “Come down.” And this morning, we’re looking at the invitation that Jesus extended to Andrew and John when in response to their question about where Jesus lived, He said in John 1:39, “Come and see.”

Several years ago I was invited to come with a group of about 20 other pastors to Pensacola Christian College and see the campus. I later learned that this was something that they did a couple of times each year as part of their public relations program. I flew to Pensacola, FL from the Raleigh / Durham airport at their expense. Upon our arrival, we were checked into the campus house, which was the equivalent of a nice motel. Then for the next two days we toured the facilities, sat in on various classes and chapel services, and enjoyed a first class meal followed by a question and answer session with the president of the college.

All of this was done, of course, for the purpose of prompting pastors to encourage their church’s young people to attend Pensacola Christian College. But it also settled any questions or matters of concern or curiosity in the minds of the pastors who attended. They realized that nothing would be more effective than for someone to come and see for themselves what the school was really all about.

That’s what Jesus wanted Andrew and John to do … come and see for themselves where Jesus lived and what He was all about. They had heard the message of John the Baptist and his assessment of Jesus, but now they had an opportunity to come and see for themselves.

Recently, I was reading a list of some of the state slogans that are used across the country. Some of the examples that I found are...

Arizona The Grand Canyon State

California Find Yourself Here

Colorado Enter a Higher State (this is one of several slogans)

District of Columbia Taxation without Representation (this is also on its license plate)

Florida Visit Florida

Georgia Georgia on My Mind

Hawaii The Islands of Aloha

Idaho Great Potatoes, Tasty Destinations

Louisiana Fall in love with Louisiana all over again

North Carolina A Better Place to Be

South Carolina Smiling Faces, Beautiful Places

South Dakota Great Faces, Great Places

Utah Life Elevated (it used to be “Utah: Greatest Snow on Earth”)

Washington Say WA!

On January 12, 2006, the acting governor of New Jersey issued a statement saying, “The new slogan for New Jersey has been chosen by the people of the state. Over 11,000 people voted by phone and on the internet. The final tally was close, but we have a clear winner. The winning slogan is: ‘New Jersey, Come See For Yourself’.”

Well, Jesus said it a long time before New Jersey did. And I might add, He said it with greater effectiveness.

As we get into this portion of God’s word…

I. Let’s Notice The Instruction In This Passage

(It Is Here That Christ Is Exalted)

A. John Gave Instruction As He Preached About Jesus

1. He Said That Between The Two Of Them, Jesus Was The First Man

(John 1:26-27) John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; {27} He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.

preferred (vs. 27, 30) – Greek 1096. ginomai, ghin'-om-ahee; a prol. and mid. form of a prim. verb; to cause to be (“gen”-erate), i.e. (reflex.) to become (come into being), used with great latitude (lit. fig., intens., etc.)

cf. Luke 1:24,26,36,39-44 (John is six months older, but Jesus is first.)

(John 1:1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2. He Said That Between The Two Of Them, Jesus Was The Favored Man

(John 1:32-33) And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. {33} And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.

(Matthew 3:13-17) Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. {14} But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? {15} And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. {16} And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: {17} And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Cf. (John 3:30) He must increase, but I must decrease.

increase – Greek 837. auxano, owx-an'-o; a prolonged form of a prim. verb; to grow ("wax"), i.e. enlarge (lit. or fig., act. or pass.):--grow (up), (give the) increase.

B. John Gave Instruction As He Pointed To Jesus

1. He Spoke About The Look

(John 1:29) The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

(John 1:36) And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!

behold – Greek 2396. ide, id'-eh; second pers. sing. imper. act. of G1492; used as an interjection to denote surprise; lo!:--behold, lo, see.

2. He Spoke About The Lamb

Every word here is emphatic, and precious beyond all expression. “THE LAMB” here, beyond all doubt, points to the death of Christ, and the sacrificial character of that death. (Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary)

Albert Barnes wrote…

A “lamb,” among the Jews, was killed and eaten at the Passover to commemorate their deliverance from Egypt, Exodus 12:3-11. A lamb was offered in the tabernacle, and afterward in the temple, every morning and evening, as a part of the daily worship, Exodus 29:38-39. The Messiah was predicted as a lamb led to the slaughter, to show his patience in his sufferings, and readiness to die for man, Isaiah 53:7. A lamb, among the Jews, was also an emblem of patience, meekness, gentleness. On “all” these accounts, rather than on any one of them alone, Jesus was called “the Lamb.” (From Barnes' Notes)

(John 12:32) And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

John the Baptist has been preaching and pointing to Jesus, and it is this that has prompted the two disciples to follow Jesus…

(John 1:37) And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.

(John 1:38) Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?

This brings us to the next point of emphasis…

II. Let’s Notice The Inquiries In This Passage

(It Is Here That Curiosity Is Expressed)

A. Consider The Question That Was Asked By Jesus – What Are You Looking For?

(John 1:38) Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?

seek – Greek 2212. zeteo; to seek, desire, endeavor, enquire (for). (Same word in Luke 19 when Zacchaeus “sought” to see Jesus.)

The one who came to seek and to save that which was lost is not rebuking these timid ones for seeking Him; rather, He is inviting them in to present the desire of their heart.

1. Let’s Think About The Posture Of Jesus As He Asked This Question

Jesus turned – Greek 4762. strepho, stref'-o; strengthened from the base of G5157; to twist, i.e. turn quite around or reverse (lit. or fig.):--convert, turn (again, back again, self, self about).

We may learn that Jesus regards the first inclinations of the soul to follow him. He “turned” toward these disciples, and he will incline his ear to all who begin to approach him for salvation. Jesus is ready to hear their requests and to answer them. (Barnes’ Notes)

He does not utter these words in a harsh way but in a hearkening way; not a mean way but a mentoring way.

2. Let’s Think About The Purpose Of Jesus As He Asked This Question

[What seek ye?] This was not asked to obtain “information.” It was not a harsh reproof, forbidding them to follow him. It was a kind inquiry respecting their desires; an invitation to lay open their minds, to state their wishes, and to express all their feelings respecting the Messiah and their own salvation. (Barnes’ Notes)

B. Consider The Question That Was Asked Of Jesus – Where Do You Live?

(John 1:38) Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?

1. Notice The Respect That They Had For Jesus

Rabbi – Greek 4461. rhabbi, hrab-bee'; of Heb. or. [H7227 with pron. suffix]; my master, i.e. Rabbi, as an official title of honor:--Master, Rabbi.

Master – Greek 1320. didaskalos, did-as'-kal-os; from G1321; an instructor (gen. or spec.):--doctor, master, teacher.

Matthew Henry said…

In calling him Rabbi, they intimated that their design in coming to him was to be taught by him; rabbi signifies a master, a teaching master; the Jews called their doctors, or learned men, rabbi’s. The word comes from rab, multus or magnus, a rabbi, a great man, and one that, as we say, has much in him. Never was there such a rabbi as our Lord Jesus, such a great one, in whom were hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. These came to Christ to be his scholars, so must all those that apply themselves to him. John had told them that he was the Lamb of God; now this Lamb is worthy to take the book and open the seals as a rabbi, Revelation 5:9.

Henry also said…

Those that have had some communion with Christ cannot but desire,

[1.] A further communion with him; they follow on to know more of him.

[2.] A fixed communion with him; where they may sit down at his feet, and abide by his instructions. It is not enough to take a turn with Christ now and then, but we must lodge with him.

2. Notice The Request That They Had Of Jesus

Where dwellest thou?

dwellest – Greek 3306. meno, men'-o; a prim. verb; to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy):--abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for), X thine own.

Alexander Maclaren said…

The disciples’ answer was simple and timid. They did not venture to say, “May we talk to you?” “Will you take us to be your disciples?” All they can muster courage to ask now is, “Where dwellest Thou?” At another time, perhaps, we will go to this Rabbi and speak with Him. (From The Biblical Illustrator)

The indication is that they wanted directions so they could come by sometime.

III. Let’s Notice The Invitation In This Passage

(It Is Here That A Call Is Extended)

A. Jesus Invited These Men To A Place Of Accompaniment

(John 1:39) He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.

The Greek word used for “Come” (erchomai) is also rendered as “accompanied” in Acts 11:12.

He is interested in their present accompaniment and their perpetual accompaniment.

1. Let’s Think About The Tone Of This Verb

This word “come” seems to have a tone of urgency to it.

Alexander Maclaren said… His answer is “Come now!” (From The Biblical Illustrator)

Kenneth Wuest’s Expanded New Testament Translation renders the phrase, “Be coming and you shall see.”

2. Let’s Think About The Time Of This Visit

Some of the newer translations read in verse 39 that it was about four o’clock in the afternoon, while other translations state that it was about the tenth hour.

As Marvin Vincent states…

The question is whether this is to be reckoned according to the Jewish or the Roman method of computation. The Jewish method, employed by the other Evangelists, begins the day at sunrise; so that, according to this, the tenth hour would be four o’clock in the afternoon. The Roman method, like our own, reckons from midnight; according to which the tenth hour would be ten o’clock in the morning. (Vincent’s Word Studies in the NT)

In either case, their visit would have lasted several hours.

I like A. T. Robertson’s notations about verse 39:

Come and ye shall see. (This is a) ‎Polite invitation and (a) definite promise.

They abode with him. “By his side,” (or) “beside him.”

B. Jesus Invited These Men To The Possibility Of Awareness

(John 1:39) He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.

1. Consider The Thought That Is Wrapped Up In This Word “See”

The Greek word used for “see” is also rendered as “be aware, perceive, understand, look.” It is the root of the word that is translated “behold” in John’s statements.

2. Consider The Transparency That Is Wrapped Up In This Word “See”

Urijah R. Thomas said…

Invited by Christ, they spend many hours with Him, and come away convinced of His Messiahship; He had nothing to conceal. The more they know, the clearer His glory. In this He is a contrast to most of the world's heroes and an example to all teachers. (From The Biblical Illustrator)

Come and see; come and learn; come and know; come and experience for yourself.

An affecting scene occurred in the streets of Baltimore. Two little sisters were looking through a large store window at the toys within, and trying to describe what they saw to a little blind sister who was with them. They were exhausting their feeble powers of description to bring home to the mind of their blind companion what they saw, although she listened greedily. But, after all, they failed to present anything more than an imperfect representation. The gentleman who saw the circumstance said that it was extremely touching, that they tried hard to describe the collection in the store, but they could not do it. That is just like trying to tell you of Christ. We may exhaust our powers of description, but the effect will be very moderate. You must come and see His beauties with your own eyes. (W. M. Punshon from The Biblical Illustrator)

I would also point out that to “Come and see” was followed by a life of “Go and tell.”

(John 1:40-42) One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. {41} He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. {42} And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.


We in the south just ooze with hospitality and cordiality. And frequently we might say to someone, “Come and see me sometime.” But often, that is nothing more than a casual remark of kindness.

But when Jesus says it, He means it – with sincerity and immediacy

Further Notation:

When Rick Warren wrote “The Purpose Driven Church,” he came up with a visual representation of different groups in church experience. And each group is represented through a series of concentric circles. The widest circle is the Community which includes those living around your church that never attend or attend occasionally. The next circle is the Crowd which includes those who attend your church regularly but are not members. The third circle represents the Congregation which includes those who are committed to both Christ and membership in your church family. Fourth is the Committed, and this group includes those members who are serious about growing to spiritual maturity and those whose habits suggest that they are becoming genuinely mature in faith. The innermost circle is the Core, and this group includes those members who are actively serving and committed to the ministry and mission of the church.

Jesus invites us to come as close in as we will. He wants us to “Come and see.”