Well....we're off! I preached the first in my short TRUTH SPACES sermon series this morning on John 1:38. Several people expressed surprise at the strategic placing of this question "What do you want?" Such an open-ended question lies at the very beginning of Jesus ministry. Yet, Jesus actually knows the answers (John 2:25, Mark 2:8, Matt. 12:25, 22:18) Jesus does not ask questions for him to find out about us, but for us to discover with him what we don't yet know about ourselves.
We saw this honest invitation probes their motives. When they ask where he is staying it seems that they want to know if they can spend more time with Jesus. Will he give them more of himself? By his welcome: "Come and you will see" they learn that Jesus comes alongside with transforming friendship. He is a side-by-side Lord, not a top-down Lord.
This sermon set me thinking. Even between the two services it changed greatly. I continue to think about it as I write more this week. I posed some questions in the service sheet:
1. When Jesus asks: "What do you want?" of people who are following him what sort of answer do we give? (We can follow him out of respect for others, belief, needs and despair). What are our answers now?
2. Jesus invites Andrew and his friend to come and stay with him. In what equivalent ways can we stay with Jesus today? (It was wonderful to conclude with Communion which gave us space and time with Jesus in exactly the way he commanded - but what other ways?)
Many other questions arise too. As you go on thinking please let me know your responses. You can post them here, or send me a confidential email on firstname.lastname@example.org, or hand write a note! Thank you for sharing this journey.