As a follow-up to my last post I have been thinking again about Jesus' very first question in the story John 1: 35-39. Some jottings follow that maybe will stir us up spiritually!
Have you had a problem of starting with Jesus? Maybe you are at the very beginnings unsure how to start the journey of Christian faith? Or, perhaps, you have hit a patch where Jesus no longer seems as real and you would like to re-start? How can we begin and be sure it is real?
Jesus' first question in John's gospel - John 1: 38 - is one of the greatest spiritual helps we could ever have. Two would-be disciples wonder how to begin. They can have little clue what lies ahead. They already know that Jesus is a significant and powerful figure. Their teacher, John the Baptist, called him 'The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world'. But even to speak to him seems improbable,let alone get to know him. When they draw close they must wonder what will happen. Will their hopes of getting to know him have any chance?
We should always marvel how Jesus takes the initiative. He could have commanded attention on his own terms. Just how would you expect the Lamb of God to speak? But he asks a question which reveals how he always seeks to deal with anyone who wishes to begin with him. What do you want? What are you looking for?
Could you have a more open question than that? So basic yet gloriously authentic. Jesus opens the way for them to be real with Him, so that they can honestly share what they are after and reveal who they are. Jesus is not quizzing them about their religious beliefs or experience. He is opening up conversation about their reasons for being there and they are about to discover that there is nothing more wonderfull than being listened to by one whose love and wisdom is greater than humankind can ever find elsewhere. They don't know yet how Jesus behaves with people. They have yet to hear him say: 'Anyone who comes to me I will never drive away' (John 6:27). They are the first to find out how Jesus deals with ordinary people, very ordinary, who would like to get close to him.