Come and See

16 January 2017

‘Come and See.’ Such a simple phrase, and yet one of the most profound in all of scripture. This is God – the creator, the one in whom we all live move and have our being, extending to us a great and gracious invitation. Come and see…

God the creator is above and beyond creation. There is God… and there is everything else. In many ways perhaps never the twain shall meet – because it cannot meet. Our existence, our very being is so very different. CS Lewis once described the difference as the difference between the great author Shakespeare and his creation Hamlet. On such a vastly different level of existence. How can Hamlet possibly know of the existence of his creator? Let alone understand or come to terms with him?

Of course, we can’t extend that analogy too far but the point is made; the gulf between creator and created is vast, insurmountable. It can never be bridged. Or can it? Because that’s what God did. God wrote God’s self into our play, our drama. God did this by becoming human. God made that bridge between two completely different ways of being. God became man. And in doing so, God walked and talked, laughed, wept and suffered alongside us.

Two human beings, two disciples of John the Baptist, become suddenly aware of this sameness-but-difference that is somehow embodied in Jesus of Nazareth (John 1.35-39). Thus, they are drawn away from the human ministry of John the Baptist and drawn towards the divine that they sense in Jesus.

And Jesus turns and sees them following and asks them: ‘What are you looking for?’ Just as he says to us today on our own human journeys, in our own earthly wanderings: ‘What are you looking for?’

What are we looking for? Something beyond the here and now; that difference which we sense is certainly there. It is somewhere beyond what we can see and touch and hear and taste and feel.

What are you looking for? Jesus asks. And the disciples reply: Rabbi, Teacher. In other words: teach us. Teach those things which the world cannot fully comprehend, fully understand, fully grasp. And Jesus, fully man but also fully God, replies: “Come and see.” Welcome. Join me. Let me show you. And they come. And they stay with him. And in doing so, they see.  

Through Jesus, the mystery of God is being made accessible to the disciples. He calls us, too, even now to get to know him better, so that we may begin to know the Father better.

We cannot fully comprehend what it is that is drawing us beyond the here and now, but to which we are invited and to which we are made most welcome. Yet, if we take the time to stop and to listen amidst the hurly-burly of our daily lives, we will surely hear Jesus say: ‘Come and see’.

Come and see.