- Written by Tom Miles Tom Miles
- Created: 25 May 2011 25 May 2011
Philip said to Nathaniel, “Come and see!”
St. John jumps right into the action in his Gospel. After the prologue (“In the beginning was the Word …”), he tells how Jesus came to call His first apostles. Andrew and another man were following John the Baptist when Jesus came to them and the Baptizer confessed, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” After spending the day with Jesus, these two decided to follow Him. Andrew then invited his brother, too: Simon, whom Jesus would rename “Peter.”
Then, St. John says, Jesus “decided to leave Galilee” and “finding Philip, He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’” Jesus sought out Philip, and Philip followed after just two words! In fact, like Andrew, he went to share the news: Philip told his friend Nathaniel, “We have found Him!” When Nathaniel expressed doubts that the Messiah could come from such a humble place as Nazareth, Philip told him, “Come and see!” And Nathaniel would follow Jesus, and see many works and wonders and hear many astounding teachings.
“Come and see,” said Martha to Jesus.
Mary and Martha had sent an urgent message to Jesus days before, telling Him that their brother, Lazarus, was very ill. But Jesus did not come for ten days, and, by the time He arrived, Lazarus had died. Mary and Martha, in faith, had given up on seeing Lazarus again on earth, though they both knew that they would see him again in heaven.
Jesus asked the women where they had laid Lazarus, and Martha said, “Come and see,” and guided Jesus to the tomb, which had been sealed with a stone. Jesus wept at the loss of His friend, but then had the tomb opened. He called, “Lazarus, come out!” And Lazarus walked out. With this astounding victory over death, Jesus began the walk toward His own tomb.
“Come and see,” said the angel to Mary Magdelene and the other Mary.
Jesus had been taken by the authorities, accused, beaten and, finally, convicted to death and hung on a Roman cross. His body was placed in a rich man’s tomb and sealed with a stone and a guard.
The two Marys came that morning to finish performing the death rites on Jesus’ body. They arrived with tears in their eyes and sorrow on their faces.
And then, announced by a thundering earthquake, an angel arrived and said to them, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay.” The women saw the empty tomb, and they believed.
“Come and see” is the invitation that the Holy Spirit makes through all of God’s people, using us like He used Philip, to bring all people to the Gospel. That two-part invitation is the basis of our witness, as we invite others to “come”—to join the congregation of Saint John’s in this special place that is set aside for the worship and work of Jesus Christ—and to “see”—to experience our Risen Christ in the teaching of the Scriptures, the water of baptism, the bread and wine of communion, in singing, in rejoicing and in fellowship.
Extend the invitation: “Come and see!”