“What do you seek?” It was a loaded question and one that would dramatically change their lives….forever. Unnerved at the abruptness of the question and the penetrating stare of the Teacher, the two men did not at first know how to respond. One of them blurted out brashly “Teacher, where do you dwell?” “Come and see” answered the Teacher, eyes smiling with unspoken pleasure at their response. And so they did.*
It was Andrew and (many believe) John who followed Jesus that day, most probably staying with him overnight and into the next day. We know this because it was 4 p.m., the tenth hour of a Jewish day when they followed. A Jewish day begins and ends at 6 p.m. and for them to remain with Him ‘that day” could well imply a full 24 hour period. So, with one critical question began their discipleship.
What do you seek, what do you want of Me, or similar, was a question Jesus asked others also, even when their need seemed obvious to anyone observing. On the road to Jericho He asked of two blind men: “What do you want me to do for you?” Likewise to the man disabled for thirty eight years waiting for a miracle at the Pool of Bethesda: “Do you want to be made well?” And to a woman seeking favour for her two sons: “What do you wish?”
Jesus knows we come to Him with agendas. It wasn’t that He didn’t understand the blind men wanted to see, or the disabled man wanted to walk, or even that the mother wanted something special for her sons. (A woman’s status was directly related to the status of her male children, as she had none of her own.) The purpose of His question was to uncover their own hearts to those He engaged with. As the living Word of God His conversation had the power to expose the thoughts and intents of every human heart (Heb. 4:12).
Even John and Andrew had an agenda when they first came to Jesus. They were looking for a Messiah who would set Israel free from the yoke of Roman rule and establish their nation under His kingship. But Jesus can handle our agendas. “Come as you are” He says “and we’ll sort it out on the way!” He knows our end will be far different from our beginning and that all that is self-serving will be stripped away on the journey. The question really is, can we handle His agenda?
We know little of Andrew’s life except that the gospels reveal Him as one who was instrumental in bringing people to Jesus (John 6:8,9; 12:21,22). It is believed after preaching the gospel throughout Asia Minor he was martyred by crucifixion around 69 A.D., preaching Christ to those looking on until his last breath.
John is well known as the disciple who leaned on Jesus’ breast at the last supper and the only one of the twelve to be present at Jesus’ crucifixion (John 13:25; John 19:26). He suffered greatly as a Roman prisoner on the island of Patmos and was the instrument God used to give us the book of Revelation.
And it all started with that one question: What do you seek?
There was something passionate and single-eyed in John and Andrew’s response to Jesus that day, a passion that endured all their lives long after thoughts of setting up an earthly kingdom had been dealt with. That kind of abiding, Christ-directed passion will be absolutely vital in the challenging days ahead of us if we are not to be derailed from following the Lamb wherever He goes. But where is it? Where is the unabashed, shameless passion that cries out: Lord, where do you dwell?
This is what I believe Jesus saw in the hearts of the two disciples that day they first met:
Oh, Master, we have heard from the lips of John the Baptiser that You are the Lamb of God. Teacher, we do not know, we do not understand even what that means or where you are going. But it is enough for us!
It is enough to make us hunger and thirst to be in Your Presence!
It is enough to make us want to sit at Your feet and learn of You!
It is enough to make us want to gaze on Your Face always!
It is enough to make us forsake all we have previously known and belong only to You!
It is enough to make us desire You above all else, even to the dying to all our own plans and agendas!
And Lamb of God it is enough to make us desperate to know:
WHERE DO YOU DWELL!
You know, Jesus longs for burning hearts, can even tolerate cold hearts, but a lukewarm heart He will not abide (Rev. 3:16) Following Him in this day and hour is not for the fainthearted. It is for those with undivided hearts, burning hearts, passionate hearts, enduring hearts, who will not look back. We are deluded if we believe we are following Jesus while we’re half-hearted about it or distracted from giving Him pre-eminence in all things.
So, what do we seek? Will we settle for a ticket to Heaven, a healing, a petition granted, a desperate need met? Or is there more on offer? Where is this passionate Bride for whom only Christ in all His fullness will be enough, regardless the cost?
What do you seek?
*Scripture Reference for this article is John 1:35-39
©Cheryl McGrath, Bread for the Bride, 2012 All rights reserved.