Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning October 14th, 2018.
John 1:35-42 NIV
35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” 37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” 39 “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon. 40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).
Today we are going to key in on a simple, but powerful question that Jesus asked: "What do you want?"
We hear this all the time, every where we go:
How can I help you?
What can I do for you?
How may I serve you?
What can I do for you today?
We are constantly questioned by people in some way or another, “What do you want?”
We give our request to meet our particular need and go on with life….
But what about when Jesus asks the question?
Diving in deeper:
To understand what is really going on we must first reexamine to time and setting:
Place: In Bethany - John Baptizing and spreading the word in the region “Make straight the way of the Lord.”
The tension and need of the day throughout the nation of Israel:
Deliverance from the great oppressors - Rome. The typical citizen of Israel longed for relief - longed for the Messiah to come and reestablish a strong Israel where pagan religions and oppression ends.
The culture is moving from devotion to living God’s way to living their own way. The idea of looking after yourself, taking care of yourself, doing what you felt good about - seeking entertainment, (this mindset was ever increasing. Hellinism was becoming more tolerable and many are more dependent upon what they can produce with their own hands than having a dependance upon God. The devotion to the temple is just that, go to the temple and do the prescribed practice. The Essenes go as far as to say the Temple - a place of worship, sacrifice and community isn’t functioning in accordance to God’s will and therefore is broken and not necessary to attend.
It is in this climate and culture that Jesus came. He came. This particular day he went to John.
John sees Jesus and proclaims “Look, the Lamb of God!”
This was a powerful statement. Those in attendance had to take notice. Imagine that moment. What confidence do you put in his words? Is John truly from God?
Other prophets had made great claims through the ages. Even God spoke out against them:
Ezekiel 13:1-4 NIV
1 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are now prophesying. Say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination: ‘Hear the word of the Lord! 3 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! 4 Your prophets, Israel, are like jackals among ruins.
The only way to know if a prophet is a true prophet, examine his words and see, verify. Does what he say come to pass?
So what we see here is this short passage is Andrew following Jesus, examining Jesus. To the point, Jesus stops and turns to them and ask -
WHAT DO YOU WANT?
What a question….what a powerful question.
Then Andrew ask Jesus - Rabbi, where are you staying? Then Jesus simply answers, “come and you will see.”
“So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him.
Andrew was looking for something… more specifically, he was looking for someone.
Someone who would:
-Conquer Rome, bring order to Israel’s chaos.
-Bring relief from the burdens of life.
-Realign the direction of the nation (from Hellenism to a life devoted to God)
-Restore the Nation of Israel under their own king
For us, let’s think about Jesus’ question for ourselves:
WHAT DO YOU WANT?
What is it that you are really looking for in life? What is that you really want? What do you really need?
So much, (maybe everything we do) of what we pursue goes to the core, the underlying truth of what we are really wanting. I believe Jeremiah 6:16 really hits the nail on the head.
Jeremiah 6:16 NIV
16 This is what the Lord says:“Stand at the crossroads and look;ask for the ancient paths,ask where the good way is, and walk in it,and you will find rest for your souls.But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
Do you hear Jesus’ question in this?
What do you want? Do want rest for your soul? Peace for your soul?
I believe that is what we all deeply want! We just don’t know how to really find it.
In order for us to survive this land of confusion we either muddle through it selfishly or reach out for a life preserver. Unfortunately what many reach for is just another form of confusion, just more entertainment or pleasure rather than getting to the heart of the most pressing problem or issue.
True surrender comes through identifying the biggest challenge... My inner thoughts and outward actions aligning to God's heart and His way. Few ever identify the real issue, most travel the course of least resistance and find something a little more appealing than their current problem without regard to God's way.
But what did Jesus say? What did he tell them to do to find the answer?
"Come" - walk with me, be with me, listen to me, spend your time with me, focus your walk (your life) in me
"And you will see" - You will find what you are truly looking for - rest for your soul. A peace that the pleasures of this world cannot bring.
Andrew spent a day with the Lord and walked away convinced that He was the long awaited Messiah. The one He was looking for… the one to bring peace to Israel.
When’s the last time you spent a whole day in worship, prayer and the word? When the last time you spent a day with God?
Make it happen!
Make it a priority!
If not, you may find yourself like Israel in the latter part of Jer. 6:16
"But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’"
What do you want?
Only true peace - wholeness and inner joy, comes from God. Jesus is the one who gives you access to this. Will you surrender to His way? Walk His path and allow Him to renew your mind, strengthen your spirit and bring peace to your soul.