A Voice in the
Wilderness

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                           *** PORTIONS ***

Re: Come and See

And looking at Jesus walking, [John the baptist] said, Behold, the Lamb
of God! And the two disciples heard him speaking, and they followed
Jesus. But having seen them following, Jesus said to them, What do you
seek? And they said to Him, Rabbi, where do You stay? He said to them,
Come and see... (Jn1:36-39) and they spent the day with Him.

What were the two hoping to see? This is the Messiah that John has just
pointed out. The "King of the Jews". Were they looking to see what kind
of royal splendor He lived in? If Jesus had been of such circumstances,
everybody would have known. But up to this point, Jesus was in relative
obscurity. People didn't know Him any more than they knew anybody else.

When somebody is pointed out, and introduced as being God's Annointed,
but when you see Him "He has no form nor magnificence that we should
see Him; nor form that we should desire Him" (Is53:2b), He looks just
like anybody else, there is a mystique because He is labelled a
"teacher". Educated people were of a higher social standing.  What does
a 'commoner' do?  Just waltz right up and say, "Howdy, Mister. We hear
that you are the Messiah! How do You do! And our names are..."? I can
about imagine they were trying to 'blend in' with the crowd to not be
noticed, but following, just the same. Do some 'scouting' and find out
-about- this One.

Oh, oh!! 'Found out!  "What do you seek?" (vs38)  Well, uhhh, sputter,
stammer... "Where do You live?"  And Jesus says, "Come and see". You
want to know about Me? What better way than to observe. "And the Word
became flesh and tabernacled among us. And we beheld His glory, glory
as of an only begotten from the Father, full of grace and of truth."
(Jn1:14)  "..what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what
we beheld, and what our hands touched, as regards the Word of Life."
(1Jn1:1)

What they saw as they "hung out" with Jesus prompted Andrew to go find
his brother, "We have found the Messiah" (Jn1:41) And now, where the
disciples had wanted to know about Jesus, Jesus demonstrates how He
already knows these "strangers" who are making His aquaintance. Simon,
I already know you, and your new name is "Peter". (vs42)

Now, the next day Jesus invites Philip, "Follow Me" (vs43)

Let's notice something about Jesus' methods. In keeping with His
invitation given later on, "Come unto me...I will give you rest. Take
My yoke...because I am meek and lowly in heart...My yoke is easy, and
My burden is light." (Mt11:28-30)  Jesus seeks people out. "What do you
seek? ...come and see." Regarding the woman of Samaria it says "it was
needful for Him to pass through Samaria." (Jn4:4) He -deliberately-
sought her out, engaged her in conversation, specifically showed her
her sin, and invited...See Who I Am. "I AM (the Messiah & Savior), the
One speaking to you." (vs26)

Notice the contrast. John the Baptist went about speaking of "offspring
of vipers!" and the "axe" which was "laid at the root of the trees".
(Mt3) John was rather "harsh" and "unloving" in his approach...who
warned you? What are -you- doing here?  Jesus came along inviting
people, tenderly, to "come to Him". And people marvelled at the
"gracious words" (Lk4:22) He spoke.  Now, to be sure, when Jesus speaks
to the hard-of-heart, He becomes harsh, too. And as He has been
speaking His "gracious words", He knows the hearts of His home-towners, 
and basically lets them know He knows their hearts, that they are in 
unbelief... which they then prove to be true by getting riled up in 
anger and try to throw Him over a cliff.(Lk4:29)

Were John's methods wrong? Well, no. Jesus called him the "greatest"
prophet. (Mt11:11) John pointed people to Jesus. When harrassed, "tell
us who you are" he refused to say, only, "I am not the Christ" (Jn1:20)
Well, who/what are you?  Sometimes I think I upset people, too.
Occasionally people e-mail, asking, "Who/what is VW? Who's doing this?
What kind of organization do you have?" I typically do not give any
information, telling them, often point blank, that 'my name' means
nothing. That we are "looking unto Jesus" (Heb12:2) through the
Scriptures. And on those occasions I also make a deliberate point of
NOT signing my name to the reply. Once in awhile I get a "hmph!" type
of retort back.  But you see, like John replied, "I am a voice crying
in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord." (Jn1:23) "Repent
for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Mt3:2)  I'm a nobody! "He must
increase, but I must decrease." (Jn3:30)

John's message continues, "One stands in your midst whom you do not
know." (Jn1:26) And sadly enough, this is the same message today. There
is so much that is called "the church" but they do not know Jesus
Christ. John proclaimed, "Behold! The Lamb of God..!" Look to Jesus.
Look to God's Word; since the Word and Jesus are the same, and they
both are God. (Jn1:1)

And so, Jesus sees the two following Him and He says, "come and see".
They see, and realize He is the Messiah. So, what is Philip's method of
evangelizing Nathanael? Did he bring a tract, a "four-laws" booklet,
tickets to a concert or movie, or suggest the "sinners prayer"? No.
Nathanael needed to see Jesus. He says, "come and see". (Jn1:46)

Rather than inviting people to all sorts of stage shows and
hollywood-style media blitzes where people are sensuously titillated by
performances which they stand and applaud, people need to be invited to
"see Jesus".  Jesus never did anything approaching "show biz". It says
of Him, "He will not strive nor cry out, nor will anyone hear His voice
in the streets." (Mt12:19)  Where does the world see Jesus?  The early
disciples were noticed as "being with Jesus." (Acts4:13)  We "put on
the Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom13:14)

John had it right. Repent...and Behold the Lamb of God. Today that
which calls itself the "church" no longer preaches repentance. And as a
result, the "jesus" they proclaim is not the Word of God, even though
they repeat the name as vain repetitions of the heathen, like a mantra.

Believers today need to invite people to "come and see" Jesus "crowned
with glory and honor, who on account of the suffering of death was made
a little less than the angels" (Heb2:9) as He took on the "form of a
servant". (Phil2:7)  Salvation does not come through the "four laws" or
"sinners prayer" formulae, but through the "name" of Jesus.  (Acts4:12)
"..through the Word of God." (Rom10:17, Jn1:1)

"Come and see" Jesus Who suffered and rose from the dead, and repent
and receive "remission of sins" based on His name. (Lk24:46-47)  And we
are able to invite you to 'come and see' because we have witnessed it,
ourselves. (Lk24:48)

Amen!