God created us to have fellowship with Him; it’s the only thing that can truly satisfy us. We gain a glimpse of how it was intended to look when we watch God walking with Adam in the Garden of Eden. We all know the story though. Sin crept in and broke that intimate friendship.
But Jesus came to reinstate, through his death on the cross, that deep friendship with God. Even while he was on earth, we start to see this fellowship restored. There is a bible story that tells of one perfect day spent with Jesus.
Strange things have been happening at the river. Two days ago, the priests and Levites came up from Jerusalem. Their questions to the Baptiser were short and terse, intended to trap him in a web of words. Then yesterday something even stranger happened. An unknown man came to the river. We see many people here, of course. Yet as I looked at him, I sensed something… different. My initial impression was confirmed by the reaction of the Baptiser. He startled as he saw the man, and there was awe in his voice as he whispered: “Look, the Lamb of God!”
I have never seen such fervour in his eyes as he told us how—when he baptised this very man—the Spirit of God had come down on him like a dove. I couldn’t really understand it all, but John kept saying that the man was greater than he was, and that he was the one John had come to reveal to Israel. The day grew busy as the crowds arrived and, when I finally had a chance to look for the man, he was gone. I was left with a curious sense of loss.
There is a momentary lull in the day now. The ones who came to be baptised this morning have left, and the next wave of humanity has not yet arrived. We sit on a bluff overlooking the dark water of the Jordan, with the hills of Judea forming a stark backdrop. I like these quiet moments as the Baptiser speaks of the prophets of the past and the promises of the future. Suddenly his words die and we all follow his intense gaze. The man from yesterday is walking on a path to the east of where we sit.
“Look, the Lamb of God! ”
As he says it, I know I can’t let the man get away again. I jump to my feet, my friend John rising with me. Briefly we hesitate, glancing at the Baptiser, who inclines his head ever so slightly. We clamber over the rocks to reach the path, and are breathless by the time we catch up to the man. He hears us coming and turns to face us. For a long—silent—moment he studies us and I have the strangest sensation that he already knows that I am Andrew, brother of Simon, fisherman from Galilee.
“What do you want?” he asks softly.
I want to know him, to speak to him, to ask what John means when he calls him the Lamb of God. I want to ask how it feels to have the Spirit of God rest on you; how it was that he came to be baptised by John and not the other way around. I want to ask why the greatest teacher I know would consider himself unworthy to untie his sandals.
Instead I say: “Rabbi, where are you staying?”
“Come.“ He smiles. “And you will see.”
So we go with the one called Jesus, and spend the day with him. We laugh together, share a simple meal of bread, and listen as he speaks of Yahweh. His words about the Lord are reverent, but tender, almost as if he knows Him. And at the end of that glorious day I understand that everything the Baptiser said about this man is true.
So after we’ve said our shalom’s, I start to run, ignoring the burning in my throat that warns me to slow down. I have to find my brother. Not tomorrow, but now!
As I burst through the door, Simon jumps to his feet. “What is it Andrew?”
“Simon! Come quickly!” I gulp a few breaths into my aching lungs. “We have found the Messiah!”
How I want to do what Andrew did and spend every day with Jesus. I want to be a “Christ-Follower” more than a mere Christian. I want to learn to listen to Him and go where He guides me. I love the part of the story where Andrew rushes off to find Simon. It shows me that a day spent with Jesus will empower us to speak out and lead others to Him.
How do I spend a day with Jesus? Andrew Murray says: “The power to maintain close fellowship with God all day will depend entirely upon the intensity with which we seek to secure it in the hour of secret prayer.”
To put it into everyday language, we need to spend time seeking Him and then hold on to the promise that: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jer 29:13)
Jesus says to each one of us “Come. And you will see.”
Based on John 1:19-42