Invite Them To “Come and See” Jesus

One of the biggest hurdles that keeps us from living an outward life for the sake of the Gospel is the fear of being asked questions we do not have the answers to. Our mind quickly races to the debate that we assume we will have with someone and if we can’t in our mind confidently win the debate we too often choose not to engage.

But when the disciples first encountered Jesus and decided to follow him, and tell others about him, they knew little about him. They did not have theological training. They were not educated in the art of debate. They knew one thing: Jesus was the Messiah they had been waiting for.

In John 1:45 it says that Philip (a new follower of Jesus) went to Nathanael and said, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.”

Now like anyone would, Nathanael had questions. His first question was, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Nazareth was a small, insigifcant town in Galilee. Based on Nathanael’s response it could have been a town with a poor reputation. What Nathanael was asking was, “If God was going to send His Messiah, it seems unlikely he would come from a place like Nazareth.”

Nathanael had just asked his first skeptic question. How is Philip going to respond? What is going to be his rebuttal? This first attempt might make or break this invitation to Nathanael. Philip could have tried to answer his concerns by quoting Scriptures that tell us the Messiah will be “despised and rejected” (Is 53:3) which means maybe he did come from a town people looked down on.

But Philip didn’t enter into the debate. Rather he simple said, “Come and see for yourself.”

What a great response. Philip didn’t get distracted by the debate. He simply invited him to get to know Jesus. One of the ways we get help someone “come and see” Jesus today is to spend time in God’s Word with them. Invite them to study one of the Gospels together. Let’s look at who Jesus is. Will they still have questions? Sure. And we help them work through those questions. But our best defense is to gather around the word of God together and let God speak into their heart and mind.

Recent I began meeting with a man who was going through some challenging things in his life. Although he had a church background in his childhood, he was not a Christian. In fact, now as an adult he admitted that he was unsure if God actually existed. I asked him if would be willing to read the Gospel of John with me. He agreed. And one of the things I asked him if he was willing was to pray that God would reveal himself to him. He also agreed to that. We started meeting weekly and discussing each chapter. After a couple of meetings, I asked him if he sensed God saying anything to him as he read the Bible. He paused and then said, “I sense God nudging.” It was statement that was saying that he believed that God was trying to get his attention. What I loved about that simple response is both a recognition of the reality of God and the recognition that God is a personal God who pursues us.

We didn’t get to that place because I had answered all of his questions. And he still had questions. But he moved to the reality that Jesus was the son of God because I simply invited him to come and see Jesus.

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