“The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples; and he looked at Jesus as he walked, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God!’ The two disciples heard him say (this), and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned, and saw them following, and said to them, ‘What are you looking for (Τί ζητεῖτε)?’ And they said to him, ‘Rabbi’ (which meansTeacher), ‘where are you staying?’ He said to them, ‘Come and see.’ They came and saw where he was staying; and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two who heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.” (Jn 1: 35-40)
I’m looking at this passage today, when those of us on the Older Calendar celebrate the day of St. Andrew, the “first-called” of the Apostles. Andrew already had a great teacher, St. John the Baptist. But still, he hadn’t found what he was looking for. (Feel free to break into song, U2-fans.) And John the Baptist does what great teachers do, not clinging to “his” disciples but pointing them in the right direction, to follow their true vocation. Then, Christ greets them with the Big Question of the human heart, “What are you looking for?” – to which they have no real response, but another question. So they need to “come and see” more, about this “Rabbi.”
I have nothing new to say about this well-known incident. My mind is blown, nonetheless, by the subtlety of our Lord, Who greets these “seekers” not with a warm embrace, or assurances, e.g., “You’ve come to the right place!” or “Look no more!” – but with their own question: “What are you looking for?” And He lets them inquire further…, and the rest is history!
This morning I hear the Lord ask me, once again, “What are you looking for?” And I come over to “His place,” once again, in some heartfelt prayer, that I may not wander about on my own, but see the things God has to show me today. Thank You, Lord, for gifting us all with a hungry heart, and calling us, again and again, to “come and see.”