I love getting invitations. As an introvert, the words — You’re Invited — quell the lies that say I’m forgotten, invisible or unimportant.
Perhaps that’s why I find Jesus’s response in John 1:39 so powerful. When several of John the Baptist’s disciples came to Jesus and asked him where he was staying, he issued this invitation: Come and you will see.
A few verses later, Philip finds his friend Nathanael and tells him that Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph, is the Deliverer — the Messiah — the One prophesied by Moses and the prophets.
According to Philip, Israel’s long-awaited Savior had finally arrived. But a question burned within Nathanael, and he could not proceed until it was answered: Can anything good come out of Nazareth?
While the tone of his question is undeniably sour, there’s a valid reason for it. Nazareth — with a population of approximately 500 people — was tiny. Located roughly 16 miles from the Sea of Galilee, it wasn’t on any of the trade routes heading toward the Mediterranean Sea. Since no one traveled toward (or through) that region, opinion commonly held of Nazareth was that it was out-in-the-sticks, full of simple-minded (or possibly even ignorant) folk. Could the son of a carpenter, from a backwoods village, with no formal education or training in the scriptures, be the One?
Taking a cue from Jesus, Philip invites Nathanael to get his answer in person with these three words: Come and see. As Nathanael walks toward Jesus, he hears Jesus say to him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit.”
“How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.
Jesus replied, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
That statement, which embodied the proof Nathanael needed, inspired this declaration: “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
What about you? Do you have a burning question that needs to be answered before you’ll agree to place your trust in Him? If you’ve got questions, bring them to the One whose holding your answers. You’re Invited — come and see.