“When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, ‘What are you looking for?’ They said to him, ‘Rabbi’ (which translated means Teacher), ‘where are you staying?’ He said to them, ‘Come and see.’ They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon.” (John 1:38 – 39)
I don’t know if the writer of John was intentionally making this connection but he has Jesus going back to where he was staying and inviting his new “potential” followers to “come and see.” Moreover, we are given a time reference of four o’clock in the afternoon, when Andrew goes to get his brother and return, to end this introduction of a call to follow Jesus.
We understand that Jesus was crucified on what we call Good Friday at noon. We think he died at three in the afternoon. I ponder then that Jesus’ engagement with Andrew and the other follower of John the Baptist, was during these hours and a foreshadowing of Jesus coming to us and dragging those of us, who are curious enough, to follow him back to his heavenly kingdom.
The key question however comes to us from Jesus as he asks, “What are you looking for?” I wish we had them to answer the question. But they don’t. They respond to the question with a question, “Where are you staying?” Let us respond to Jesus. What are we looking for? More personally, what are you looking for?
I think curiosity and searching is a part of our human make-up. I think we are born to search. God made us that way on purpose. However we get to choose “What” or “Who” we will search for. We have searched to the ends of the earth just to see if it had an end (flat). We are searching the outer most reaches of space and the depths of the seas. Archeologists dig without knowing what they will find; they just search and try to make sense of what they find. We are searching for cures to cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. We look now at our own genetic make-up so that we can search further into who we are. Search, search, search, it’s what we do. So when Andrew and the other disciple looked into the eyes of “All Answers” they could only ask, “Where are you staying?”
Interestingly, when these searchers found Jesus, Jesus often re-identified some of them. Jesus changed Simon to Peter and later Saul to Paul, new names for a new search. So you get to fill in the blank of “I am in search of _________________. Who will this search cause you to be or become? In many ways I am like the archeologists; I just ponder and try to make sense of what I find. But for all of us, we only have to follow Jesus and look into the eyes of “All Answers” and ask “Where are you staying?”
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying through and to God’s people and “Ponder anew what the Almighty can do.” John Thomas Frazier Sr.