Whether talking with the disciples, speaking in a public forum, or defending Himself before His enemies, Jesus consistently asked questions. In the four gospels, Jesus asked over 300 questions.
What are you looking for?
The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as he walked by 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 seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and you will see.” So 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 Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ).
Often I read a passage and can vividly insert myself into the scene. This particular story in John paints a familiar picture to me. Jesus walks by John the Baptist and two of his disciples and John shouts, “Behold the Lamb of God!” The two who are with him immediately begin to follow after Jesus. We don’t really know if they are compelled by curiosity or instantly know in their spirit that He is the Messiah.
Regardless of the reason, Jesus sees that they are walking behind Him and gently asks them one simple question: “What are you seeking?” He isn’t scolding or rejecting or scoffing at them in any way. Instead, He invites them to stop and consider what they are after.
Their response is classic, and it’s why I can most relate to the scene. Instead of answering the question, they deflect it by asking Jesus a question. “Rabbi, where are you staying?” Even though Jesus is fully aware that they completely overlooked His question, He keeps them engaged by inviting them to continue on the journey with Him. He already knows that what they are looking for will not be found in where He is actually going but rather in what they will discover about Him and about themselves as they spend more time with Him.
Many days I have heard the Lord whisper this same question to me as I busily move from one task to another, fretting about something or someone, yet refusing to stop and consider what I am doing. “What are you looking for, Jackie?” He asks quietly.
I don’t always know the answer to that question. Like the disciples I am tempted to just ask Him another. But, when I take some time, I often want the same thing that I think they wanted. A deep, abiding relationship with God. Peace. Rest. Joy. The day-to-day struggles can keep these longings buried if I let them.
What about you? For just a minute, imagine Jesus turning toward you to ask you this same question. If you don’t know what you would say, then consider what you are busy doing. Our actions tell us so much about what we really want. Tune into your thoughts. Our mental dialogue and the things that take up so much space in our heads often reveal our deepest desires. Lastly, become aware of how you are feeling both emotionally and physically, even now as you read this. Our emotions and physical state are greatly impacted by what we hold in our minds and by what we are doing with our hands.
Together, these typically reveal something about our deepest desires. Jesus invited the disciples to “Come and see” by allowing them to journey with Him. He invites us to do the same. When we seek Him by spending time with Him in prayer and in His Word, we will ultimately find what we are really looking for.