John 1:38-39 Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “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.
In John 1:38-39, John, Andrew, and Simon Peter are following Jesus. What does it mean to follow Jesus? Yes, John, Andrew, and Simon were physically following Jesus from place to place, but they also wanted to know Jesus more. Do I want to know him more? Am I following him? I don’t mean do I know him or even do I love him. Am I following him? Is what he says most important in my life? Even when it is hard, do I trust him when something doesn't make sense in my life? That can be challenging to do! When Jesus realizes that John, Andrew, and Simon Peter are following him, he turns and asks them - “What are you seeking?” I could answer this question in many ways - rest, fun with my friends, and good grades this fall. But, of all the things I could seek, will my answer to Jesus’s question be - I am seeking you, Jesus! Commit this summer to come and see Jesus every week. Make time for Jesus in your summer schedule, even if it is only fifteen minutes a day. See what he can do in your life!
Week 2: See the Unexpected Jesus
John 1:43-46 "The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
When Phillip tells Nathanael he had found Jesus, the one the Jews were waiting for, Nathaneal didn’t believe it. Nathanael didn’t expect Jesus to come from Nazareth, a place looked down upon for being poor and uncivilized. Nathanael expected Jesus to come from a great and wealthy city, a place with a superb army that could defeat their enemies. Jesus didn’t meet Nathanael's expectations. You might be living with unmet expectations right now. Maybe you didn’t get into your first choice of nursing school, maybe you had an expectation of what your summer would look like and it looks very different, maybe your family isn’t as supportive as you had hoped about a situation in your life. It’s tough! Phillip’s invitation to Nathanael is the same one Jesus gives to us - Come and see. Come to Jesus, bring your unmet expectations and disappointments, and lay them at Jesus’s feet in prayer. See what Jesus can do with open hands and an open heart. He is in the business of surprising us with his love and his presence even in the most disappointing circumstances. Spend time in prayer this week with the unexpected Jesus.
Week 3: See with Jesus’ Eyes
John 4:34-36 “Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest? Look, I tell you, lift your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. 36 Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together.”
In John 4:34-35, Jesus knows what he is supposed to do. He is to do God’s work. When he does this he will be satisfied, just like eating a good meal. I don’t know about you, but I don’t always know what God is asking me to do. So, how does Jesus know? He spends time with God, just like you have been spending time with Jesus this summer. When we spend time with God we better understand his will and desires. Jesus invites us to see with his eyes. He invites us to look and see the people around us who are ready to come and see Jesus. When we do this, we share the joy of being on mission with Jesus! Who in your life is ready to come and see Jesus? Ask Jesus to show you who they are and ask him to give you the words to say to them this week.
Week 4: When We Don’t See Jesus
John 7:33-34 “Jesus then said, “I will be with you a little longer, and then I am going to him who sent me. 34 You will seek me and you will not find me. Where I am you cannot come.”
If you heard Jesus say this, how would you feel? I can imagine Jesus’ friends would feel confused, hurt, and maybe even a little scared. There are times in my life I don’t see Jesus. Even if I come and see Jesus, I don’t feel him. In this passage, Jesus is letting his friends know that he is going to be with God and his friends can’t physically come. But, we know the rest of the story, because Jesus leaves his friends to go to the cross, we can come and see Jesus. He made a way for us to come to God! When we don’t feel Jesus, we can remember what he did on the cross and know he loves us. Maybe there is something in your life that is a barrier between you and Jesus. Spend time with Jesus this week and pray about that barrier. Ask him what to do. Even if you don’t feel him, trust Jesus’ love for you. He will never leave you or forsake you. Give it time!
Week 5: Jesus Sees Our Pain
John 11:33-35 “When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. ‘Where have you laid him?’ he asked.‘Come and see, Lord,’ they replied.Jesus wept”
When we are in pain, struggling with grief, or a challenge that seems too heavy to carry, it is easy to feel alone. Maybe even feeling that Jesus could not understand our pain, and yet, that is exactly where he meets us. In this passage, Jesus is with Mary who has recently buried her brother. This verse tells us that Jesus was “deeply moved”-- he genuinely cared for the pain that Mary was experiencing.What are you struggling with that you can share with Jesus? A loss? A fear? The weight of nursing school? Allow yourself to invite Jesus into that pain, vulnerably sharing your feelings with him and knowing that he sees you and is with you in the pain. Re-read these verses a few times and let them remind you that Jesus does know what you are carrying and is there with you, full of compassion.