What Does John 1:39 Mean?

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.

John 1:39(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

John the Baptist was the prophet of God, foretold by Isaiah. He was called to prepare the way of the Lord and pronounce the arrival of Israel's long-awaited, promised Messiah. John was sent from God as a witness to testify that Jesus was God's anointed King, the Word made flesh, the Light of the world.

John's prophetic mission was to declare that the True Light of God was coming into the world to give light to everyone, and many disciples followed him. But John was not the Messiah, he was simply the voice in the wilderness making straight the way of the Lord. Many men of Israel followed this charismatic man, but his role was not to gather disciples that followed him, but to point people to Christ: "He must increase and I must decrease," he announced. And the day came when John identified Jesus as: "The Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world."

John faithfully identified Jesus as the One spoken of by the prophets. He told his followers that someone standing in their midst was of far greater import than he, and confessed that he was not worthy to untie the strap of His sandals. The identity of the Lord Jesus was gradually revealed to John the Baptist over a period of time, and once again as Jesus passed by, he cried out, "BEHOLD! The Lamb of God!"

Two of the Baptist's faithful followers who were standing with John that day, decided to follow after the Lord Jesus. When He noticed them following Him, the Lord turned and asked the pair an important question: "What do you seek?" The Lord wanted to discover what motivated these men. Did they desire to learn the truth, to learn of Him, His ministry, and mission? Jesus wanted to know if these disciples of John wanted to know Him personally or if they simply have a superficial curiosity and a shallow character. 

The question Jesus asked those men on that momentous day is a question that we should all seek to answer honestly. What are you seeking? What are you looking for? For what are you yearning? Perhaps Christ's direct question surprised these two men, but they wanted to find out more about Jesus so they asked Him, "Where are you staying?" They wanted to know more about the Lamb of God and Jesus was ready and willing to draw all men to Himself, and so he invited them to, "Come and see."

Even though it was the tenth hour of the day and quite close to sunset, Jesus still invited the disciples to stay with Him. Jesus will never turn anyone away. He meets each one of us at our own point of need. He is ready to answer the burning questions of our heart so that we can discover His plans and purpose for the salvation of mankind. He came to seek and to save that which was lost. He came to preach good news to the poor, to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and to give recovering of sight to the blind. He came as the Passover Lamb Who would save His people from their sin. He came as the sacrificial offering for the sin of the whole world. He came to reconcile man to God. He came to be the propitiation for our sins.

Christ's invitation to "Come," was given to these two followers of John the Baptist and His invitation to "Come" is still as relevant today as it was in Christ's early ministry. When we answer His invitation to "Come," we will discover that Jesus gives us more than we could ask or imagine. These two followers of Christ answered His invitation, and became his closest friends and devoted disciples throughout His earthly walk. May we come to Christ and discover more and more of His message, His ministry, and His majesty, and follow Him wherever He leads for His praise and glory.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, how I praise and thank You that You sent Jesus from heaven to be the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world. Thank You that He has taken away my own and called me to come to Him for salvation. Give me a longing to know Him better and to love Him more fully, and may I always respond to His invitation to "Come" to Him for all my needs. In His name I pray, AMEN.

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