We Have Found Him
36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?
39 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.
40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.
41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.
42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.
43 The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.
44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
When the two disciples, one of them Andrew, heard the word from the prophet crying in the wilderness, "Behold the Lamb of God," they left the prophet and followed the Lamb.
When Jesus saw them following him, the first thing he asks them is, "What are you looking for? What do you want? What do you seek?"
"We want to know where you live," they reply.
What a strange desire from two men who apparently have been seeking the Messiah. Why didn't they ask him for some imparted wisdom, or proof of his office? Why did they get up and follow him in the first place?
Maybe in their minds they were nervous or intimidated to come up to Jesus, and to his pregnant question, "What seek ye?" they meekly coughed up some smokescreen answer, perhaps more cognizant of their humanity and weakness than ever before. So maybe they said the first dumb thing that popped into their mouths.
But God speaks through asses and a couple of dumb disciples are no problem to Him either, so their answer is really to the heart of the matter, though they may not have been aware of it. They wanted to see where he parked his body at night, and Jesus decided to give these guys a chance to see where he dwelled. Where he really dwelled.
So they go to his house or camp and stay all day and night. Jesus maybe even fixed their supper, the regular way. The next day Andrew -- we don't know what happened to the other disciple, (two in a field, one is taken, the other left) -- goes and finds his brother Simon and says, "We have found the Messiah ... "
Then the next day Jesus picks up Phillip on his own who then goes and finds Nathaniel and says to Nathaniel, "We have found the one Moses and the prophets wrote about ... Jesus of Nazareth."
How did they know? Especially how did they know with enough conviction to go the very next day and make such a bold declaration? You figure these guys were looking for the real thing. It seems likely that Andrew wouldn't go to Simon Peter and tell him, "We've FOUND HIM!" unless he was certain. Lots of people had thought John the Baptist was He, and he undoubtedly disappointed some of his followers who were hoping John was the One. But how did Andrew and Phillip know?
By a flash of inspiration? A revelation from heaven? From knowing all the correct signs and fulfillments from the Scriptures? By their moral living? By their spiritual attitudes and seeking? By their lineage, station in life, education, background, talents? By their astute minds?
Maybe a lucky guess? (Assuming they got it right.)
But who doesn't have inspiration? So inspiration is no proof. Revelations are more plentiful than people. They don't prove anything. The scholars surrounding Herod knew where the Messiah was to be born, but missed His birth. They didn't see the Star. The Pharisees were the most moral of men, but they killed the Author of Life in the name of God as His agents. So morality offers no help. Nor any of the other things mentioned.
There is no knowing. Even if I say to you you know inwardly, still that is the most subjective thing in all the world. Even if I qualify that and say, "But of course everything has to line up with scripture," even that has no universally-accepted meaning and there is therefore no where on earth and no one on earth and nothing on earth that can give total qualification to God's validity in ourselves. There are absolutely no tangible, definable evidences, nor accomplishments, nor philosophies, nor states of mind, nor any proofs whatsoever that we can offer to ourselves or to anyone else.
Janis & I went to a hippie spiritual festival one time on top of a mountain in Colorado, a few months before my own "I have found Him" occurred. It was the goal of the hitchhiking trip I've talked about before. I went to a "lecture" in a field given by a "holy man." There were lots of holy men there that weekend. Some of them were even in costume, with that "Old Testament Prophet" look, skins for tunics, carrying a staff, unkempt ratty hair, shouting the things of God. One of these guys held a meeting in the middle of a big grass meadow, and during his talk, which I don't remember, another holy guy, in the same get-up, stood up and interrupted the first holy man and turned to his impromptu congregation and said, "Brothers and Sisters, we're hurting the precious grass by sitting in this field. Let's all move to a place where the grass has already been trampled."
Well, Holy Man 1 got kind of ticked off at that, thinking that Holy Man 2 had come to steal his flock or question his integrity. So they started arguing, and it wasn't long before they got right down to the issue that it seems always comes up when two holy guys argue -- which Holy Guy was the holiest. Holy Guy 2 was saying he was the holiest because he didn't want to destroy the grass, and Holy Guy 1 was giving his reasons for why he was the holiest which I can't quite remember. Most folks like me decided to let them duke it out on their own and left looking for other pastures, trampled or not, and hopefully some better holy guys.
The only explanation I know is that a miracle occurs. By miracle I'm meaning something that happens that has no human cause, that is outside the framework of normal human experience or intellectual explanation. You could put healings, turning water into wine, and feeding 5000 people with 5 loaves and 2 fishes into that category, but I'm not talking about that. Andrew and Peter and Phillip and Nathaniel followed the Lamb before he did any of that stuff. By their testimony on the first day after they'd met him, they were calling him Messiah and the One who had been prophesied by Moses and the prophets. They had only sat with him one afternoon and evening and probably broke bread with him. Not much time to come to such a major conclusion.
So a miracle had to have occurred, and they just "knew." Because "this" was something else entirely. This was outside everything which was ordinary. Common sense tells you there really is no Messiah, and that it's just religious silliness, the product of fanciful minds who are no earthly good anyway. So when suddenly the Messiah shows up, quite outside your wildest expectations, it breaks your mind because it is so fundamentally different from what you expected, and the very music accompanying all of life has suddenly changed its melody from dissonance into harmony, AND you are exploded from the inside out with a Light you've never seen before and which, like Paul on the ground in the Light (Acts 9), the words blurt almost involuntarily out of you, "Who art thou, Lord?" LORD!!!!???
Isaiah 65:1 I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.
Everyone of us seeks inspiration, revelations, the right thing to do, the right thing to know, and think we have made God fit our mold for a time. We all have a mold or model we have constructed with many helpers and everyone of us tries over and over to make our model work.
Eventually all our models break and all our molds crash and burst into a thousand pieces. They are wood hay and stubble and we are all wood hay and stubble and we all get to try on Pharisee hats and wise man hats and inspired-guy hats and we all get to see, one by one, that those hats don't fit, even though they were our truth for a time.
The Living God, who says He will have no other God before Him, waits patiently in His heaven while we run through our hat collection, and it's by His hand that we do.
And then at His appointed time (He has one for everything) the Messiah arises in our midst and His Light blots out everything else and changes absolutely everything and there is no mistaking His arising. "Behold, the Lamb of God," says some voice, and we get up from our reverie and follow him trying to see where He lives.
Now none of us can see Jesus of Nazareth anymore. None of us are able, as were Andrew and company, to go to see where he lived and eat supper with him.
But the same thing happens to us that happened to them. Like the baby John leapt in Elizabeth's womb when Mary came to visit, even so does the prophet leap in us when the Messiah comes. "Behold me," says the Lord.
Added to the first question of Paul's, "Who art thou, Lord?" is this now second question: "Where art thou, Lord?" Isn't that what they were asking really?
Behold Me! Where? Where are you? Where do you dwell?
Christ is formed in us so that we rise in Him as ourselves who are now the Man from heaven. As we were the first man Adam even so are we the Second Man Christ. If the first man Adam contained us all and we all inherited everything that he had even so does the Second Adam contain us all and we inherit everything that is His, which is to sit at the Right Hand of God and to be of the Lamb Who in the Midst of the Throne. (That sounds kind of high falutin', but it really means going about your daily business in whatever life you are in, being a flesh and blood container of grace and peace.)
This is not of ourselves, but is the gift of God, the "fountain of Living Waters."
And the answer to "where dwellest thou?" Jesus really couldn't answer for them until He went away from them, because the answer is ...
"Why -- in YOU, I'm YOU, silly!"