“Rabbi,” the two disciples asked Jesus, “where are you staying?”
The first desire of a disciple is simply to be with Jesus. “Look!” John had said, “The Lamb of God!” and some inner sense was captivated. They just followed him, unsure of where it would lead, unsure what they really wanted, except to be with him. To abide.
“Come and see,” Jesus answered them.
Jesus always makes space for those who want to be with him. Eventually they’ll learn to live as he lives, to join in his mission of the renewal of all things, to participate in the life he shares with his Father. But all of that must be grounded in and flow from the first, most basic desire: to abide.
“The deepest motive for mission,” Lesslie Newbigin wrote, “is simply the desire to be with Jesus where he is, on the frontier between the reign of God and the usurped dominion of the devil.”
This desire to abide with Jesus is ultimately what compels disciples to sell their possessions and give to the poor, to place themselves in embodied solidarity with the marginalized. It’s not just that it’s “the right thing to do,” it’s that Jesus is there, and disciples can’t help themselves.
“Rabbi,” we ask, “where are you staying?”
“Come and see,” Jesus answers, walking among the oppressed, becoming the least, the last, the lowest.
Michele Arndt says
I really like this one, Ben. Its brevity is companion to its clarity!