John 1:35-42 Seeking
In the gospel lesson Jesus asks the disciples “what do you seek?” Some translations say “want”, others “looking for”, however the literal “seek” offers more insight into the brilliance of Jesus’ question. The reason is that wanting and seeking are different things. Wanting simply has to do with desire, it is like a Christmas or birthday list; there is little action or effort to attain the wants. Seeking on the other hand involves intention, will and action. When we are seeking something we are actively pursuing it. We are no longer passive.
There are many things that we as humans can seek: power, wealth, knowledge, degrees, peace, titles, relationships, security, stability etc….. The interesting thing about seeking is that what we are seeking usually begins to define how we understand ourselves. We often will use “I am” statements to reflect what we have sought. For example a person who is seeking a medical degree will say “I am a doctor” after they have passed all the necessary requirements. Our lives end up being built on what we seek. Seeking is the rudder that steers our lives.
Jesus’ asks John’s disciples “What do you seek?” He is asking them what they want to build their lives on. They simply ask him where he is staying and Jesus answers with a simple offer “come and see”. Jesus doesn’t ask them if they believe in him. He doesn’t want to see their credentials or resume. He simply invites them to spend time with him. This is great invitation that we are all offered. Through this narrative we are asked the simple and profound question “what are you seeking”. He also invites us to seek Him and therefore to seek God. He invites us to come as we are, regardless of our past and to spend time with him and to see where that will lead us.