Turning around, Jesus saw them and asked ‘What do you want?’
They said, ‘Teacher, where are you staying?’
‘Come,’ He replied ‘and you will see.” ~John 1:38-39
Though most of my college classes were in religion and art, I appreciate random statistics. I was recently struck by an intriguing one: Jesus asks 278 questions in scripture and answers 3 of them.
It appears that Jesus was more interested in asking compelling questions than providing simple answers.
Specifically, I have come to focus on the first words out of Jesus’s lips in John’s Gospel. After John’s poetic setup that Jesus is the word (logos), that He was the first word spoken at creation, that He is the word with flesh on and He was the word that came to dwell with us…I think John would have been uber-focused on what were the first utterances from the lips of Jesus.
It occurs in John 1:38: What do you want?
Jesus’s ministry begins when he stops heading where He wants to go and asks a compassionate question: What is it you want?
He wants to know your heart’s desire. He wants you to try and articulate your deep desires. He stops to listen, learn and invite.
The disciples respond by saying, “We want to see where you stay…” However, Jesus knows their desire is deeper than a quick tour of his house, because the disciples were not satisfied with simply seeing where he stayed. They spent the entire day with Him.
Jesus’s question led them into a deeper fellowship that revealed a true hunger.
From that table talk, Andrew runs to find Simon Peter and Philip locates Nathanael. These men accelerate the Gospel by seeking out others to share in the story they first heard over lunch with Jesus.
I came across a quote I had jotted down (source unknown), which indicates the power of simply stopping to have lunch with someone:
“Most times should be spent with our families around our tables, but the times when we are not together as families are opportunities to eat with someone who is lonely, someone who is estranged, with someone who feels lost but will never tell anyone…maybe real ministry is just inviting someone to lunch.”