“What are you looking for?” Jesus asked.
“Where are you staying?” was their reply.
“Come and see,” said Jesus.
Did you ever get called on in class, and get caught daydreaming? Not me.
Or, even worse, have you ever been asked a question in class that you indeed heard as clear as a bell, but you had no idea – not a first clue – what ballpark an answer might even come from?
The 2.3 seconds which follow the teacher’s question are excruciating, as panic flows through your head.
Whatever is said in that awkward, painful moment, it’s never erudite.
Usually it’s ugly.
Jesus, presented by John the Baptist here as “the Lamb of God,” asks a question of two disciples of John the baptist.
And they haven’t the first idea what he’s talking about.
“What are you looking for?”
Seems like that should be a question which a thoughtful person would have worked out, don’t you think?
Think about being in a job interview, or being across the restaurant table on your first date, or being in a thoughtful book study – and a potential boss, date, or intellectual asks you ‘what you’re looking for.’
Don’t you want to have a good answer to that?
What are you looking for in life? What are you looking for in your career? What are you looking for your family, your future, and to fulfill the deepest yearnings of your spirit?
What are you LOOKING for?
Do you really want to blank on that one? Doesn’t a non-answer to that one, grunted out with a few ‘umms’ and ‘uhhs,’ speak volumes?
At the very least, hum a few bars of U2.
When the Lamb of God who comes to take away the sins of the world asks you what you’re looking for, come up with something. Anything.
As this passage from the first chapter of John is constructed, John the Baptist is the one who points the way towards what/ who should be sought after: Jesus, the Lamb.
In The Gospel of John, John the Baptist isn’t the wild-eyed prophet wearing the hair of camels and eating insects. He’s not the guy who yells at everyone he sees to repent.
He has a very easy job in the Fourth Gospel. He points the way to Jesus.
That’s it. That’s enough.
As Jesus asks these two disciples of John the Baptist what they’re looking for, these disciples would do well to listen to their leader.
They should be looking for Jesus.
And, since they blow it, Jesus gives them a chance to brush up on their existential questions and answers.
He invites them to “come and see.”
In effect, he gives them a chance to figure out what it is that they should be looking for. And, he gives them a chance to find it.
This week we have a chance to conjure up those moments from our schooling days when we were caught unawares. And, we’re given the opportunity to come up with an answer, without the 2.3 seconds of agony.
What are you looking for?
If it’s not Jesus, keep looking.