Come and See for Yourself!

Today is the first day of our church’s initiative to read the New Testament together in 2012. We’re borrowing a reading plan called “Project 345,” which gets its name from the fact that, on average, it takes 3 minutes and 45 seconds to read one chapter of the New Testament. We’ll all read one chapter per day, Monday through Friday, and finish in early January 2013. You can read more about this plan, sign up for an app for your phone or iPad, or download a bookmark by CLICKING HERE. (Whether you’re a Brentwood UMC person or not, I’d encourage you to check out this plan and join me in reading this year!)

Since I just finished up a one year Bible reading plan that I started over two years ago, I’m excited about starting this one. What makes it even more exciting for me is that children, youth, and adults from our church will be doing this together, so I’ll have tons of people to encourage me to stick with it.

My plan as of today is to write my thoughts on each chapter as many days as possible here on this site. What I really hope is that this will be a place for anybody and everybody reading through the plan to interact. So, feel free to leave comments, ask questions, and write your own thoughts about the reading for the day. Having said all of that, here are my thoughts after reading John 1.

(Click here to read John 1 for yourself.)

The verses that jumped out at me this morning were John 1:38-39, 46, 50.

In verses 38-39, John the Baptist is hanging out with some of his disciples when Jesus walks by. John says, “Look! The Lamb of God!” The two disciples follow Jesus and ask him where he’s staying. “Come and see,” he says to them. Later, in verse 46, Philip tells Nathanael that they’ve found the Messiah. When Nathanael basically says, “Yeah, right” and questions Philip about it, Philip says, “Come and see.” Finally, in verse 50 when Nathanael realizes he may have been wrong, and maybe Jesus really is God’s son, Jesus responds to him, “You will see greater things than these.”

I really like that what Jesus and Philip say in response to questions about Jesus isn’t just, “Take my word for it,” but, “Come and see for yourself.” Also, I like that the invitation to “come and see” doesn’t just come from Jesus about Jesus, but other people (Philip in this case) invite friends and family to come and see Jesus too. I’m excited about this year and about this reading plan because I’m hoping for the chance to “see greater things than these” like Jesus told Nathanael he would see. Jesus seems to be quite confident that if people will follow him and watch him, they will see things they didn’t expect and couldn’t anticipate.

Today, as I’m starting this reading plan, I’m picturing Jesus offering the same invitation: “Come and see.” I don’t know where this will lead, I can’t anticipate how I’ll grow and what I’ll learn as I do this, but I’m up for the adventure.

God, thanks for this chance not only to take your word for it, but to come and see for myself.

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