There is a wonderful story in the Bible that took place just as Jesus was beginning His public ministry in Galilee. One of those who had begun to follow Him – Philip – invites his friend Nathanael to travel with him and meet Jesus. In spite of Nathanael’s sarcastic answer Philip persists and says, “come and see” (John 1:46). In other words, “come and experience what I have experienced.”
This speaks volumes if we are going to become “fishers of men” as we are suppose to be as followers of Jesus (Matthew 4:19). We cannot invite someone to experience something or Someone that we have yet to encounter and experience ourselves. You cannot lead someone where you have not gone or are not going. So, to invite others to see and encounter the living God means you must first have an active and alive spiritual life that includes a daily encounter with the living Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior yourself. Nothing less will do.
For us to invite others to “come and see” we must be able to lead them to the Living Lord and not simply to a church or to a religion. We must have an active and dynamic personal relationship with Jesus ourselves.
In Matthew’s Gospel – chapter 28 – we read the words of the angelic messenger at the empty tomb on the first Easter Sunday – “come and see …go and tell.” (verses 6 and 7). This is the format for successful and biblical evangelism – come and see for yourself – go and tell others what you have seen. Jesus repeats the command to go after Mary meets Him in the garden – “Do not be afraid, go and tell…” (verse 10). This, of course, is the Great Commission given to the Church … “Go into all the world…” (Matthew 28:18-20).
So, as we prepare for the celebration of His birth at Christmas we must remember that the crib is connected to the cross and that the cross is connected to the crown. The birth of Christ (crib in the manger) is connected to His death on Good Friday (cross on Golgatha) and His resurrection and ascension (crown as King of His Kingdom)… and we need to have a personal experience of all of them before we can “go and tell” and effectively invite others to “come and see” for themselves.
During this season of celebration – reconnect with the Lord and then remember to go and tell your friends about Him – better still, invite them to “come and see” what you have just seen and experienced.