In the early ministry of our Lord, His presence sparked interest in some people who wanted to know who this man was. John the Baptist had declared Him to be “the Lamb of God” able to remove sin from the world (John 1:29). Two disciples stood near John on another day when he again declared who Jesus was, and they decided to follow Him. Jesus interacts with them and asks them what they want to know. Their response was to ask where Jesus was living. This was probably not really all they wanted to know, but what they got as an answer to their question was a divine invitation – “He saith unto them, Come and see” (John 1:39a). We don’t know what else Jesus told them after this invitation, but we know they spent the day there with Jesus according to John 1:39b. What was the result of this invitation? John tells us that Andrew was one of the men. His time with Jesus so impressed him that as soon as he left Jesus, he ran to tell his brother that this “man” they had spent time with was the Messiah every Jewish person had been looking for.
When Jesus invites us to come and see what He is doing, it should compel us to tell others about our precious Lord. When was the last time you carefully considered who Jesus is and what He has done in your life? Did that encounter with Jesus cause you to share what you learned with anyone?
This is a familiar account of the raising of Lazarus from the dead. I encourage you to read the whole passage, but I am just going to make a few comments relating to our topic of Jesus’ invitation to Lazarus. The verses leading up to Jesus’ invitation show people at varying degrees of faith in Jesus at this point in His ministry. He has a conversation with Martha about His being the resurrection and the life (John 11:25). He is dealing with many doubters even some among His own disciples who did not understand what He was doing leading up to this great miracle. After Jesus weeps for many reasons, I believe, and prays to His Father, He announces another divine invitation – “Lazarus, come forth!” (John 11:43). What a powerful and personal invitation! Lazarus had lain dead in the tomb for at least four days (John 11:39). This invitation proved that Jesus had the power to defeat even the enemy of death.
Jesus extends this invitation to ALL who will receive and respond to it. What good is an invitation if it is never answered? Another Gospel writer said it this way – “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). If you have answered that invitation to new life in Christ, praise the Lord today that we are new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). I think this is one of the most exciting invitations ever extended to mankind!
The last invitation we will look at is in the last chapter of John. Jesus has completed the work of redemption on the cross and has raised Himself from the tomb. He is in this account showing Himself after His resurrection for the third time to His disciples (John 21:14). It seems as though Peter and the other disciples are still a bit unsure of what all the events of the past days have meant. Peter leads some of the disciples to go fishing. They spend the whole night fishing and catch nothing (John 21:1-3). Unbeknownst to them, Jesus is standing on the shore in the morning and calls out to them asking them how they have done in their endeavor. Of course, their response is negative, and Jesus tells them to cast the net on the right side of the boat. This had to be a familiar conversation when you look back to Luke 5 where a similar thing happened. In Luke’s account, Peter argued with Jesus, but here they just do what He says even though we don’t know yet if they know who He is. But as soon as the nets are full, Peter jumps out of the boat and heads to the shore to meet Jesus. Remember at this point Peter’s recent interaction with Jesus was one of triple denial! He didn’t care about the fish anymore. He needed to get to Jesus. The other disciples dragged in one hundred fifty-three fish to the shore! What a provision from God after a night of catching nothing! Interestingly, when they got to the shore there were already fish ready to eat. I love how God provides for our needs and even beyond! He even caused the nets to hold such a great catch without breaking (John 21:11). Now we see Jesus’ final divine invitation – “Come and dine!” How amazing would that be! John records that when Jesus invited the disciples to eat with Him, none of them needed to ask Who He was! They finally got it. He was their Provider, Sustainer, and Savior!
Jesus invites us to “Come and dine” with Him through His Word. Are you taking advantage of dining on God’s Word regularly? Do you run to Him when things are going well or just when things are difficult? As a fisherman, Peter would have been excited about those fish in the nets, but instead he ran to the Lord even though he had offended Him. Peter was not excluded because of his sin. Jesus had forgiven Him and wanted him to dine with them. Don’t allow past sin to keep you from dining with the Lord. Satan wants you to run from the Word rather than to it. Be encouraged that Peter was the first one to accept the Lord’s invitation to dine with Him!
I am sure there are many other passages that could fit in with this study, but these three are significant in the book of John. Jesus invites us to come and see what He is doing in us. He invites us to come forth from the tomb of our sin and enjoy eternal life. And He invites us to come and dine with Him in His Word. May you be encouraged and challenged by these invitations and how they relate to you today!
Jesus invites us to come
Which of these divine invitations speaks to you today?
Hi friend, welcome to InstaEncouragements. I am so glad you are here. You’re among friends. You belong here.
How would you like access to our online library of helpful eBooks, devotionals, printables, lock screens, and more? You’re going to love this library, there is all kinds of exclusive content, just for you!
Join the movement by signing up below and I'll send you the link today. And no worries, We don’t spam. Promise! We don’t like spam either.
After you've joined the movement, hop on over to our about page to learn more about us and then to our contact form and introduce yourself so we can be on a first-name basis. I'd like that!