January 10 I Tuesday
“Turning round, Jesus saw them following and asked, ‘What do you want?’ They said, ‘Rabbi’ (which means ‘Teacher’), ‘where are You staying?’” —John 1:38
John the Baptist was the voice in the wilderness who paved the way for Jesus. When Jesus became public, John made himself dispensable and encouraged his disciples to follow Jesus. Later, John’s disciples complained that everyone was going to Jesus to be baptized, but John said, “He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30).
Andrew, along with another unnamed disciple, were two who had left John to follow Jesus. They asked Jesus what seems on the surface to be a casual question, but it actually holds profound significance: “Rabbi, where are You staying?” “Come,” Jesus replied, “and you will see” (John 1:38-39). Included here by implication is the very essence of the gospel. Where does Jesus live? During His public ministry, Jesus had no fixed abode. He told a teacher of the law who wanted to follow Him, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head” (Matthew 8:20).
Andrew and the other disciple went with Jesus and saw where He was staying, but it was not until three years later that they would understand where Jesus made His real home. He said to His disciples, “Anyone who loves Me will obey My teaching. My Father will love them, and We will come to them and make Our home with them” (John 14:23). The gospel is about Jesus making His home in our hearts, but it is conditional upon a wilful decision on our part to submit to Jesus Christ as Lord.
It is vital we understand there is no such thing as a second-generation Christian. No one is born a Christian. This is not about hereditary factors, ancestry, culture or close affiliations we have with Christians. We cannot come to Christ on the coattails of someone else. God only has children, not grandchildren. As it was with Andrew and the other disciple, there must come a time when we let go of mentors and develop our own personal relationship with Jesus.
It is the task of our churches and every Christian to lead others to Christ, but to keep them dependent on us is more of a hindrance to the gospel than a help. We cannot live the Christian life secondhand. As beneficial as it may be at various stages, any filter through which we understand Christ will ultimately disappoint and frustrate us if we are not weaned from it. We have to move beyond dependence on others to being one-on-one with Jesus. When Jesus is the focus of our love and devotion, then to find Him in His home is to find Him in our hearts.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the privilege and blessing of a one-on-one relationship with You. I ask You to be my Lord and to make Your home in my heart.