Is there someone in your life you desperately want to lead to Christ? You want them to know the inner joy, be lifted from their depression, or combat their self-doubt that they are not worthy. You want to scream, “See what I have? Come, I know you want it, too. Just take that step.”
It may be an adult child who keeps making poor choices. Perhaps it is your spouse whom you wish would have a stronger faith presence in your home, instead of sleeping in or choosing to watch the sports on TV instead of going to worship, who won’t read the Bible or pray, and is always grumbling about how unfair his boss is. Perhaps it is your mother or father, sister or first cousin. Is it a co-worker who always seems to have a dark cloud floating over their head?
We all know people who, even if they have been raised in a Christian environment, have never truly taken Jesus into their hearts or their lives. They may go to church, but the leave the Gospel in the pew and walk out the door unchanged. Or, maybe the idea of going to church makes them wrinkle their nose. They shake their heads and whine, “It is just not for me. What good would it do? God gave up on me a long time ago.”
It seems that today Christianity is evaporating into a minority in the Americas and going to church on Sunday is an oddity instead of the norm. Kids even have sports activities on Sundays now, and Chick Fil A is the exception by refusing to be open on Sundays. How can you be a magnet that attracts others to Jesus?
Look at Philip. Scripture says – Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” (John 1:45-46 ESV)
Nathaniel, sitting in the shadows under his fig tree, was skeptical and negative. He found fault in everything. Philip knew the way to get Nathaniel out of his slum. He knew this wonderful man from Nazareth was the answer to all of their prayers. But he also knew that following Jesus has to be an individual’s own choice. All that he could do, all any of us can do, is to say, “Come and see for yourself.”
Notice Phillip didn’t go where Nathaniel wanted the conversation to go. He didn’t defend Jesus, or get into an argument about the worth of the people from Nazareth. He didn’t plead or try to change Nathamiel’s point of view. Philip shrugged his shoulders and challenged Nathaniel to come and get his own questions answered.
Perhaps you have heard the old adage that you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink. That applies to salvation. It is always an individual decision. No matter how thirsty a person is for forgiveness and acceptance, you cannot shove the Living Water down their throat.
Jesus stand at the door and knocks. Each of us has to open the door. You and I cannot do that for anyone else, because the door is the door to their hearts. All we can do is give them the message and invite them to come and see for themselves.
Nathaniel did come and see. And when he did, Jesus told him He’d been watching him under that fig tree. Then Nathaniel knew.
Jesus is watching all the people we want so desperately to lead to Him. He knows their fears, doubts and negativity. He also knows your prayers for them. That is why He is knocking at their door. All we can do is tell them our story of what happened when we answered and suggest that they do the same. tell them to just come and see. Let Jesus do the rest.