Religion can be stifling and counterproductive. Such was the case in the days of Jesus, yet He was not deterred even by those who were slow of heart. Jesus initiated a revival by offering Himself; and every revival since then has always happened when He became the center. The Gospel of John begins the same way as does the book of Genesis: “In the beginning God,” or in the case of John, “In the beginning was the Word.” God always initiates the beginning of any revival. Such beginnings will ultimately involve a choice.
The ministry of John the Baptist climaxed with the words, “Look, the Lamb of God.” When Jesus saw that some had questions, He simply said, “‘Come . . . and you will see’ ” (John 1:39, NIV). Later, Andrew went to his own brother and told him what he had seen and then brought him to Jesus.
The story does not end there. Philip found Nathanael, but Nathanael asked, “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Once again, John records Philip as simply saying, “Come and see.” When he did, Nathanael dropped his prejudice about Nazareth when he, too, saw Jesus. Nathanael was transformed. His thinking, perspectives, and life were changed by what he saw. This is confirmed by Jesus’ own words, “ ‘You shall see greater things. . . . You shall see heaven open’ ” (John 1:50, 51, NIV). What Jesus saw far exceeded anything Nathanael was able to comprehend at the time.
We are reminded that true revival begins with God’s initiative that is always centered in Jesus. “Come and see” yourself and hear Jesus say, “Follow Me.”
—Reviewed by Larry R. Evans of Dynamic Steward and Associate Director of Stewardship Ministries, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States