Come and See
Truth For Today • Sermon • Submitted
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Have you ever heard someone say, “I don’t believe my eyes!” Most of us have probably heard this in some form or another. We know that the speaker means they have seen something so spectacular, so remarkable, that they find it hard to believe that their eyes are not playing tricks on them! Normally we put our greatest trust in what we can see, hear, feel, or experience in some other personal way. Occasionally, we see something that makes us wonder if we can trust our senses.
There may be a couple reasons for us to mistrust our senses in a situation like this. We may believe that we saw something amazing happen, but in fact nothing happened at all…it only appeared to happen. We may also mistrust our senses because we know that something happened, but we don’t understand how, and so we doubt either the nature of what happened, or we doubt the way it happened. To illustrate this scenario, I’m reminded of magic tricks performed on stage.
Whether the props of the trick are cards, or people, or something else, we’ve probably all seen some tricks that are hard to believe! We watch the magician perform his act, and we think we see that his props are one way, and then when he completes the trick, we find out that things were not at all how they seemed to be! When we try to connect appearances to the outcome, we might say, “I don’t believe my eyes!”
When it comes to spiritual matters, we often find a conflict between sight and faith. Some people refuse to trust anything they cannot see. These people are usually more cynical and less religious. Others readily trust in things they cannot see. This approach may bring gullibility and self-deception. Between these two ends of the spectrum, where should we end up?
I hope you stay with me, because over the next few minutes we’re going to explore what Scripture has to say about this. Best of all, we’re going to read about several times in the Bible where people are invited to come and see the truth about Jesus Christ. That invitation is still extended to folks today! Stay tuned.
Good morning, and welcome to Truth for Today, a weekly radio ministry of Bible Baptist Church in Grand Forks, North Dakota. My name is Ethan Custer, and I serve as the assistant under Pastor Mike Custer, the regular host of this broadcast. We at Bible Baptist Church desire to be a spiritual blessing to you in any way that we can. We are located west of I-29 at 6367 Gateway Drive in Grand Forks. We meet several times each week to worship God, and our purpose in life is to obey and please the Lord Jesus Christ in all that we do. Our source of truth and guide for living is the Authorized King James Bible, the Word of God in the English language. In it He offers solutions for every one of life’s problems! If we can help you in any way, please let us know. We hope to have that opportunity. I’ll be giving our contact information at the end of the broadcast, so please stick around.
Just a moment ago, I was relating how a magician on stage can make us second-guess what our eyes are telling us. What we see is so unbelievable, we cannot understand how it happened! We may think that nothing happened, or we may think that there is a very different explanation for what happened, because what we saw was impossible! Of course, magicians usually excel in the area of illusion and misdirection, which leads our attention and our assumptions away from what is really going on and what is really making the trick work. Once we see how the trick works, all the magic and amazement is gone, and it simply becomes an exercise in technique and execution of the trick.
In the spiritual realm, however, any of us—and ALL of us!—may become an audience to things that seem impossible. We may doubt that it really happened, and may decide it’s all an act. Or we may conclude that what caused the change was something entirely different from what was claimed. But when God is doing the spiritual work, it is both a real work and it is really done the way He says it is. And He doesn’t shroud His work in illusion and misdirection. Instead, He invites us to come and see.
Our first example of this is found the book of John, chapter 1. In this chapter, we read of a man named John the Baptist. He was sent to preach the truth in Israel, and to prepare the hearts of the people for the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. John was preaching the message of faith and repentance, calling sinners to believe on Jesus Christ for salvation. We read this in John 1.
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
This passage contains one of my favorite statements in all the Bible. John said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” The word “behold” means to see, to look upon. John is calling out for those around him to turn and look upon the One who is able to take away their sins…and not their sins only, but the sins of the whole world! Friend, have you ever looked upon Jesus Christ? I don’t mean looked upon His physical body. It has been nearly two millennia since Christ walked this earth. But you and I may look upon Him with spiritual eyes in salvation. Have you done that?
In John 1:35, Scripture tells us that two of John’s disciples were with him when John saw Christ again, and John said again, “Behold the Lamb of God!” When they heard John’s exclamation to look on Christ, they did something about it.
And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.
These two men heard John the Baptist’s bold words, calling Jesus the Lamb of God. We don’t read that they instantly started making similar bold statements. But we do read that they took action.
And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
John 1:38 — “Then Jesus turned, and saw them following...” Friend, let me assure you that when you begin to follow Jesus with real desire and real hunger to know Him, He will notice! He is omniscient, and He always knows when people are sincerely following Him, and when they are merely doing it for show, but sometimes we tell ourselves the lie that we are seeking God, but He doesn’t notice, and He neglects us. That is not the God of the Bible. If your god neglects you, you do not know the one true God. Almighty God has never neglected or forsaken His children, and He never will.
Jesus knew why these two disciples were following Him, but He asked them the question anyway. “What seek ye?” These men revealed the condition of their faith and their heart when they gave their answer. “Rabbi, where dwellest thou?” They weren’t proclaiming bold faith in Christ as the Son of God. The term “Rabbi” is interpreted for us here in John 1:38. It means “master,” and it was a common term given to Jewish religious leaders in general. The Pharisees were called this, among others. These two men, in calling Christ “Rabbi,” were not voicing mighty faith. They listened when John the Baptist called Christ “the Lamb of God,” but they weren’t yet calling Him that.
We see their relative timidity in their question: “Where dwellest thou?” “Where do you live?” They were showing an interest in Jesus, and they wanted to spend more time with Him, but they weren’t yet at the place where John the Baptist was, spiritually. But Christ didn’t stop and scold them. Instead, He gave them a simple invitation: “Come and see.”
Friend, God has nothing of which to be ashamed, and His truth has nothing to hide. He invites us to come and see.
We find that this pattern of seeing continues in John chapter 1.
One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.
Andrew came and saw Jesus Christ, and he had to tell others! He found his own brother first, and brought him to Jesus. I’m so glad Andrew was willing to reach his family with the truth! God did many great works through Peter’s life.
Let’s read on. John 1:43-51
The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me. Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
Philip met Christ, and when he invited his friend Nathanael to come meet the Lord, Nathanael offered a skeptical question: “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip didn’t argue with Nathanael, or try to convince him of Christ’s credentials. He didn’t implore Nathanael to trust Philip’s judgment about the Lord. Instead, he offered a simple invitation and also a challenge: “Come and see.”
Dear listener, have you ever met the Lord Jesus Christ personally? I’m not talking about going to church. I’m not talking about giving money to church, or reading your Bible, or getting baptized, or completing catechism or confirmation. Good works will never take you to Heaven. No, I’m talking about meeting Jesus Christ personally, repenting of your sins, and crying out to Him in faith and desperation, trusting Him alone to save you. I’m talking about being forgiven of your sins and receiving everlasting life and a home in Heaven. Have you ever done that? If so, when did it happen? Some folks believe they have always been saved. Others believe that they became a Christian over a period of months or years. But Jesus Christ told Nicodemus the Pharisee that salvation is the spiritual birth, and like the physical birth, it happens at a moment in time, on a specific date. Has that happened to you? If it hasn’t, you don’t know Jesus Christ, and He is not your Saviour. You still need to come and see Him!
Sometimes, we see something that makes us say, “I don’t believe my eyes!” When the power of God is at work in our lives, He does otherwise impossible things. Consider the example of the woman of Sychar.
Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.
This woman came out to the well at noon, when the sun was highest and the day was hottest. This was an uncomfortable time to be drawing water out of a well! It is thought that she came at noon to avoid the other women of the city. They may have been aware of her indiscretions, and their scorn likely caused her shame and discomfort. But her trip to the well that day brought her more than a pot of water!
Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
The woman was confused why a Jew was speaking her, a woman of mixed heritage. Jesus then began to speak to her about her true need: it wasn’t water, but living water. She needed salvation. And unlike physical water which only temporarily quenches your thirst, when you receive salvation, you don’t need anything else to fill that void again!
The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.
Before we can know Christ in salvation, we need to give up our sin. We cannot cease from sinning, but we can desire that Christ rescue us from it! He can keep us from sinning. Do we want to give up our sin? We cannot know God as long as we choose to keep our sin.
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.
The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?
This immoral woman of Sychar left her waterpot, the very reason for her trip to the well, and returned to the city, proclaiming that she had met Christ the Messiah. Folks were undoubtedly skeptical, and refused to believe what they were hearing and seeing from her! Yet she was different; she had met the Saviour. Instead of debating with the men and trying to persuade them to believe her words, she invited them to come and see Christ for themselves. Have you met Christ personally? He will change your life and give you joy and true peace. He will meet your deepest needs, and fill your heart with His love. He will give you purpose to live and strength to serve Him. But you don’t have to believe what I say. You may come and see.
In Mark chapter 5, we read about a man who met Christ, and about the drastic change in his life caused others to doubt what they saw.
Mark 5:1–14 (KJV 1900)
And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea. And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done.
As we just read, there was a man who lived in the tombs, isolated from society, because he was possessed by demons. They gave him their superhuman strength, but they took away his health (he lived unclothed out in the elements, and was cutting himself) and they took away his joy. He was a lawless, hopeless man, and he was spending his days living in a way that we would classify as insane. And there was nothing anyone could do about it…until Jesus came.
When Christ began speaking with this man, the demons answered the Lord. When Jesus asked his name, the evil spirits replied, “My name is Legion: for we are many.” In the Roman army, a legion was a unit ranging in size from 3,000 to 6,000 soldiers. This man was in great bondage to the forces of evil! But Christ is greater, and He cast the demons out of the man. At their request, Christ sent them into the herd of swine.
Imagine the herdmen, feeding and tending to their pigs. Suddenly, the whole herd starts going berserk, and they stampede into the Sea of Galilee, and drown themselves. Imagine their confusion and fear! We’re not told how close the herd was to the demon-possessed man, but it appears they were within sight of each other. The herdmen had probably noticed the ship that had brought Christ and the apostles onto the shore. When they told the frightening news in the city, the residents came out to see what had happened. Here’s what they found:
And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine.
These people came out of curiosity, and they found Christ! They also saw that the wild, demon-possessed man was sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind. We don’t know how long he had been possessed by evil spirits, but it’s possible that the townspeople had never seen him any other way! They probably considered him a hopeless case, and were shocked to see that he had been delivered.
These people had a rare opportunity to compare the visible destruction and despair that sin brings, with the obvious peace and joy that salvation brings. The most hopeless, most dangerous, most wicked man they knew had been saved by Jesus Christ! But instead of being overjoyed, they were afraid. They couldn’t believe their eyes. They didn’t know how to explain what had happened. It confused them, and because they were confused, the power of God made them afraid. They had come, and they had seen Christ, but instead of repenting and believing on Him for salvation, they were afraid.
And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts.
What a tragic ending to their part of the story! These folks considered the results of what had happened. They saw the rescued man, and they saw their dead pigs floating in the water. They probably knew the economic impact of the drowned pigs, and they feared how Christ’s continued work might further impact their income. They made a materialistic choice, and begged the Saviour to leave their area.
And what of the rescued former outcast?
And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.
Decapolis, as the name suggests, was an area encompassing ten cities. This man traveled this populated area, telling anyone who would listen what Jesus Christ had done for him! As word began to spread, perhaps strangers began to “come and see” this man who had been possessed by a legion of demons, yet had been set free by the Lord Jesus Christ.
What about you, friend? What do you know of Christ? Many people know about Him, but they don’t know Him personally. Many people have heard of Him, but they have not experienced true salvation and deliverance from the enslaving power of their sin. Truth be told, many people don’t want to be set free from their sin. They enjoy it, and thinking about what God might want to do in their lives frightens them. They don’t mind hearing about God, and they feel good going to church and doing what the church tells them to do, but they don’t want to give their lives to Christ. They don’t want the Saviour ruling them and directing their lives.
Sadly, there are more and more folks all the time in our country who have never heard of Christ. There are others who might admit to hearing of Christ, but they scoff at the blessings and changes that Christ brings to a redeemed life. “What do you mean, Jesus Christ makes you a new person? You expect me to believe that you don’t enjoy that old fun anymore? You actually like to read your Bible and go to church? How can you say you KNOW you’re going to Heaven after you die?” To these questions, and to the folks who have never heard of Christ, I say, “Come and see.” Come and learn of Christ! Read about Him; learn about Him. MEET Him! You’ll be so glad you did. Your life will never be the same.
Psalm 34:8 says, “O taste and see that the Lord is good: Blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” Tasting is a unique, personal experience. We may describe tastes by comparing them to other known tastes, but hearing a description is no comparison to tasting it yourself. Many people dispute that God is good, and they give their reasons. But oh, if you taste—if you experience for yourself the Lord Jesus Christ, you will SEE that He is good! He doesn’t hide from us; He wants to be discovered. He wants us to know Him and His power in our lives.
Do you know the God of the Bible? Do you know Jesus Christ as your personal, forever Saviour? If you don’t, won’t you come and see Him? I would love to sit down and open a Bible with you, and show you the truth about Christ. We would love to have you visit our services at Bible Baptist Church, and see first-hand what God has done to change us. We have tasted and seen that He is good. Won’t you come and see?
If you have any questions about the truth from the Bible, we would appreciate the opportunity to help you! You may contact us in several different ways. First, you may contact me via email by writing to email@example.com. You may also find our website at www.bbcgf.org. Bible Baptist Church is located at 6367 Gateway Drive in Grand Forks, and we have regular Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening services. You are welcome to attend any of them. If you would rather watch the livestream of our services, or if you would like to watch archives of past services, you may find them on our website as well.
Thank you for listening today! Please tune in again next week at this same time for more truth from God’s Word, on Truth for Today.