Then Jesus turned around and saw them following him and asked, “What do you
want? John 1: 38 NLT
ESV: what are you seeking?
Amplified: What are you looking for?
I find this an amazing question and one that goes straight to the heart of man.
All come to Jesus by way of need, that moment we realize we truly are poor in Spirit, and it’s only then that we are capable of answering His question, ‘what do you want?’
Jesus announced the Spirit of the Lord was upon him to preach the gospel to the poor. He taught his disciple it was the poor in Spirit who were blessed. It is the individual who has needs, with a heart and ear ready to receive, that finds their broken heart healed; captivity released and eyes seeing.
It is the self sufficiency of man that holds him aloof from God.
Thus, the question ‘what do you want’ must be answered by all. Mark chapter 10 records Jesus’ encounter with Blind Bartimaeus, asking him the same question. While the answer seems obvious, Bartimaeus immediately responds, “that I might receive my sight”.
Why do I want to prosper and be in health? As real as our situation may be, it is the immature, the babe in Christ, that simply wants the need fixed. It is as we grow in our relationship that we begin to discover the blessing of knowing how much we need God. It is through our dependency on him that we are enriched and empowered to live as He is in this world. Knowing what we want and who should help is the key to receiving from HIm.
There have been many times in my life I have looked to others to be God for me, only to be disappointed in my expectations. How dangerous this is, both for us and the one we’ve set up. The lesson to learn is while God uses man, our eyes must be fixed on Him. While we acknowledge others help and are grateful for it, the glory and true thanksgiving are His.
It seems odd for the disciples to respond with, where are you staying. Perhaps it was the cultural way of asking for a place to spend the night and Jesus response, “Come and discover for yourselves” is ambiguous. Yet, it holds so much potential for their opportunity. The scripture goes on to tell us, they went with him and saw where he was staying, and since it was late in the afternoon, they spent the rest of the day with Jesus.
‘Come’ is the invitation for us to learn and participate in what God is doing. Each man must discover for himself what it is he wants from Jesus. Our level of hunger and desire determines the discovery through the pursuit.
The question remains, What do you want?