“The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God!’ The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, ‘What are you seeking?’ And they said to him, ‘Rabbi’ (which means Teacher), ‘where are you staying?’ He said to them, ‘Come and you will see.’…” John 1:35-39 (ESV)
I’ve been given the advice from multiple people that when starting to read the Bible, the first thing you should do is read the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) so that you can find out who Jesus is and what He’s like. So, I followed this path and read through the Gospels last summer.
But it wasn’t until reading John 1 a few months ago that this particular passage really stuck out to me.
Jesus did not turn around and ask those disciples about their past. He did not ask them for their resume of their accomplishments, failures, or even their sins. He did not ask them anything. He said “Come”. He invited them and they followed.
I will admit that while I was avoiding God and keeping a white-knuckled grip on my life, I was focused on how Jesus was going to judge my past. I did not think He would take me back after all the times I pushed Him away and after all the things I had been doing. But I see now… this is the reason those people told me to find out who Jesus is. Jesus is not someone who sits you in a chair with a flashlight to your face asking you a list of questions. Jesus is willing to let you come with Him no matter who you are.
I was in complete and total awe at the way that God responded to me when I handed my life over to Him. He treated me so graciously and I was so undeserving of it. I was overwhelmed by His love. His reaction to me is what made me fall willingly at His feet. How do you not want to do anything for someone after they treat you so mercifully?
While I stood before Him in the doorway I had walked passed for so many years, I expected Jesus to grab me by the arms and throw me to the ground into that room. But He didn’t. I sat on the floor inside the room and cried and stared at the open doorway and pleaded with Jesus, “Don’t let me go back out there again!! Please, please, please!” He did not hold me down. He didn’t have to. He had changed my heart by His Spirit and I realized.. I didn’t want to go back out there. I didn’t have the desire. I tasted the true gift of Jesus and why He was worthy of being worshipped. My eyes cleared, and there were Christians standing all around me. I was not alone. I had people to build Godly relationships with and who I was going to be able to share life with. He brought me into a family.
Jesus could have wagged his finger in my face and screamed at me, “What have you been doing?! Why were you acting like that out there?!” But instead He said… “I have so much to show you…” There was no punishment to be given to me for my past because Jesus had fulfilled my punishment on the cross.
You are not unworthy to decide to follow Jesus. He will not look at you and turn you away if you decide to genuinely trust in Him.
There won’t be a questionnaire.
There won’t be a background check.
There won’t be an application.
There are no previous requirements that need to be fulfilled.
He’s there with an open palm ready to take your hand.