Again the next day John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as He walked, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. And Jesus turned and saw them following, and said to them, “What do you seek?” They said to Him, “Rabbi (which translated means Teacher), where are You staying?” He said to them, “Come, and you will see.” So they came and saw where He was staying; and they stayed with Him that day, for it was about the tenth hour.(John 1.35-39)
Cecil and Jeannie asked my brother and I if we were interested in coming to their house for dinner. A month later we moved into their basement and lived with their family for the next year. It was the beginning of a mentoring relationship that would last for decades. And it all started with a simple question.
Cecil’s vision-casting began with a question. But that was only the first of many questions. As far as we were concerned, we were going to eat dinner with an older follower of Jesus. But Cecil’s invitation for dinner extended far beyond just having a nice meal and small talk. There was something Cecil was looking for; Did we want to see God? Could we see ourselves as Jesus’ ambassadors to a lost and dying world? Did we see ourselves as the generation to carry the torch of Christ to the next generation? In a sense, he was asking the same question Jesus did, “What do you seek?”
These questions were not answered that night. But over the next few years, Cecil would ask vision-casting questions over and over again in many different ways. And just like Jesus, he invited us to “Come and see.” Cecil’s agenda/vision was to turn us into passionate followers of Jesus and fishers of men.
Jesus had an agenda/vision too. When He asked the disciples “What do you seek?” I’m sure Jesus knew exactly where He was going with them. His vision was far more than these fishermen could even imagine for themselves. They responded with a seemingly mundane question to answer Him; “Where are you staying?” Really!?! This is completely understandable considering these guys were at the front end of discipleship and probably didn’t fully understand the magnitude of the journey they were about to embark on. They didn’t even know the right questions to ask. And Jesus was not put out by the underwhelming request even though He was the Messiah, Creator, the King of kings. His invitation to “come and see” was a gracious opportunity that would go well beyond seeing the geographical location He was living.
The two disciples spent the rest of the day with Him. Jesus’ vision had begun. In time, He would turn them into His passionate followers and fishers of men. But it all started with a question; “What do you seek?”
Vision-casting is all about helping people answer the question. “What do you seek?” As disciple-makers it is our responsibility to lift up the eyes of the disciples to look beyond what presently exists and see what is possible when one follows Christ. They may not see it in the beginning. In fact, they probably won’t. But as we see the vision for them and keep reminding them of their identity and purpose from the Scriptures, they will be able to see the glorious hights the Master is calling them to.
Call to Action: Ask someone you are discipling; “What do you seek?” Don’t try to fill in all the blanks for them, but use Scripture (John 1.35-39) to lift up their eyes and see the next steps in the journey to glorify God. It should be a very interesting discussion. 🙂
A Blast from the Past: Success and Failure