John says “Come.”

My Bible reading plan is pretty straight forward. Pick up the Bible. Start at the first page. Read about five chapters in the morning. Keep going until you get to the last page. Find a different Bible. Start at the first page. Read five chapters in the morning. When you get to the end, find a new Bible. Repeat.

Today, I started the gospel according to John in the “American Patriot’s Bible,” New King James edition. In chapter 1, you get these verses:

vs. 38+39 Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?”They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour). (Emphasis added)

vs. 46 And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” (Emphasis added)

It struck me that the words “Come and see” were recorded by John. It reminded me of another writing of John, the Revelation given to him we find as the last book in the New Testament. There we read:

Rev. 6:1 Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.”

Rev. 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

Rev. 22:20  He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

I’m thinking a word study on John’s use of the word “come” and “come and see” may be in my future. Possible sermon idea? I wonder if the phrase is used much in the three epistles we have John wrote. More digging to follow.

Our Father

Last night, around the dinner table, Susan and me and the boys were having a discussion. Apparently, sometimes when the boys need to get their mother’s attention, they refer to her as “Susan.” My oldest boy mentioned it, and he said it with a smile. I said to him “I’m glad you say that with a smile, because generally I wouldn’t want you calling your mother by her first name.” We talked about Frank Zappa’s children, and how they all apparently refer to their father as “Frank.”

I had a discussion about this with a guitar playing friend–a huge Zappa fan–who said it came from this idea in the ’70s that you treat your children as little adults, and so Frank trained his children to call him Frank. I was raised to never call my parents by their first name. My aunts and uncles were always “Aunt Ginny,” or “Uncle Roger.” Once in church, my Aunt Suz called me out because I told the congregation “If you have any questions, see Suzy Batty.” And she said “Aunt Suzy.” Even if I was just trying to be clear to those people to whom Aunt Suz isn’t their aunt, I was supposed to still call her “Aunt.”

I’ve taken this teaching one step further with my children. I’ve explained it to them like this: “There are three people in the entire world who get to call me “Dad.” Three. And you’re one of them. Anyone can call me ‘Bill.’ To you, I’m ‘Dad.’ Don’t take that lightly. Instead, be glad.”

Take a look at Luke 11. The disciples ask Jesus “Teach us to pray.” And then he says to them, “When you pray, say ‘Father, who art in heaven’…” (Emphasis mine.) Jesus doesn’t say “When pray, pray ‘Father.'” No, He tells them “When you pray, call Him Father.” Of all the names God could insist we call Him, He wants to be called “Father.” He doesn’t ask to be called Lord, or LORD, or King, or God, or Master, or any of those things. And He could rightly demand that we address Him as such. If I were to address the president, I’d call him “Mr. Obama,” or more likely “Mr. President.” If I would give the POTUS the respect he deserves, wouldn’t I offer the same to the God of the Universe? Of course. And yet, He doesn’t ask us for that. He deserves that, but instead He wants us to call him “Father.” The fullness of God’s glory is recognized through the Son. And the Son says “Call him Father.” How awesome!