“Jesus turned, and gazing at them following he said to them “What are you seeking?” They said to him “Rabbi, where do you dwell?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and perceived where he dwelt and remained with him that day.”
These were the first of Jesus disciples. They had been disciples of John the Baptist, but when John spoke these words, “Behold, the Lamb of God!”, they left John and followed Jesus. There was something about Jesus that meant they left behind a great man of God, someone who lived and spoke with authority. There was an attractiveness about Jesus that meant that what once belonged to John, now belonged to Jesus as they chose to follow him.
Jesus turns and sees them. He asks what they are looking for. They want to know where he dwells. Jesus invites them to “Come and see.” The word see is actually better translated as “perceive.” “Come and you will perceive.” They did just that, taking Jesus up on his invitation, they went with Jesus. And they remained with him that day.
Jesus dwelling place was not of this world. And that is because Jesus was clear that he was not of this world.
“He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.””
These two disciples were seeking something. But it wasn’t this day that revealed exactly where Jesus dwelt. They knew he dwelt somewhere else, that’s why they followed. But for the next 3 years they would be learning, and they would eventually perceive where Jesus dwelt. And they would realise Jesus wanted them all to dwell where he dwelt.
Jesus would say things to them like,
“I am in the Father and the Father is in me.”
That’s where he dwelt. In the Father, and the Father in him. That’s the place we are to be conscious of, to know that we dwell in Jesus who is in the Father; to know that it is Christ in us, and the Father in him and in us. That’s oneness. There is no other Life for us!
Just like the example of the fish I mentioned last time (Being), Jesus dwelt in the Father and the Father in him. His being was in the Father and the Father in him. His influence spread from his being. Everything he did came from his being. That is something we would do well to constantly remind ourselves of. Activity alone does not produce fruit. Being produces fruit.
Jesus picture of the vine and the branches has just come to me afresh as I’m typing. I’ve focused before on the vine, Christ, and the branches, us. But I just heard him say the words “My Father is the vinedresser.”
A quick search of what a vinedresser does reveals this:
“A vinedresser is an agriculturalist involved in the daily pruning and cultivation of grapevines.”
These are the responsibilities of a vinedresser
- Pest management
- and Harvest.
For the full description via the website, click on the picture above right.
And that is the key. There is no activity in being a branch. It’s about abiding, dwelling in the Vine. And the vinedresser does all the work. A branch cannot find water and make sure it gets enough, it can only drink of what is provided.
A branch cannot be pruned by itself, it can only be pruned by the vinedresser. Pest management is the responsibility of the vinedresser, keeping pests away so that the vine is able to produce it’s fruit without hindrance.
The harvest is the responsibility of the vinedresser, not the branch. A branch cannot harvest the fruit it produces.
And all the time the branch is just being a branch. The branch is simply what it is, a branch, cared for and protected by the vinedresser, receiving it’s life from the vine. Abiding, dwelling in the vine.
This is what the disciples were seeking when they followed Jesus. There was something different about this man. He dwelt in a different place to all others. They wanted to know the secret. Time passed, and they eventually understood. They understood because they came to abide in that same place, just as Jesus had promised them.
“In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.”
Eat the Bread, drink the Living Water. Remember: Be a branch. 🙂