“But Jesus turned, and as He saw them following Him, He said to them, What are you looking for? [And what is it you wish?] And they answered Him, Rabbi–which translated is Teacher–where are You staying? He said to them, Come and see. So they went and saw where He was staying, and they remained with Him that day. It was then about the tenth hour (about four o’clock in the afternoon).”
John 1:38-39 AMP
Jesus turned. Jesus saw. One name, two verbs, two sentences showing two actions of Jesus, but so much more than just that. The verb saw sells this scene way to short. It is the Greek word, theaomai. It is the root word of our English word theatre. The definition is behold, contemplate, view attentively, to learn something by looking, to perceive, and lastly to visit.
The Psalmist says, “You perceive my thoughts from afar.” Psalm 139:2 In that moment as Jesus was looking at these two friends, he was perceiving and learning their true intentions.
Jesus heard them behind him. He felt their stare. He knew their thoughts. He was after all Son of God even though He had taken on their earthly flesh and bones. He was Son of God; Son of Man; and He was connected to His Father mind, heart, soul and body. His Father examines the thoughts and minds of all men. His Father made him privy to all things of God. Jesus knew these two had a deep desire to know him, so He made an about face. He changed to direction so that He could go to them, these true seekers and sons of Israel. He looked at Andrew and his friend. His gaze was intense. Andrew felt as though Jesus was peering into his deepest thoughts, but he didn’t look down. He didn’t avert his eyes from this Rabbi’s gaze. He couldn’t. Their view was locked on the other. “What do you desire?” Jesus asked them. Jesus knew the answer. He saw it in their hearts. He just needed them to declare their true intent. They needed to hear it for themselves. They needed to own it. Andrew wanted to reach out and grasp hold of this Man who commanded his attention. “Where are you staying?” Andrew blurted out.
As I write this, I feel the Lord examining my heart from afar. Andrew’s question was equivalent to asking Jesus, “Do not depart from us. Please, let us go where you are. Please, I want to be continually in Your Presence. I want to go where you are abiding.” Those were his true intentions. Jesus perceived those intents. So He turned to them and went toward them, and then He said, “Come and you will see.”
That is what He still does. When our hearts truly seek Him, He says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13.