In John 1:37, Jesus is early in his ministry and two men (who would become two of his disciples) are following him. Jesus asks “What are you seeking?” (John 1:38).
Considering who’s asking the question (Jesus), that’s a pretty important question that we must all ask ourselves. What are we seeking? What are we looking to Jesus for? What do we do make of Jesus?
But the two men instead answer his question with a question.
And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), where are you staying?” (John 1:39).
They don’t answer the question.
As they try to follow Jesus, perhaps it’s too difficult to spell out exactly what they’re seeking but they ask where he’s staying in the hopes of being with him and being able to talk to him and be in his presence.
He said to them, “Come and you will see” (John 1:39).
The response that Jesus gives is so much more than pointing out his lodgings. He’s answering the question the two men didn’t know how to ask. And in being his disciples, and following Jesus, they would have the answer to what they were seeking in the coming years,.
Jesus invites them in. He invites them into a relationship. He invites everyone into a relationship, into knowing him.
In the immediate context of John 1, Jesus does invite them to stay with him.
So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour (John 1:39).
So they go and spend time with Jesus. The text says that they stayed with him that day for it was about the tenth hour. That’s not saying it was 10 o’clock. In this ancient reckoning of time, it was actually around 4pm. In our timeline, that also brings day 3 to a close.
They stay with Jesus. It’s the ancient world. They don’t have cars or lights. They spend the night wherever Jesus is staying.
John 1:40 says:
One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.
We’re given a name of one of these men who follows Jesus. It’s interesting the author only gives us one of their names. We don’t know for sure the identity of the second of the two men. It is a commonly held belief that the other man is none other than the Apostle John who is the author of this gospel. He never mentions his name in the book.
But we’re given the name Andrew and we’re told he’s Simon Peter’s brother.
Simon Peter, best known as Peter, would become one of the best known of the disciples, a leader within this group, a part of Jesus’ inner circle. And so Andrew is actually identified by his relationship to Peter. They’re brothers. Even though Peter has yet to be mentioned in this gospel, the Apostle John assumed that his audience would be familiar with Peter.
Verse 41 we see that Andrew actually evangelizes his brother and tells him about Jesus: He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ).