"Come and see."
This invitation, issued in the meridian of time, is as applicable to mankind today as it was when Philip issued it to Nathanael. (See John 1:46.)And reviewing the context of the invitation is equally instructive.
As the Savior began His mortal ministry, His fame quickly spread. The honest in heart soon became His disciples. We are blessed with many accounts of Jesus' association with His disciples, but the description provided in the first chapter of John conveys a wondrous excitement - as one follower runs to another proclaiming that, at last, the promised Messiah had been found.
These verses aptly capture the immense joy that must have filled the hearts of these righteous individuals, who, after having been taught the prophecies concerning the coming of the Messiah all their lives, realize that in Jesus Christ the prophecy had literally been fulfilled.
Two men, we are told, saw the Savior and proclaimed, "Behold the Lamb of God." Then, after speaking with the Lord, one of those two, Andrew, runs to his brother, Simon, and further proclaims, "We have found the Messias." (John 1:36-41.)
That same excitement is evident when, a day later, Jesus invites Philip to follow him. Philip apparently runs to Nathanael and says, "We have found him. . . ." (John 1:43-45.)
Then, as mentioned above, Philip invites Nathanael to "come and see."
Nathanael - and others - do.
In Nathanael's case, he may have been a little skeptical at first. But he soon understood what his friend meant. For after he came and saw, a righteous Nathanael testified that Jesus was "the Son of God . . . (and) the King of Israel." (John 1:49.)
Nathanael was now ready to accept another of the Savior's invitations: "Follow me."
By accepting these two simple, short and direct invitations - "come and see" and "follow me" - we take a giant step in our eternal progression.
We must make every effort to know for a surety and for ourselves that Jesus is actually the Christ, the literal Son of God and the Savior of the world. We need to "come and see" who and what He is and what He offers to all the children of God.
We simply cannot stand idly by - hoping that Jesus is the Savior or thinking that He might have been the Son of God.
We have to be assertive and take charge of that search. We must be valiant and vigilant in that quest. Upon each of us individually rests a sacred responsibility to know in our hearts of that eternal truth.
And there is no better way to "come and see" than to "follow (Him)."
For in following Him we allow the spirit to confirm to our souls the truthfulness of His ministry, His teachings, His love, and His plan for our eternal joy and exaltation.
Perhaps Nephi best described it when he said ". . . we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ. . . ." (2 Ne. 25:26.)
Later, Nephi amplified that.
"And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.
"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life." (2 Ne. 31:19-20.)
And, of course, our own modern-day prophet, President Howard W. Hunter, similarly implores us.
"I invite all members of the Church to live with ever more attention to the life and example of the Lord Jesus Christ - especially the love and hope and compassion He displayed. I pray that we will treat each other with more kindness, more patience, more courtesy and forgiveness. . . . May we have ears to hear and hearts to feel and the courage to follow." (October 1994 General Conference.)
The Savior must be the focus of all we do. We must come and see what His life represents and how we can make that part of our lives. We must follow Him. We must align our lives with His. We must be ever-desirous and always working to be even as He is.