John takes us immediately from the exalted theology of the prologue to the activity that is at the heart of Jesus’ mission: to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). The first action of Jesus recorded by John is when he turned toward those who were following him (vs. 38). Prior to the account of Jesus’ first sign (2:1ff), John records in quick succession the first five conversions, the calling of the first disciples.
The moment the two disciples of John the Baptist turned toward Jesus, he turned toward them. This turning answered “the long-standing prayers echoed throughout the Psalms and redeeming the promises made in Zechariah and Malachi at the end of the Old Testament. The cry, ‘How long?’ has been changed to an invitation: ‘Come and see’” (Klink, 155). The gospel declares that God has come to his people in such a way that their captivity to sin has been broken. And of this work, God is the sovereign initiator. Our witness to our neighbors comes in response to God’s prior acts in and through Jesus Christ.
Other than gratitude, the primary response of the Christian to the gospel of Jesus Christ ought to be to bring others to Jesus. The gospel is not an ethic or a spiritual exercise. The gospel is a message. It is news. It is the good news of the dying and rising of Jesus for the salvation of sinners. So the primary task of Christians is not to train people in spiritual techniques but to call them to faith in Jesus, to call them to “come and see.”