“What do you want?”

Freshwater Staff   -  

Questions can be challenging because questions demand answers. Maybe the most challenging question that Jesus could ask someone who follows Him is found in John 1:35-42.

Andrew and John, the author of this gospel, had been following John the Baptist, but when they heard him refer to Jesus as “the Lamb of God,” they began following Jesus. In verse 38, Jesus turns around to ask Andrew and John a simple but crucial question:

“What do you want?”

In our sermon series, “A New Way of Living,” we’ve been looking at what it means to truly follow Jesus in our modern age. As Jamey Codding wrapped up our discipleship series last Sunday, he pointed out that this question from Jesus to Andrew and John is a foundational moment in our understanding of discipleship to Christ.

We’ve defined discipleship at Freshwater as learning to live every moment of our lives in Jesus’ presence so we can follow His ways. The pathway to this deeper life of discipleship is anchored on these four core values:

  1. Be with Jesus
  2. Be Transformed
  3. Be with People
  4. Be on Mission

As disciples, Jesus’ words in John 15:5 highlight the importance of deepening our relationship with Jesus rather than just expanding our activities for Him: “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

Those great things we want to accomplish for His Kingdom? They’re impossible apart from Jesus. But that hasn’t stopped us from trying, and it’s left many in the American Church frustrated and burned out.

Romans 8:28-29 tells us that God’s ultimate purpose is to conform us into the image of His Son. This formation only happens through a deep, abiding relationship with Jesus, and His question – “What do you want?” – should challenge us to examine our motives for following Him.

Are you following Him because you long for his deepest purpose for your life: To be transformed more and more into his image? Or is it merely to get the “good stuff” He offers while still dabbling in this sin or entertaining that idol or repeatedly giving in to that secret lust of the flesh?

That’s what Jesus describes in Revelation 3:15-16 as “lukewarm” living. Instead, in John 6:26-69, He encourages us to feast on Him as the Bread of life as He moves us to a deeper dependence on Him.

When Jesus asked Andrew and John why they were following Him in John 1, they replied, “Teacher, where are you staying?” To which Jesus replied, “Come, and you will see.”

Andrew and John spent that day with Jesus, abiding with Him under His roof; in that time, we see the beginning of their transformation; their encounter with Jesus happened in community; and afterward, John 1:41-42 says the first thing Andrew did was to tell his brother Peter about Jesus.

In seven verses, we see the pathway of discipleship, and it’s a beautiful picture of how we should respond when Jesus asks why we’re following Him.

Reflection Questions
  1. What do you truly want from your relationship with Jesus? Reflect on your deepest desires and motivations for following Him. Are you seeking a deeper, more authentic connection with Christ, or are you primarily looking for personal benefits?
  2. In what ways might your discipleship be superficial or lacking depth? Identify areas where your faith might be shallow and think about how you can cultivate a more profound and meaningful connection with God.
  3. Are you seeking Jesus as the ‘Bread of Life’ to fulfill your spiritual hunger, or are you more focused on physical and material needs? Evaluate your spiritual practices and ensure they are centered on nurturing your soul and deepening your faith in Christ.
  4. How do you handle feelings of disappointment when Jesus does not meet your expectations in the way you hoped? Reflect on your emotional and spiritual responses. Do you tend to withdraw, become discouraged, or question your faith? Consider how you can realign your expectations with God’s will and trust in His greater plan.
  5. Are you willing to surrender everything – to set your mind on the things of the Spirit and not of the flesh – to give the Holy Spirit access to transform you more and more into the image of Christ? What things – good and bad – might get in the way of total surrender? Is there anything you aren’t willing to give up to allow the Spirit complete control?
Watch the Message
Worship Songs from May 19
  • “This is Our God”
  • “Goodness of God”
  • “God is Love” (after the message)
  • “Make Room” (after the message)