It is such a simple phrase, "come and see."
Jesus says it to Phillip.
Phillip, in turn, says it to Nathanael.
"Come and see." The invitation to see for one's self.
When Phillip first approaches Nathanael, the latter is skeptical. "Nazareth? You must be joking? Can any thing good come out of Nazareth?"
Nazareth was a small town in the Gallilean countryside. Surely, God's Chosen One will not come from such a remote place.
Jerusalem? Sure. That is where the Temple is. The Messiah could come from there.
Or Bethlehem. After all, King David came from there.
Perhaps even Sepphoris, the bigger town just there-- in viewing distance of Nazareth. Many of the townsfolk from Nazareth work for people in Sepphoris.
Nathanael's curiosity gets the best of him, however. He cannot resist the opportunity to see this One who has his friend so excited and hopeful. Maybe, just maybe . . .
And then, Nathanael meets Jesus for Himself. Jesus is able to tell Nathanael about himself, much to the latter's astonishment. That is all it takes for Nathanael to believe and to join the growing band of Jesus' followers.
How different it all might have been! Phillip could have kept his enthusiasm to himself. He could have been reluctant and not invited Nathanael. Nathanael could have stayed home, like an immovable wall in his doubts. Two almost miss opportunities that could have made things turn out so differently!
What about you and me? Is there someone God is calling us to extend the invitation to "come and see"? Or are we in danger of missing out in the invitation of a lifetime?