I listened with delight to my eighteen-month-old granddaughter's attempts to repeat the words with which her brothers and sisters were coaching her. As I saw the pride on her parents' faces, I remembered my own children's first words. I am sure that every mother lovingly records those simple words in their baby albums.
Do you remember the first words that your husband or wife ever said to you? They are often recounted with great hilarity at the wedding reception. And we never forget a loved one's final words to us. Likewise, we probably all know Jesus' last words on the cross. But Jesus' first words to His disciples are worth remembering, too.
John 1:38a – Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, "What do you want?" (NIV)
If someone were following us, isn't that exactly what we would say? What do you want? What are you looking for? But surely Jesus already knew?
We might also think that the disciples' reply is curious. They called Him "Rabbi", teacher, a term of respect, and they asked, "Where are you staying?"
Where do you live? What they were really asking was whether they might spend some time with Him. They were not interested in simply exchanging a few words and then passing by. They were looking for more meaningful conversation. They wanted to sit down and have a heart-to-heart with Jesus.
Jesus invited them to come and see. Come and talk; come and learn. He was ready to be their friend and listen to their problems. He was willing to start a relationship. Let's get together …
Jesus never forces Himself onto us. Neither does He hide; He makes things easy for us and meets us halfway. He begins the relationship by asking a simple question that gets straight to the point. It is a good idea to ask ourselves this fundamental question at times. What do we really want out of life? What are our goals? Security? Success? Money, a career, and power? Fame, perhaps? Or peace of mind? Strangely, most people aren't looking for the "abundant life" that Jesus offers through peace with God. When I first came to Jesus, I never expected the abundant life that I have now. It's a biblical expression that I wasn't familiar with. Peace with God is what only Jesus can provide.
John 14:27a – Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. (NIV)
When we begin to search, Jesus opens the door and meets with us.
Luke 11:10 – For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. (NIV)
Jesus is looking for a relationship with each one of us. He wants to be our friend as well as our Lord and Saviour. As we get to know Him better, we discover that what He provides is exactly what we need, not necessarily what we're looking for.
What do you want? Give your life to Jesus, and He will pile on all the treasure and riches that we could ever manage — a life of "righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness". (1 Timothy 6:11b NIV)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, when we search for peace, we search for You. We search for a new, abundant life that only You can provide. We ask that You meet us on the journey, and that You continually ask what we are looking for. You are extravagantly generous! Help us commit to pursuing our relationship with You. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "All People That On Earth Do Dwell" (Lyrics)