Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
In Part 1, I talked about the big question that Jesus asked. One day, we read about it in John’s Gospel chapter 1, John the Baptist was with two of his disciples and he called Jesus the Lamb of God. But Jesus surprised them with the question, What do you want?
So I wonder, how would you answer ‘life’s big question’? What do you want? I suppose that is a bit of a loaded question—I mean it almost seems unfair for Jesus to ask such a question, doesn’t it? It depends, doesn’t it?
We would like to have some sort of follow up question, like, What do I want—when? Like right now? Or do you mean, What do I want, in general? Or are you asking, What do I want from the church? Or, are you asking, What do I want for lunch today? ‘What do you want?’ is such a big question, isn’t it?
But don’t you think Jesus knew this when he asked it? Yes, the two disciples do choose to follow Jesus, but they do not seem to be fully certain of what they are doing. They counter Jesus’ question with an inquiry about his housing situation—they asked, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” Most Biblical scholars know that this is a question not merely about lodging, but about the nature of Jesus himself.
The answer is in the journey
Where are you staying? means, in essence, Who are you? Where is your ‘home’, the centre of your life? It would not be stretching things to translate the disciples’ response as, “At this point we don’t know whom we are following or where this path is leading. Can you tell us?” (Thomas Long).
The disciples’ faith was seeking understanding. I wonder, is yours? How wonderful was Jesus’ response—he says, “come and see.” Jesus knew that in the journey they would begin to see—and in the seeing they would begin to fathom the true meaning and depth of what was happening to them. They would begin to truly discern what they deeply wanted—they would begin to see with clarity what they had been looking for—it was Jesus, ‘the Lamb of God’. And he would give them security, purpose, peace, and hope—things we too want.
A little time with Jesus changed everything. In fact, they couldn’t keep it a secret—telling others about Jesus was no longer a second thought. It was now the first thing they did! Perhaps today you will ‘come and see’ Jesus—to begin to truly understand what your soul deeply longs for. How wonderful it would be to embrace the One who has been looking for you.
The Seven Wonders of the World
A group of young students were asked by their school teacher to make a list of what they thought were the present-day Seven Wonders of the World. Although there were some disagreements, the following seven things received the most votes:
- The Great Pyramids of Egypt
- The Taj Mahal
- The Grand Canyon
- The Panama Canal
- The Empire State Building
- St Peter’s Basilica
- China’s Great Wall.
While gathering the votes, the teacher noticed that one quiet student had not turned in her paper yet. So she asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list. The girl replied, “Yes, a little. I couldn’t quite make up my mind because there were so many.” The teacher said, “Well, tell us what you have—read your list and maybe we can help.” Hesitantly, shyly, the girl stood up and then read her paper out loud to the class. She said, “I think the Seven Wonders of the World are:
- to be able to see.
- to be able to hear.
- to be able to touch.
- to be able to feel.
- to be able to taste.
- to be able to laugh.
- to be able to love.”
You know, I can’t help but think about the opening verse of Psalm 23 that says, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.” Could it be that Jesus’ question, “What do you want?” is a faith question?
I think the creators of the movie Evan Almighty got it right. Remember the scene in the movie? ‘God’ (Morgan Freeman) says:
If you ask for patience, do you think God just gives you patience or does he give you opportunities to be patient? If you ask for the ability to love more, do you think God makes you more loving or does he give you opportunities to be more loving.