Seek and Find Grace
“[Some Greeks] came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him,
‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’” – John 12:21
I am always fascinated at the reasons why people come to see Jesus. Whether it’s confrontational or confessional in nature, people are drawn to Jesus from a place of deep need. For example, in Matthew 11, the disciples of John the Baptist wish to see Jesus to ask him a very central question – “Are you the Messiah or are we to wait for another?” They are in need of a God who will save them. In Matthew 8, many people – a leper, a centurion, and other members of the town – wish to see Jesus and all seek to be healed from an illness that has left them alone and outside of the bounds of society. They are in need of a God who has not cast them aside. In Matthew 22, the Pharisees wish to see Jesus to entrap him on the subject of paying taxes. Desiring to reinforce their claim of religious power, they leave amazed and disappointed at his answer. They are in need of power and authority even if it isn’t bestowed by God.
We all have unique back stories for why we want to see Jesus. For some of us, seeing Jesus is a heritage, grounded in our desire to inherit the passion and meaning that our families instilled in us. For others, we seek in Jesus a forgiveness that we have never found in anything less than God. Some seek Jesus out of curiosity, wanting to know the person who has inspired so many of the great light-bearers throughout history. Others seek to see Jesus because they are tired of searching for meaning or vocation in things that too easily fade away.
Though there are a myriad of reasons that we seek to see Jesus, we are all given the same response – grace. Whether it is forgiveness, healing, authority, or another reason, when we seek Jesus, we are met with an invitation to wholeness and to sharing this wholeness with everyone we meet. That doesn’t mean life is easy – following Jesus to the cross rarely is – but it does mean that it will be good.
One thing that unites all of us who encounter Jesus is receiving the invitation to the good life – a life of wholeness and faithfulness in our walk toward Easter.