Monday, May 19, 2014

What do you seek? (Luke 7:24-26)

When the messengers of John had left, He began to speak to the crowds about John, "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Those who are splendidly clothed and live in luxury are found in royal palaces! But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and one who is more than a prophet. (Luke 7:24-26 NASB)

The messengers from John approached Jesus when He was ministering to a large crowd. He had been teaching and healing. When the disciples spoke with Jesus, the crowd was still assembled and, it seems, at least some of the crowd knew of their exchange. Jesus didn't berate John for asking questions or voicing doubts. Instead, he first turned the questions back to the crowd. 

"When you went to see John in the wilderness, what were you seeking?" He asked. "It wasn't a weak reed of a man nor a fancy dandy of a man," He continued. "You went to see a prophet."  He told them what they had gone to see was actually a man who was more than a prophet. 

The Greek word here, prophētēs, is best translated as prophet. It indicates someone who shares a revelation they have received directly from God, someone filled and directed by the Spirit of God. Understanding what a prophet does is not the same as understanding why they were willing to walk miles over rough terrain to see the prophet in the wilderness. 

The people had gone to see John because they knew he had a direct encounter with God.  They wanted to hear him tell about it, but they also hoped he would tell it in a way that shared some of that encounter with them. They were hungry for an encounter with God of their own. 

John made it clear that it was sin that prevented their own relationship with God, and it was only repentance for sin that could open the lines of communication with God. "Repent!" John had said over and over again. They knew that was his message, and that is exactly what they wanted to hear. They were desperate for someone to tell them, to show them, how to repent and get the sin out of their hearts and lives. They wanted someone to show them how to have this God-life they'd been trying to accomplish with rituals and sacrifices. 

Aren't we also hungry for an encounter with God of our own? Don't we also long for a personal encounter with the Almighty? There are many who disdain the attempt, but perhaps it is because they have not yet understood how to have it for themselves. Are you willing to be a John to those who are seeking?  Will you share with all God sends your way?

Pray today that we would repent of anything that keeps us from our Lord and that we would share our experience with Him so clearly that we would be like a road sign, pointing the way to Christ. 
Link to last night's post: