Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.”
"The way was long, and the shadows spread
far as the eye could see,
I stretched my hands to a human Christ
who walked through the night with me.
Out of the darkness we came at last,
our feet on the dawn-worn sod,
And I knew by the light in His wondrous eye,
that I walked with the Son of God."
Today’s Study Text:
“For whoever is bent on saving (her) temporal life (her comfort and security here) shall lose it (eternal life). And whoever loses (her) life (her comfort and security here) for My sake shall find life everlasting.”
Matthew 16: 25
“We Would See Jesus”
"Jesus, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills my breast;
But sweeter far Thy face to see,
And in Thy presence rest.
Jesus, our only joy be Thou,
As Thou our prize wilt be;
Jesus, be Thou our glory now,
And through eternity."
Bernard of Clairvaux
Is there a longing in my heart to “see Jesus” and to follow where He leads?
“To become like Christ is the only thing in the world worth caring for, the thing before which every ambition of man (or woman) is folly and all lower achievement vain. Those only who make this quest the supreme desire and passion of their lives can even begin to hope to reach it.”
“Now among those who went up to worship at the Feast (Passover) were some Greeks. These came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and they made this request, ‘Sir, we desire to see Jesus’” (John 12: 20, 21, Amplified Bible).
It was the week of the crucifixion of Jesus. He had returned to Jerusalem and as the disciple John tells us in John 12: 20-23, among those who were in the city were a group of individuals, identified in John 12: 8-20, as Greeks. According to some Biblical scholars, because Philip and Andrew had Greek names, and a Hellenistic history, these foreigners may have felt comfortable approaching these followers of Jesus with not only a touching request, but a very simple one – “We would see Jesus.” In the Greek translation, the word “would,” as used in this particular text, means “we desire to see or we would love to see Jesus.” Isn’t this a wonderful thing to find tucked into the book of John?
Just a few days before Jesus was to suffer the agony of the cross, these “outsiders” came with a heartfelt message, “We long to see Jesus.”
What is even more touching is that when Christ’s disciples came to Him with this request, Jesus recognized that, “The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified and exalted.” Then Jesus continued by affirming: “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth on the cross, will draw and attract all (Gentiles) as well as (Jews) to Myself” (John 12: 32).
Having this marvelous event happen so close to the time of His’ death, only reinforced in Jesus’ life what He already knew and that was the power of love to draw all, as the Bible tells us.
It is this fact – the power of love to draw all – that not only takes us back to our study text in Matthew 16, but also to the words of John who reflects what is written in Matthew 16: 25, “For whoever is bent on saving (their) temporal life shall lose it, but whoever loses (their) life here for My sake shall find life everlasting.” These nearly identical words are found again in John 12: 25, 26, “Anyone who loves (their) life loses it, but anyone who hates (their) life will keep it to life eternal…If anyone serves Me, (they) must continue to follow Me (to cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying and wherever I am, there will My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor Him”
What instructive passages for you and me to thoughtfully consider as we chose to come to Christ and follow Him, everyday. Rather than looking for and demanding a life of ease and prosperity, a life that wants a crown but doesn’t want to carry a cross, a life that grabs for all the “gusto” and never denies ourselves anything, a life that ignores Jesus and His hurting children, we are called to, as the Greeks so touchingly said, “See Jesus” and desire Him above all else! This should be our foremost longing this Easter season and everyday of our lives. In the words of Anna Warner:
“’We would see Jesus;’ for the shadows lengthen across the little landscape of our life;
‘We would see Jesus,’ our weak faith to strength for the last conflict in this mortal strife.
‘We would see Jesus,’ Rock of our salvation, whereon our feet were set with sovereign grace;
Not life, nor death, with all their agitation, can thence remove us, gazing on His face.”
It was the Apostle Paul, in his letter to the young Christians in Colosse, who shared this wonderful truth, “If then you have been raised with Christ to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead, aim and seek the rich eternal treasures that are above…set your minds and keep them set on what is above, not on the things that are on earth” (Colossians 3: 1,2, Amplified Bible).
As we long to see Jesus, the desires and wants for things of this earth will fade away. It was Eugenia Price who so eloquently expressed that when “Christ lives in us, controlling our personalities, we will leave glorious marks on the lives we touch. Not because of our lovely characters, but because of His.” “Sir, we want to see Jesus, can you help us” (John 12: 21, the Message Bible), will be the call from everyone we meet, too!
“My Lord, I have nothing to do in this world but to seek and serve You; I have nothing to do with a heart and its affections but to breathe after You; I have nothing to do with my tongue and pen but to speak to You and for You and to publish Your glory and Your will.”
“Give us, O Lord, a steadfast heart, which no unworthy affection may drag downwards; give us an unconquered heart, which no tribulation can wear out; give us an upright heart, which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside. Bestow upon us also, O Lord our God, understanding to know You, diligence to seek You, wisdom to find You and a faithfulness that may embrace You; through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
St. Thomas Aquinas
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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