Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sight: Where Do We Find Jesus?

"If you don't see God in the next person you meet, it is a waste of time to look for Him any further." -Gandhi

Where do we find Jesus? This is an interesting question. I remember hearing about a funny conversation a friend of mine had. Question: "Have you found Jesus?" Resonse: "I didn't know He was missing." This question gets at the heart of a perspective about Jesus, and what I'll just call "The Importance of Things." Does this question (subtly) imply that we, by are choice are somehow saving ourselves? Or take it a step further, are we implying that we are saving (finding) Jesus, Jesus' plan, etc. We talk a lot in protestant, evangelical circles about the importance of having Jesus in us, but what's weird is that the Bible writers talk more about being "in Christ." Have we pocket-sized the cosmic Christ?

Okay, back to the original question...with a twist. Where does Jesus say that we will see him? Well, in one sense we will see Jesus in the body of Christ, as we the church, embody the hands, feet, elbows, earlobes, of Jesus. But the clearest indictments and judgments of what it means to be a follower of Christ is whether or not we see Jesus in the least, lost, and lonely.  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+25&version=NIV  Jesus says in this passage when you feed the hungry, water the thirsty, clothe the naked, house the stranger, and visit the imprisoned, you have done those things not just for those people, but for Jesus Christ himself. And (here's the scary part) when we don't do these things for these people, we don't do them for Jesus and Jesus says he doesn't know you. What does that even mean? At least in part it means that we should be looking for Jesus in our community - especially in the most hurting, broken, desperate places because in those places we will find Jesus. We will find Jesus already working, playing, healing, teaching.

Jesus said (John 5), "You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

Queries for serious or light reflection:
  • Are we trying to study our way to find Jesus, and missing out on experiencing Jesus and the life that is really life? 
  • Do we truly believe that Jesus is already active in the world or do we think we need to bring Jesus?
  • Do we let the Matthew 25 passage inform how we treat and talk about strangers to our lands (immigrants)? Do we think about them as guests and consider our Christian call to hospitality?
  • Do practice a spiritual discipline of keeping your eyes wide open to see Jesus in the world?
  • How might that awaken you to spiritual formation and "evangelism"?

2 comments:

  1. Brad-

    Great thoughts. I think that in my own personal day to day of "trying" to experience Christ I can often paralyze myself when deciding the best way to go about this.
    So too, in regards to Matthew 25. I see homeless men and women and I always ask myself, what really is the best way to help? By giving them money, food, nothing? And never having the perfect answer to my continual question I end up doing nothing.
    Thus personally, paralysis of my flesh is what keeps me where I'm at.

    Maybe next time I see the homeless (orphan, widow, etc.) I will give them something, anything, and trust that a small act of something is always better than nothing.

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  2. Thanks Samantha. Maybe a part of the answer is in "just seeing" Jesus in other people. And as we stay connected to Christ, things will happen that give life and awaken our souls.

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