"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"?