It has been a little while since I’ve written a blog post. The Lord willing, I plan to do so on a more regular basis, using the “red-letter edition” of God’s word. Here is one from John 1:38.
What are you seeking?
John the Baptist “came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light” (1:7-8). When he saw Jesus, he said: “Behold, the Lamb of God!” Two of John’s disciples “heard him say this, and they followed Jesus” (1:36-37).
When Jesus “turned and saw them following,” He said to them: “What are you seeking?” Was Jesus unaware of their reason, their motivation? None whatsoever! This question was like the one God had posed to Adam: “Where are you” (Gen. 3:9)? Just like God wasn’t oblivious to where Adam was, even so Jesus wasn’t oblivious to the reason they followed Him.
His “what are you seeking” was a personal, probing question. What are you seeking from Jesus? What motivates you to follow Him? As we know from this gospel, many followed Jesus for what He could do for and give to them.
When He expressed “a hard saying . . . many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him” (6:60, 66). Why are you following Jesus? Will you still do so when He expresses some hard sayings? Will you embrace or reject those sayings?
Later on, we read: “Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man” (2:24-25). Jesus’ question was not a question for Him to become aware of our motivation, but for us to become more aware of our motivation.
What are you really seeking? Paul spoke of those who “proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition” (Phil. 1:17). We also read of one who just wanted the ability to have divine power (Acts 8:19). In the end, “what are you seeking” isn’t a polite, small-talk question. Rather, it goes to the heart of the matter, the very motivation of our hearts in wanting to follow Jesus, which may or may not be as divinely clear to us yet.
Mr. Jan Blonk
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