SIR, WE WANT TO SEE JESUS
A college student wrote the following letter to her parents:
Dear Mom and Dad:
"I am writing this letter on school paper because my stationary got burned in the fire.
I've been released from the hospital, and have moved in with my new boyfriend, Bill.
He got me a job where he works-
I’m a waitress at the Red Dog Saloon.
By the way your new grandbaby is due next fall."
And then on the second page she writes . . .
"Mom, Dad, none of the above really happened.
However, I did get a C in French and I’m failing History.
Your Daughter Penny."
IT’S ALL A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE, ISN’T IT?
John 12:20-33 (NIV)
20 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Feast. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus.
23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
27 “Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!”
Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.
30 Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32 But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” 33 He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.
IT WAS THE TIME OF YEAR FOR THE PASSOVER FEAST.
AND THERE WERE SOME GREEKS IN TOWN THAT HAD COME TO JERUSALEM IN ORDER TO CELEBRATE THE PASSOVER FEAST.
THEY FOUND PHILLIP AND ASKED HIM A QUESTION;
THEY SAID, SIR, WE WANT TO SEE JESUS. CAN YOU HELP US?
PHILLIP WENT AND FOUND ANDREW, AND THE TWO OF THEM WENT AND TOLD JESUS.
I WONDER WHY THESE GREEKS WANTED TO SEE JESUS.
WAS IT OUT OF CURIOSITY?
MAYBE THEY HAD HEARD ABOUT HIS MIRACLES AND WANTED TO BE INTERTAINED.
(I DON'T THINK SO)
WERE THEY RABBI SHOPPING AND HAD HEARD THAT JESUS TOLD GOOD STORIES.
(WHO KNOWS FOR SURE)
BUT PEOPLE DO THAT YOU KNOW.
THEY GO CHURCH SHOPPING.
THEY'RE THINKING ABOUT THEMSELVES AND WHICH CHURCH WILL SERVE THEM THE MOST.
THEY'RE LOOKING FOR WHAT THEY CAN GET.
NOW IF YOU'RE LOOKING TO FIND WHICH CHURCH GOD WANTS YOU TO SERVE IN, THAT IS ONE THING.
BUT IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR THE CHURCH THAT SERVES YOU MOST.
IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR THE CHURCH THAT HAS
THE BEST MUSIC,
THE BEST CHILDRENS PROGRAM,
THE BEST POT LUCK DINNERS, OR
THE BEST PREACHING,
THEN I THINK THAT'S THE WRONG.
WE SHOULD ALWAYS LOOK FOR GOD'S DIRECTION AND LEADING IN EVERYTHING WE DO.
IN EVERY DECISION WE MAKE IN LIFE.
SERVING CHRIST IS MORE ABOUT GIVING AND LESS ABOUT GETTING.
AND THE FUNNY THING IS THAT
THE MORE YOU GIVE, THE MORE YOU GET BACK.
WELL WHATEVER THEIR REASON WAS FOR ASKING TO SEE JESUS,
HE PRETTY MUCH IGNORED THEIR REQUEST.
THIS MAKES ME THINK OF THE CAANANITE WOMAN IN;
Matthew 15:22-28 (NIV)
22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.”
23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”
24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.
26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”
27 “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”
28 Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
THIS WOMAN BROKE THROUGH TO JESUS AND WON HER CASE, BUT THE TRUTH OF WHAT JESUS SAID
AT THE TIME THAT THE GREEKS WERE ASKING TO SEE JESUS,
HE WAS SENT ONLY TO THE LOST SHEEP OF ISRAEL.
BUT VERY SOON HE WOULD PROVIDE SALVATION FOR THE ENTIRE WORLD.
THE MOST LIKELY REASON THAT THE GREEKS COULDN’T SEE JESUS ON THEIR OWN WAS THAT
JESUS WAS PROBABLY TEACHING IN THE TEMPLE COURTS AND GENTILES WERE NOT ALLOWED TO ENTER PAST THE COURT OF THE GENTILES.
WHEN ANDREW AND PHILIP TOLD JESUS ABOUT THE GREEKS REQUEST,
JESUS DIDN’T REALLY GIVE A DIRECT ANSWER TO THEM.
HE BEGAN TALKING ABOUT HIS CRUCIFIXION.
HE BEGAN TALKING ABOUT THE SON OF MAN BEING GLORIFIED.
ONE OF THE DEFINITIONS OF GLORIFY IS TO ELEVATE TO CELESTIAL GLORY,
ANOTHER DEFINITION IS TO GIVE GLORY AS IN WORSHIP.
JESUS WAS ACTUALLY TALKING ABOUT HIS DEATH ON THE CROSS
AND HIS RESURRECTION WITH A NEW GLORIFIED BODY.
SOME DAY WE WILL INHERIT A NEW GLORIFIED BODY TOO.
THE OLDER I GET THE MORE I WANT THAT GLORIFIED BODY.
THIS OLD BODY THAT I HAVE NOW IS WEARING OUT.
IT HURTS, IT ACHES, IT DOESN'T WORK AS GOOD AS IT USED TO.
THE MEMORY RETRIVAL SYSTEM MALFUNCTIONS WAY TO OFTEN.
AND THE DAY THAT I GET MY NEW GLORIFIED BODY WILL BE GRADUATION DAY.
ON THAT DAY I WILL HAVE ARRIVED.
JESUS TELLS A STORY ABOUT A KERNEL OF WHEAT FALLING TO THE GROUND AND DIEING,
DEAD AND BURIED IN THE GROUND.
HE SAYS THAT ONLY WHEN THE SEED DIES AND IS BURIED, CAN IT PRODUCE A CROP OF MANY SEEDS.
JESUS IS OF COURSE TALKING ABOUT HIS OWN DEATH BRINGING SALVATION AND FORGIVENESS TO ALL OF US.
BUT THIS SAME PRINCIPLE IS TRUE FOR YOU AND ME TOO.
IT'S ONLY WHEN WE DIE TO OUR SELFISH SELF,
AND YIELD TO GOD'S DESIGN FOR OUR LIVES
THAT WE CAN REALLY BEGIN TO LIVE.
IT'S WHEN WE PUT OURSELVES LAST
THAT GOD IS ABLE TO MOVE US UP FRONT.
JESUS EXPLAINS THIS PRINCIPLE IN;
Luke 14:7-11 (NIV)
7 When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8 “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this man your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
PAUL TELLS US IN;
Romans 12:3 (NIV)
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
JESUS GOES ON TO TALK ABOUT GRASPING LIFE SO TIGHTLY THAT IT LEADS TO ETERNAL DEATH,
25 The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
WE MUST BE READY AND WILLING TO GIVE UP OUR EARTHLY LIFE SO THAT YOU CAN HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.
26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
JESUS SAYS THAT WHOEVER WOULD SERVE HIM MUST FOLLOW HIM.
FOLLOW HIM WHERE?
FOLLOW HIM IN DEATH? YES, IF NECESSARY
FOLLOW HIM IN LIFE? ABSOLUTELY.
JESUS SAID "FOLLOW ME", A LOT.
HE TOLD PETER AND JAMES TO FOLLOW HIM.
HE TOLD LEVI THE TAX COLLECTOR TO FOLLOW HIM.
AND HE TELLS YOU AND ME TO FOLLOW HIM TOO.
HE SAID, WHERE I AM, THERE WILL MY SERVANT ALSO BE.
OUR RESPONSIBILITY IS TO FOLLOW JESUS.
TO BE GOD CHASERS.
TO BE ALWAYS SEEKING AFTER MORE OF GOD.
LIKE A GOOD LEADER JESUS ISN’T ASKING US TO DO ANYTHING HE WASN’T ALSO WILLING TO DO.
THE CROSS WAS LOOMING CLOSER AND CLOSER.
THE CROSS IS WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT
WHEN HE SPOKE ABOUT THE SEED HAVING TO DIE
IN ORDER TO PRODUCT MORE SEEDS.
HE WAS THE SEED THAT WOULD PRODUCE SALVATION AND ETERNAL LIFE FOR THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS OF LOST PEOPLE.
DID JESUS EVER ANSWER THE REQUEST OF THE GREEKS?
HERE’S MY INTERPRETATION;
JESUS WAS SAYING THAT HE HAD BEEN SENT ON A MISSION TO EARTH
SO THAT HE COULD PROVIDE A WAY FOR EVERYONE TO SEE HIM, GREEK AND JEW ALIKE.
HE WAS SAYING THAT BY DIEING ON THE CROSS HE WOULD BE ABLE TO OPEN THE DOOR FOR THE ENTIRE WORLD TO SEE HIM AND ENTER INTO ETERNAL LIFE.
THE GREEKS ASKED TO SEE JESUS.
BEFORE THAT WEEK WAS ENDED, EVERYONE IN JERUSALEM WOULD SEE JESUS.
THEY WOULD SEE HIM HIGH AND LIFTED UP, DIEING FOR THEIR SINS AND FOR THE SINS OF THE WHOLE WORLD.
AND TO PROVE THAT HE REALLY WAS THE SON OF GOD, HE WAS RAISED TO LIFE THREE DAYS LATER.
THE REQUEST OF THE GREEKS TO SEE JESUS
IS STILL A GOOD THING TO ASK FOR TODAY.
M. Night Shyamalan's
THERE'S A MOVIE CALLED Wide Awake
its about a Catholic school boy's search for God.
The boy, Joshua, specifically wants to find out whether or not his dead grandfather is okay.
Joshua and his friend Dave are sitting in a car in a garage having a discussion.
Both are about 10 years old.
Joshua says: "You know what, Dave? I'm going on a mission. A real mission."
"What kind of mission?" Dave asks.
"The kind where you're looking for something important," says Joshua.
"What are you gonna look for?"
"God?" Dave is incredulous. "What for?"
"I just want to talk to him."
"To make sure my grandpa is okay."
Dave thinks for a moment, then says: "Remember when you told me I was stupid for staring at that bug lamp on my porch for six hours hoping the purple light would have gamma rays and turn me into the Incredible Hulk so I could fight crime?
Your mission is more stupid than that."
"Why?" Joshua asks.
"'Cause you can't look for God."
"Where in the world are you gonna look?"
THE GREEKS ASKED IF THEY COULD SEE JESUS"
THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION FOR TODAY.
WHERE IN THE WORLD ARE YOU GONNA LOOK?
WHERE CAN YOU SEE JESUS TODAY?
I SEE JESUS IN THE PLANT AND ANIMAL LIFE THAT'S
ALL AROUND US.
I SEE JESUS IN THE MIRACLE OF BIRTH.
I SEE JESUS IN THE LOVE THAT A MOTHER HAS FOR HER CHILD.
I SEE JESUS IN THE LIGHTNESS OF MY HEART SINCE HE TOOK MY SINS AWAY.
A BROKEN AND CONTRITE SPIRIT CAN SEE JESUS.
A PERSON WHO HAS A HUMBLE ATTITUDE CAN SEE JESUS.
GOD'S HOLY SPIRIT IS AVAILABLE IN THE WORLD TODAY.
TO EXPERIENCE HIM WE ONLY HAVE TO YIELD TO HIM AND LET HIM COME INTO OUR HEART.
LET HIM CLEAN OUT ALL THE FILTH THAT WE 'VE ALLOWED TO GET IN THERE, AND
TRUST HIM TO SAVE US FROM OUR SINFUL PAST.
WHEN JESUS SPOKE ABOUT THE NEED FOR A SEED TO DIE AND BE BURIED IN ORDER FOR IT TO PRODUCE MORE SEED, HE WAS TALKING ABOUT HIS OWN DEATH.
John 12:24 (NIV)
24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
IF WE ARE TO BE RID OF OUR SINFUL PAST, WE MUST DO THE SAME THING.
PAUL SAID IN
Romans 8:13 (NIV)
13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,
WE MUST DIE TO OURSELF.
WE MUST LET GOD PUT TO DEATH OUR SINFUL PAST.
WHEN WE, LIKE THE SEED IN THE GROUND DIE TO OURSELVES,
THEN WE BECOME THE MEANS OF A HARVEST OF SOULS BEYOND ANYTHING WE COULD HAVE EVER IMAGINED.
LIKE 10 YEAR OLD JOSHUA IN OUR STORY, WE NEED TO BE ON A MISSION.
JESUS WAS SENT ON A MISSION, TO PROVIDE SALVATION FOR THE WORLD.
WE ARE SENT ON A MISSION TO TELL THE GOOD NEWS.
THE GOOD NEWS THAT WE CAN BE FREE FROM THE BURDEN OF SIN THAT WE CARRY.
THE GOOD NEWS THAT WE CAN HAVE A REALLY GOOD LIFE.
A LIFE WITH A PURPOSE.
A LIFE WHERE WE ARE NEVER ALONE.
OUR GOD WILL NEVER LEAVE OF FORSAKE US.
HE WILL ALWAYS BE WITH US.
LET'S GO TELL THE WORLD ABOUT JESUS.
DON'T BE AFRAID. JUST TELL THEM AND LET THE HOLY SPIRIT DO HIS WORK.