Easter is one of the most celebratory days of the year. I always want to be ready for Easter. By that I mean I want to be prepared mentally and spiritually lest I enter into the world of bunnies and eggs. Rather, it is all about Jesus.

The Jewish world had been looking and anticipating the coming of the Messiah for years. However, when He came, no one recognized Him, except John the baptizer. John did baptize Jesus and Jesus was leaving the scene and as he was leaving, two men followed Him. I believe that to recognize Jesus and who He is, takes more than human knowledge; it must also involve the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus observes these two men following Him and he asks them, “What do you seek?”  These two men had to have recognized Jesus because of the way they responded. They said, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” [John 1:38]

It is of interest to me that the first recorded words of Jesus are, “what do you seek?”. I think these are eternal words and Jesus continues to ask, “What is it that you seek,” to a searching generation. It is a question that each of us needs to ponder. What is it that we seek? Can it be reduced to writing?  Am I aware of what it is that I seek, or is my life a log drifting down the current of the river, pulled by every current and eddy?

One of the two men that were following Jesus was Andrew. [John 1:40]  He immediately goes to find his brother, who was Simon, and says to him, “we have found the Messiah.” As Simon is coming to Jesus, Jesus responds, “you are Simon, son of John, but you shall be called Cephas” [when translated, it means Peter].

When you meet Jesus, there need be no argument. You are not argued into belief. Rather, you recognize Jesus for who He is: the Son of God. Alexander McClaren, a Scottish preacher says, “Andrew did not begin to argue with his brother. Argument will not win a man. You may pound a man’s mistakes and creed to atoms with a sledgehammer of reasoning and he is not much nearer to being a Christian than he was before you started pounding. Just as you may pound ice to pieces and at the end all you have is pounded ice, so after the mightiest argument we can use, the best argument is that of Andrew, ‘we have found the Messiah’.”

A minister proclaimed a very elaborate series of lectures in refutation of infidelity for the benefit of his parish. Soon after he had delivered the lectures a man came and confessed Christ. The minister asked, “which one of my discourses removed all your doubts?” The man said, “it was not any of your sermons that convinced me. The issue that got me thinking was a poor woman. She was coming out of the chapel beside me, and she stumbled on the steps. I stretched out my hand to help her and she said thank you. Then she looked me in the eye and said, do you know the love of God, my blessed Savior? I did not, but I went home and thought about it and now I can say I love Jesus. The power of a woman’s word confronted me.”

What does this brief conversation of Jesus show us? Jesus does not need someone to explain to Him who I am. He knows me. In this first chapter of John, verse 42 says, “He looked at him [Simon Peter] and said…”. Out of that new name that Jesus gave to Simon, came new character and a new life.

I observe here what I call “a seeking Christ.”  I note two words, “seeking” and “finding.” He asks Andrew, “what seek ye?” Then Andrew “finds his brother…”. Andrew says to his brother, “we have found the Messiah.” Then, “Jesus finds Phillip.” [John 1:43] Then Phillip finds Nathanael. [verse 45] The report of Phillip to Nathanael is “we have found the Messiah.”

As I study this passage, I find a seeking Christ. There are various kinds of “finding.”

First, you can stumble upon a thing. You were not looking for what you found, you stumbled upon it. It was just by chance that you found it. But then, there is finding the very thing you have been searching for. I think of the search and rescue team for the Flathead Valley. They do not search indiscriminately. They search with purpose.

Christ does not accidentally or casually stumble on us. He seeks us as the rescue team searches for the missing person, or the mountain climber that has not been seen for 3 days. He is always seeking. He leaves the 99 to search for the lost sheep.

When I and the family lived in the mid-west, we would come “home” every summer for vacation. [My parents owned the Mercantile at Polebridge.] This particular summer, the day before we left to head east, I took a day and went to a very remote spot and sat by the waters of a rushing creek. I was there with intent. I found a log to sit on as I listened to the waters rush past. I had my yellow pad with me. I began to write a letter to God. I poured all my feelings, hopes and dreams onto that yellow pad. Then, I found an old dead snag behind me and stuck my letter to God in a broken stub of a branch. I hiked back to my vehicle and the next day drove home. Did God need that “letter” to remind Him that I existed, with emotions and feelings? No. He knew all about me before I ever wrote to remind him that I existed.

I think back on that experience so many times. When I moved back here some years later, I actually returned to that same spot, just to see if my letter was still hanging from that snag. Of course, the ravaging winters of the mountains and winds of time had taken my letter. God knew that I was seeking Him but I did not realize that God had been seeking me.

As we approach this Holy season of the year, do more than just observe “Lent.” Prepare your heart to stop and listen to this “seeking” Christ and allow Him to put purpose in your life.

The life of Andrew, Peter, Phillip, and Nathanael found their highest purpose when Christ found them.

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