"What are you looking for?"
Buchanan, Mark. (2006). The Rest of God. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.
"Prayer, before it's talking, ought to be listening. Before it's petition, it should be audition. Before it calls for eloquence, it requires attention. God speaks. We listen. Prayer's best posture is ears cupped, head tilted toward that Voice. And what does the Voice speak? More often than not, a question." p.190.
"So a key attitude of prayer is listening, and what we listen for most are God's questions. ... For this Sabbath Liturgy, find any one of the questions God or Jesus asks... Ponder it until you hear God asking you the question personally. And then ponder it until you can give an answer." p.191-192.
Jesus communicated with His followers as a teacher, speaking in parables, and relating the Kingdom of God to examples from their everyday experiences. Jesus also taught by asking good questions. His questions drew people into His stories or challenged their cultural world views and caused them re-examine the foundations and convictions of their faith.
My goal is to examine the questions that Jesus asks in the Gospels and personally reflect on their meaning for my life, as well as, the insights they may give toward outreach within my community. It is my hope that these Biblical questions will provide a foundation for specific questions that will help our congregations identify outreach opportunities within their communities. Furthermore, it is my desire that these questions will guide us into a deeper understanding of our mission and calling to proclaim Christ to the world, beginning in our own backyard or with our next door neighbors.
The Gospel of John
John 1:29-34 (God’s Word, Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society, www.godsword.org)
John saw Jesus coming toward him the next day and said, “Look! This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
30 He is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘A man who comes after me was before me because he existed before I did.'
31 I didn't know who he was. However, I came to baptize with water to show him to the people of Israel.”
32 John said, “I saw the Spirit come down as a dove from heaven and stay on him.
33 I didn't know who he was. But God, who sent me to baptize with water, had told me, ‘When you see the Spirit come down and stay on someone, you'll know that person is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.'
34 I have seen this and have declared that this is the Son of God.”
John was listening to the voice of God. John saw the Spirit come down on Jesus. John was watching for the sign of the Holy Spirit that would come down and reveal the Son of God. After Jesus was baptized by John, the Spirit descended on Him and John recognized that this was the One, that Jesus indeed was the Son of God.
Our time of prayer begins with a reflection on the Word of God. We read and respond to the questions that God asks of us. John had listened to God's instruction and waited for Jesus to be revealed to him, so he could in turn reveal Jesus to his followers. John was a sign post pointing out the direction to the Son of God. His followers were looking for a savoir and John pointed them to The Savior, Jesus Christ.
When these disciples started to follow Jesus, they were asked: "What are you looking for?" They answered "Teacher, where are you staying?" Jesus replied, "Come, and you will see."
John 1:35-42 (GW)
The next day John was standing with two of his disciples.
36 John saw Jesus walk by. John said, “Look! This is the Lamb of God.”
37 When the two disciples heard John say this, they followed Jesus.
38 Jesus turned around and saw them following him. He asked them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which means “teacher”), “where are you staying?”
39 Jesus told them, “Come, and you will see.” So they went to see where he was staying and spent the rest of that day with him. It was about ten o'clock in the morning.
40 Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of the two disciples who heard John and followed Jesus.
41 Andrew at once found his brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”).
42 Andrew brought Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at Simon and said, “You are Simon, son of John. Your name will be Cephas” (which means “Peter”).
What am I looking for? Peace, rest, financial security, love, material comforts, acceptance, or work that fulfills my passion.
What am I looking for in Christ?
Do I really know why I am following Christ?
Am I like the disciples, seeking a good leader or teacher, for the sake of their name, much like those who follow political candidates for the sake of the excitement of being involved in something greater than ourselves just for the sake of covering up our own inadequacies or insecurities.
To follow Christ is to leave everything behind and trust in Him. The disciples didn't know what they were getting in to. Jesus didn't tell them everything right away. Jesus simply answered "Come, and you will see." To follow Jesus is to start on the journey. Come along, lets see where Jesus leads us. Trust in Him. He is trustworthy. He is the Son of God.
I'm not sure I know what I'm looking for, but I am sure that it will be revealed to me as I am going, as I am walking down the road with Jesus. So my journey begins again, trusting that God will show me what He wants me to see, and redirecting my thoughts to explore those things that I should be looking for.
We may ask others "What are you looking for?"
How can we help you find it?
May we walk with you for a while?
May we engage in spiritual conversations with you?
May we be so bold as to point you to the Son of God as He has been revealed to us in God's Word?
May we explore the life of Christ together with you?
May we invite others to follow Christ's invitation, "Come, and you will see."?.
BOLD Christian Outreach Ministry is dedicated to helping others find ways to share their faith with those whom God has already placed in their lives.