Friday, October 7, 2011

Sir, We Wish to See Jesus

“Sir, we wish to see Jesus” (John 12:21)

This should be the desire of the heart of every single Christian.  The author of Hebrews says, “Fix your eyes upon Jesus.”  This is exactly what these Gentiles desired to do when they arrived in Jerusalem to worship.  They had one desire and goal: “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”
When we consider what has just taken place the scene becomes even more powerful.  Jesus has just been in Bethany where he has raised Lazarus from the dead.  Lazarus had been dead for four days before Christ shows up on the scene.  We see the love Christ had for Lazarus as he weeps with the other mourners who include Mary and Martha.  But then something strange happens when Jesus tells them: “Take away the stone.”  Not knowing what is going to take place Martha responds by telling Jesus that there will be a great odor if they remove the stone.  They obeyed and then listened intensely as Jesus prayed to his Father.  Once he finished he cried out: “Lazarus, come out.” Stop for a moment…what are you thinking right now?  What do you think was going on in their minds?  They obviously did not have much time to think about his word because the next thing they know Lazarus is walking out of the tomb.  The response: Many of the Jews believed in him yet some went away to tell the chief priests and Pharisees. 
Now six days before the Passover the chief priests and Pharisees had a plot to kill both Jesus and Lazarus, hoping this miracle would fade away.  Jesus is eating dinner with Mary, Martha, Lazarus and the disciples when the chief priests find out where he is.  Basically they followed the huge crowd who had learned where Jesus was eating.  The fact that people believed in Jesus was killing the chief priests.  They hated Christ because he claimed to be God and challenged their beliefs.  Floods of people had heard of Lazarus being raised and they believed in Jesus.  “The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign.”  The Pharisees even admitted, “You see that you are gaining nothing.  Look, the world has gone after him.”  The Passover was now at hand with many gathering to worship in Jerusalem when these Gentiles arrive requesting, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 
Pondering these words I cannot help but imagine the desire of those who reject Christ.  They would not care to see Jesus but Lazarus instead.  In our lost condition we don’t understand who or what we are seeking.  We search after the wrong object of worship.  Why would we seek after the one who was raised from the dead rather than the One who raised him from the dead?  We chase after signs and miracles rather than the power behind them.  The same thing is true today.  Christ did not only raise Lazarus from the dead; He himself died, was buried and after three days raised himself from the grave.  Yet the world seeks for a sign. They want to see the proof while avoiding the empty tomb.  Sadly they run from the only proof they need: The resurrected Christ. 
Is your desire to see Jesus?  Are you pursuing him?  I pray this is the heart of every Christian.  We should strive to be more like Christ, letting the world see the power of the empty tomb.  The change from sinner to saint doesn’t occur in the power of self but the power of Christ and Christ alone.  Our spiritual condition was the same as Lazarus' physical condition: Dead until Christ spoke life into our hearts.  Then when the world takes notice of the change we have to tell them about Christ.  If we don’t tell them about the power of the gospel they begin to think they can do it on their own.  Tell them.  By God’s grace they too might repent and trust in Christ. 
Grace upon grace,
JRL

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