How do we bring people who are seeking Jesus to him? This gospel story says some Greeks were in town. They wanted to see this special attraction called “Jesus.”
Maybe they heard rumors about a local rabbi who had raised a man from the dead, or was healing people of leprosy or blindness – that kind of news spreads far and wide. They want to see this is happening. They ask around, find a disciple, Philip, and they say, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”
It sounds like Philip didn’t know what to do. So he ran to tell Andrew. Andrew didn’t have a good answer either. How do you explain Jesus to people who want to understand what Jesus is all about? Philip and Andrew ran directly to Jesus to tell him that some Greeks want to see him.
We’re never told if Jesus went to see these Greeks. Did they ever see him personally? We’re in trouble today if we have to bring Jesus physically to them for them to believe. So how do we as disciples help people who want to see what Jesus is all about?
This is a teaching moment for Jesus. When people want to see him, Jesus didn’t say, “Take the Holy Scriptures and show them how God created the world……and then how humans sinned……so God promised a Messiah who would come to save them……and here is Jesus. Now worship him.” No.
To understand Jesus, he says, “You’ll understand me when you see a seed fall into the earth and die.” Why can’t Jesus give us a straight answer?
There are people today wanting to see and understand Jesus. They’ve heard stories about Jesus. They’ve heard that he is kind, and powerful; that he cares for all people, and that he wants to help them. What would you say if someone found out you are a follower of Jesus Christ, and they asked you, “Sir, or Ma’am, we wish to see Jesus. Can you help me?”
Mother Teresa gave an interview in the last years of her life. The reporter mentioned that the religious orders in the States and in many churches had been declining. But Mother Teresa’s order was growing by thousands, and the reporter asked, “Why?” Mother Teresa answered, “Because I give them Jesus.” The report said, “Yes, I know, but what strategies do you develop? How do you manage it?” She said, “I give them Jesus.”
“Yes, we know of your fine work, but there must be something else,” says the exasperated reporter. “I give them Jesus. There is nothing else.” Sometimes it’s frustrating to get an answer and not have a specific plan in how to apply it. What do you think it means to ‘give someone Jesus’?
Jesus said, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” When it gives up its life, then many fruits come from it. If Jesus is the seed, those fruits are you and me.
When we as his followers lay down our lives in order to help them, people will see Christ.
Followers of Jesus are fruits of Jesus. To imitate him we show kindness to others, we show that we care for others, we willing take the time to help them in dealing with life. Jesus helped people when they were sick; he fed the hungry; he had compassion for the needs of others.
The short answer to someone who comes up to you and says, “Sir, Ma’am, I wish to see Jesus,” is to answer, “How can I be of service?” And then you simply imitate Jesus. You lay down your life in order to do what you are able to do to meet their immediate needs. In doing so, your actions will have become the fruit that has helped nourish and rejuvenate another life. Jesus comes to life again in our actions of love and mercy. People see him when they see his disciples acting with love, mercy, and kindness.
Our purpose as followers of Christ is to imitate Jesus. This is how we help those who are seeking Jesus to know him personally.
How have you helped people get to know Jesus?