“The problem is not in our lack of knowledge about where to find Jesus, but in our own unwillingness to meet him in that place.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 3, 2021
If anyone serves me, he must follow me. Where I am, there my servant also will be. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. John 12:26 (CSB)
Our lives and world are not as they are meant to be. By design, you are meant to flourish as a son or daughter in the kingdom of God. He looks at you and delights in his creation, saying that you are good! And yet, through sin and self-made exile we have lost sight of our true nature. We no longer remember the purpose for which we were made. As C.S. Lewis famously put it, we “go on making mud pies in a slum because (we) cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.”
One of the central works of discipleship is to remember. By the grace of God at work in our lives, we must remember who we were made to be. And difficult as this may be, requiring a lifetime of self-surrender and humility, the way forward is actually remarkably straightforward and clear: stay close to Jesus.
In John’s gospel, our Lord offers us a singular solution to our sickness, the only way for us to discover who we were meant to be and how we are meant to live. “Where I am, there my servant also will be” (John 12:26). If we are truly servants of Jesus, our daily work is nothing more than choosing to be with him, yet this demands of us a closely related question: Where is Jesus, and where should I be if I want to find him at work in my life and community?
The answer to this question may take a lifetime of prayerful discernment to truly answer, yet we are not left to stumble in the dark. Jesus is with the poor and the outcast. He is found in the marginalized and forgotten people and places of society. Our Lord is near to the humble and repentant sinner. He has told and shown us where we can expect to find him.
So often, the problem is not in our lack of knowledge about where to find Jesus, but in our own unwillingness to meet him in that place. We yearn to be free, yet fail to see our own bondage to comfort and material goods. We want to see the sick healed and desolate comforted, yet ignore the sickness within our own hearts that keeps us from going to them in love. In short, we long for the glory of Easter, yet are we willing to meet our Lord at the foot of the cross?
Father, you have shown us the way to walk. Give us the courage to follow after your son, believing that death gives way to life and hope is found as we give our lives away in love for others. Amen.
Observe how Jesus spent most of his time on earth, and consider whether or not your own life aligns with his.
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