I know it has been a few days since my last post. I apologize to those of you who look forward to my posts daily. I was away for the funeral of a great man, one which I wish I had gotten to know more intimately before his passing. It was in the celebration of his life this week that I was exposed to how great of a man he truly was. As I had planned to settle back into routine today, I woke up to discover that yet another great man passed away early this morning. I truly believe that there is no coincidence in life, that God’s perfect plan is continually coming to pass, even though we may not understand it at times. I wasn’t sure where my devotional would go this morning, given the thoughts on my mind and the stirring in my heart. As I opened my bible to see what was next to read in my study, I couldn’t help but to smile. The words in the text aptly apply to these two great men and their journey here on earth.
John 1: 35-43
35 Again the next day John was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and he looked at Jesus as He walked, and *said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38 And Jesus turned and saw them following, and *said to them, “What do you seek?” They said to Him, “Rabbi (which translated means Teacher), where are You staying?” 39 He *said to them, “Come, and you will see.” So they came and saw where He was staying; and they stayed with Him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. 40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He *found first his own brother Simon and *said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which translated means Christ). 42 He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter). 43 The next day He purposed to go into Galilee, and He *found Philip. And Jesus *said to him, “Follow Me.”
After the baptism of Christ, John the Baptist was hanging out with a few of his disciples and Jesus happened upon them. Last time, John proclaimed who Christ was, according to the vision he had been given earlier by God. This time, he proclaims again who Jesus is, The Lamb of God. I wonder, at that time, if they truly understood what that meant. Surely at least a few in earshot thought the man was crazy. Verse 37 sticks out to me in that John the Baptist exemplified what it means to be a leader by setting the example as a follower. He followed Jesus and thus, John’s disciples followed Jesus as well and they followed Jesus. This is what a true leader does: follows.
In my bible, the words of Jesus are in red print. Most of you may be familiar with this, it has become common in at least the time I have been reading bibles. The two phrases I have in bold are the ones that stuck out amongst the rest. This is quite on purpose, I believe, as it is the reason why Jesus was given a ministry on earth; He came so that we might seek out God and follow Him. I find irony in the fact that in this passage, the scriptures are speaking of 2 individuals, Andrew and Simon Peter.
As was stated in my Uncle Don’s obituary, “he understood that God has a big tent, and ever remained open to the Mystery.” It is in this seeking and following that he, as well as Jim (the other beloved who passed away recently) set the example for others to follow. Both men were quite exquisite and peculiar in their own way and anyone who would meet them would give pause to ponder what is it that has caused them to be so insightful and unique? It is their seeking that led them along the journey which resulted in a fulfilled life that was lived fully until the very end. It is in their examples that I have been encouraged and motivated to seek as well.
God wants us to seek Him out constantly and never cease to follow His direction, wherever it may lead. Mathew 7:8 is a recording of Jesus being explicit in this, “8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
Are you seeking today? If not, what has caused you to stop? If you are, are you seeking hard enough? These men sought God and in doing so have led many to do the same. They have led by following His direction and have now passed the torch to us. Will you forge on?