We all have questions. Even Jesus asked questions. As a matter of fact, He asked a lot of questions which are recorded in the gospels. The difference is purpose. He didn’t lack information, He was teaching. As the Master Teacher, His questions revealed much to the listener. If we listen, His questions still teach and challenge us. In John 1, we find this:
35“Again, the next day, John (the Baptizer) stood with two of his disciples. 36And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” 37The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?” They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour). One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.”
– John 1:35-38 NKJV
A. What did they seek?
Since these two men (John & Andrew) were already disciples of John the Baptizer, they were obviously interested in spiritual things. They desired time with Him, and since they declared Him to be the Messiah, they must have received enough information to confirm it.
Later, when John the Baptizer was arrested, Jesus finds them fishing. He calls them as disciples (Matt. 4) and the process begins. Throughout the gospels, the disciples dream of a glorious earthly kingdom, but Jesus came to do something far greater and more glorious. One-by-one those desires had to be set aside for what it means to “follow”. It involved a changing of their focus over time to see what the real purpose of His coming was.
B. So what do we seek?
Peace? Healing? Comfort? Blessings? Forgiveness? The list is long of what we desire from a relationship with God. Thankfully, those things come, but what did Jesus say we should seek? Remember this, “But seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matt. 6:33). He says that as an antidote to worry (verses 25-32). At first it may seem odd, but consider what worry is:
- A focus on things we cannot change
- A feeling coming from a lack of control
- A desire for guarantees
C. What do you seek?
Are your prayers leaning toward the benefits of following Christ? Or are they kingdom focused? If you’re like me, they tend to slide over into the benefits more often than not, but kingdom focused prayer is just that-“kingdom focused”. It’s becoming aligned in prayer with God’s priorities, instead of mine.
Here’s a suggestion, pray about how-to-pray. That may sound ridiculous, but at times I ask the Lord to help me know what and how to pray. Hey, the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, so that puts us in good company.
Finally – What the disciples sought and what they got were two different things. Yes, they received all of the benefits of being His inner circle, but the play-by-play was so different than anticipated. Trust is the key word, even when we don’t get the answers we want…“seek first His kingdom…and all these things shall be added to you”.
“The Questions of Jesus” – Lesson I