What Would You Ask For?
“The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, `Look, the Lamb of God!’ When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, `What do you want?’ They said, `Rabbi’ (which means Teacher), `where are you staying?’ `Come,’ he replied, `and you will see.’ So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him.” – John 1:35-39
If Jesus suddenly appeared before you and asked, “What do you want?” how would you respond? Maybe you’d ask for physical healing for yourself or someone you know and love. Perhaps you’d ask for the restoration of a broken relationship. Or maybe you’d think much bigger and ask for peace in our world or the end of poverty.
When Jesus asked this question of two of John’s disciples, they asked him for the location of where he was staying. How ironic. Before these two men stood the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the One through whom all creation came to be and all they asked for was a point on a map. That’s like having Bill Gates come up to you with his checkbook open, asking you how much you want, and responding, “Oh, how about $3.75 for a latte?”
Why did John’s disciples ask for so little? Simple, they didn’t know who Jesus was. To them Jesus was simply a Rabbi, a teacher. Had they known who Jesus was, I suspect they would have answered his question quite differently.
In John 4 we read about the interaction between Jesus and the Samaritan woman. Among other things Jesus says to her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” Knowing Jesus profoundly impacts how we respond to Jesus.
There are many reasons to get to know Jesus more intimately through the Bible and prayer, but here’s one: the more we come to know Jesus and the depth of his love for us, the more bold we will be to ask for what we know only God can do. That certainly doesn’t mean that Jesus answers our every request just the way we want, but if we never ask we’ll never know!
Bringing It Home
1. What’s your heart longing for that only Jesus can accomplish? Go ahead and ask!
2. Commit Ephesians 3:14-21 to memory. It’s worthy soul food.
Lord Jesus, I want to know you more. I want to know the height, depth, and length of your never-failing love. Teach me to trust in you so completely that I can entrust the deepest desires of my heart to you, and rest in the knowledge that you will work out all things to your glory and purposes. In your strong name I pray. Amen.
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Burnsville, MN