What are you seeking?

What are you seeking?

Lent Devotional : Truly, truly, I say to you.

Chapter 1: What are you seeking? (John 1:35-41)

Hast thou not seen? All that is needful hath been
Granted in what he ordaineth.
– from the hymn ‘Praise to the Lord, the Almighty’

‘What do you want?’ I’m sure we could all bring different answers to that question. For parents of young children, a full night’s sleep wouldn’t go amiss. For the lonely, simply a friend to be there. For the hungry, food. For the depressed and melancholic, light to pierce through the darkness. For the grieving, comfort.

Today, Adam Ramsey helpfully leads us through how often we ask for the wrong things, we long for the wrong things. Of course, not that a full night’s sleep or friendship are bad things, not at all, but that when these things are our main pursuits, the help that can be offered is limited. We may get a full night’s sleep but somehow we’re still tired. We might make friends with someone but it still seems they don’t understand you perfectly. We might be given a meal but in a few hours time, we’ll be hungry again. Jesus said:

‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’ (John 4:13-14)

In the passage that Adam writes today’s devotional on, John 1:35-41, we see John the Baptist’s comment ‘Look, the lamb of God!’ and Andrew’s statement to Simon Peter, ‘We have found the Messiah!’ Jesus, as the lamb of God, is one who came to take away the sins of the world (John 1:29) and as the Messiah is God’s chosen King come to usher in God’s kingdom bringing about salvation for many.

“Let me tell you what you are seeking, whether you know it or not. You are seeking for rest for your heart, a home for your spirits; you are seeking for perfect truth for your understandings, perfect beauty for your affections, perfect goodness for your conscience. You are seeking for all these three, gathered into one white beam of light, and you are seeking for it all in a Person. Many of you do not know this, and so you go hunting in all manner of impossible places for that which you can only find in one. To the question ‘what seek ye?’ the deepest of all answers, the only real answer is ‘my soul thirsteth for God, for the living God.’ If you know that, you know where to look for what you need.” (Alexander MacLaren)

So often we choose to look for things in places that don’t bring the real answers we’re looking for. Whilst we scan the surface, there is a whole treasure trove of God’s goodness underneath the surface. Ultimate contentment, ultimate comfort, ultimate hope then are not to be found in the presence or absence of certain things, but in Jesus himself. As we go from day to day, look to him because in him there is rest for the weary. In him is forgiveness for the sinner. In him is the best friend and brother you could ever hope for. In him is light for the downcast.

In a world of so many potential solutions for our problems, as Christians, we can rest in knowing Jesus provides in himself all that we need so we can look to him and be at peace.