March 21, 2021: Looking for Jesus

Fifth Sunday in Lent

In Jesus’ day, the traditional Passover celebration attracted a lot of people—even folks who lived outside of the Jewish community. While Jesus and his followers were enjoying the festival, some foreigners came and wanted to see Jesus.

We don’t know exactly what those Greeks had on their minds. Maybe they had heard that Jesus was spreading a message of hope to the dispirited Jewish community. Maybe they had heard of miraculous healings or a rumor that Jesus had actually brought back to life a man who had been in his grave for four days. Maybe the Greeks were simply curious.

When Jesus heard from his disciples that his reputation had spread beyond the Jewish community, he knew that it was time to take his message to the next level. Jesus didn’t come only to improve life for his own people. Jesus came to change the world. He was aware that his mission would cost him his earthly life.   Twenty centuries after the death and resurrection of our Lord, people still want to see Jesus. So where do we look today? It is comforting to gaze at our stained-glass windows and listen once again to Jesus’ words of promise. We might look with longing toward the time our Lord will return and reclaim God’s kingdom on earth.

But I believe that we can see the living Christ today. We can see Jesus in those who minister to the homeless and hungry people in our neighborhoods. We can see Jesus in those who comfort the frightened and desperate people who cry out for hope in a troubled world.

Jesus says, “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be.” When we follow the words and actions of our Savior, perhaps people who seek Jesus will see him in us.

Willie Israel, retired pastor
Asheville, North Carolina