Imagine you have this desire in your heart, this longing. There’s this hope stirred inside of you—it defines you. Your whole life hinges on this desire, and not just for something to come, but for someone to come. Someone to fix all the brokenness. Someone to restore what was lost. You need this.
But you’re still waiting for it. Waiting, waiting, waiting.
So you keep yourself busy. Work. Eat. Sleep. Hope. Repeat.
Then your best friend comes running up to you out of nowhere. He’s practically speaking a new language comprised of excitement, speed, and a lack of breathing. You tell him to pause, take a deep breath—chill. What’s the big deal?
It’s here. He’s here. Hope is here. Love is here. Come see him. Oh, and get this: he’s from that sketchy town not too far away.
Wait, what? There? Nothing good comes out of there, you think. What’s going on here? Why is my best friend happy about some supposedly great man from a definitely terrible town?
Come see for yourself, he says, and this is where it hits you: your longings, your hopes, your whole life was made to discover this truth. And now your best friend is telling you Truth is here.
Come see for yourself.
So you go, half hopeful, half skeptical. But then you see Him. He’s everything you ever hoped to find in life. Peace. Joy. Love. Hope. Fulfillment. It’s all there, and more. The Beginning and the End. The King. The Ransom. The Exchange.
If you imagined well, you were Nathanael in John 1:43-51. Your good friend was Philip, and your hope was in Jesus. When I first reflected upon this story, I was reminded of the time when Jesus told his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few” (Matthew 9:37). When Jesus first told Philip to follow him, you can tell that Philip immediately thought, “Woah, Nathanael needs to see this guy. Jesus is the Anointed One!” He knew what his friend yearned for, and he went out of his way to find him and encourage him to come see for himself who Jesus was.
The harvest is plentiful. This means there are people right here, right now, who not only need Jesus, but want him. However, just like Nathanael, these people might be misinformed on who Jesus is or what his purpose is. They might not even know he exists!
So what’s our job? Our job is to point these people to Christ!
Now, like me, you might pause and let out a nervous chuckle. “Hold on,” you politely raise your hand. “This is all great stuff, but I don’t know if my unsaved friends want Jesus. I don’t even know what they want in life.” Well, here’s my advice for both you and me, then: Let’s get to know people a little deeper, eh?
We can certainly guess or look at their surface behaviors, but what’s going on deep in their heart? C. S. Lewis once described all vices as virtues gone wrong, so let’s take a step back and see how people’s poor decisions point to a deeper yearning—an ultimate yearning for Jesus.
We need more Philips in this world. We need more people willing to jump at the chance to follow Jesus and then intentionally seek out others who desire the same thing.
Awake O Sleeper, and Christ will give you light!