Come and See: Diligently Seeking Jesus [Day 15]
- December 14, 2019
- Guest Writer
The two stood among many. A strange voice had called them to the wilderness. These men had wandered from their fishing boats and the chaos of the city in search of the Baptizer. Nets folded. Ropes secure. Let’s go.
And they found him.
Imagine with me this strange scene – a large, motley group of people gathered to listen and the two stand among them, bodies pressed in, the smell of their own sweaty bodies mingling with the masses.
The Baptizer bellows his message amidst the desert ravines surrounding Jerusalem. Be baptized in this water! He points to the muddy stream. Go under the water and die to yourself. Arise a new creation. Reborn. All things new. This is the way.
The two watch – enraptured. Many agree. Many go under the water.
Now look over there coming down the dusty path – the Pharisees and Saducees arrive, clean, wealthy and untouched. Their bodyguards efficiently split the crowd, not gently, but with cuffs and shoves. Stand back! Touch not the chosen, touch not the clean. The masters of the law have come to see this anomaly, this disturber, this freakish eater of locusts and honey.
The masters speak. Who are you to baptize? You are not the Christ. You are not Elijah. You aren’t even a prophet.
You are nobody.
What will happen? A gasp from the crowd. Then shock! The Baptizer turns and rails against the teachers of the law. He is unafraid. This is sacrilege. Who is this man that chastises the masters?
You vipers! The axe has come to fell the tree. The normal is not normal anymore! You say you are children of Abraham, you say you are the chosen, you say you are above these! The Baptizer casts his hand toward the gathered throng. I tell you this – God could speak to these very stones (the Baptizer reaches down and picks up a rock) and they would rise up and speak. These dead things would come alive and be His children if He spoke it! He is God. Did you not know His kingdom is at hand? Everything will be different. I baptize with water, but One is coming who baptizes with fire.
He casts the stone to the ground. There is silence. Anticipation. The masters do not answer.
Now One comes forward from the many. He stands apart from the masters. He stands among the two fisherman who have come to see.
The One stands before the one.
He approaches the Baptizer. No words for a moment. Soul recognition?
“Baptize me then, Baptizer.”
“No, no – you are you, and I am me.”
Recognition. This is the One.
“I have no right to baptize you. You should baptize me.”
The crowd looks on – the commoners, the masters, the two.
Fisherman One: What did he say?
Fisherman Two: He says he will not baptize this one. He says he is not worthy.
They stand on their toes to get a view. He said he would not, but after speaking together, the Baptizer has gathered this One to himself and is pressing him under the muddy water.
The One rises up. Hair a matted mess. Dripping. Muddy.
A bird, a dove, lands on him when he rises up. More strange – a voice in the sky.
This is the One.
Doubt. A strange fear. What is happening? What is this voice? Was it my voice? In my head? Am I losing my mind? A dove landed on Him right? Did you hear the voice? Did you see the dove?
No time. The crowd murmurs. Confusion. Now the One departs in His soaked clothing and passes through them. He does not cuff. He does not push. He travels through. The two follow after.
Fisherman One: Did you see that? Let’s catch up to him. Come on!
Fisherman Two: There He is…
The One stops and turns to them.
Jesus: What is it you seek?
Now an outpouring of honesty, right? A cry to the unknown, the unanswered, the soul that is and must know why it is. Who am I? Who are you? Why am I? What am I for? What are you? What is this all about? These are missing pieces, and I must know the answer! Are the missing pieces with you, Teacher?
No. This doesn’t happen.
Jesus: What is it you seek?
The fishermen weigh their answer. Cloaked. Careful. Human.
Fisherman One: Hello.
Fisherman Two: Hi. Um, well sir, where are you staying?
No judgment. No condescension. No chastisement. Perhaps an easy smile from the Christ. Crow’s feet. Crooked teeth. Beard dripping with creek water.
All of time pointed to this moment. Human history was crafted to bring us to this desert ravine. The virgin birth of the One is remarkable, the revealing of His purpose, the gathering of His champions even more astounding. Most remarkable? The Master asks these awkward humans what it is they’re after. He is interested in the lowly, the sweat-stained, and the common. He invites us to walk along as companions. As friends. He does not need us. He wants us.
Jesus: What is it you seek, my loves? I imagined you out of nothing, you know? Before the foundations of the world were called forth, before anything was – I knew you. I loved you. I know what you seek. It is Me, the One who sought you first. I am the answer to the cry for meaning in the small, dark hours of the night. I am the Great Purpose. Come and follow me! When you stray I will find you again. I will find you a thousand times. I will seek you forever.
The One smiles. These two are His. They just don’t know it yet.
Jesus: Well then, come and see.
And they did.
And you did too.
Guest Writer, James Murray