"What Do You Want?"
May 3, 2014
The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as He walked by and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God!" The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, "What are you seeking?" And they said to him, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "where are You staying?" John 1:35-38
The other day I saw a beauty pageant on TV. I can't remember if it was Miss World, Universe or Galaxy.
The contest isn't important. What is important is the question one of the contestants was asked. There was a slight moment of panic on her face before she answered the question: "What do you really want?" With a grand smile she said, "I want to see peace between all nations of the earth and everybody to get along like they liked each other." Hers was an admirable answer, which was sure to score her some major points.
There is only one difficulty: she probably wasn't telling the truth. If you asked that miss, or any of the other misses for a really honest answer, it probably would sound something like, "Are you serious? Look, I've dieted so long my stomach thinks my throat's been cut; every muscle in my body has been exercised to painful tautness; I've been smiling till my gums hurt; I've been walking around for days in four-inch heels, and now I'm standing before the world in a swim suit. What do you think I want? I want to win this contest."
Well, none of those ladies would say that, and probably none of them would say, "What do I want most of all? I pray that everyone would know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior from sin." That's not the kind of answer the judges -- or much of the world -- wants to hear.
Still, that ought be the right answer for everyone who has been called to faith in Jesus.
So, let me ask, "What do you want? I mean what do you really want? If I had a machine that could show on a television screen everything you were thinking, what item would show up as an answer to that question? Are you searching for love, or security, or to be recognized as someone special? Are you hoping to pay some bills, or get the kids through college, or figure out an answer for some nagging problem? Would I see a need for forgiveness of some past sin that never really seems to go away?
What do you want? Is it personal? Possibly you have someone in the military who is stationed far away. It's possible that what you want is to have a family reunion at which that loved one is brought home. Maybe you want your first-grader not to be bullied, or to be given an effective medicine for someone you love who is sick?
What do you want? Understand, the question does call for an answer.
Almost 2,000 years ago, Jesus showed up at the Jordan and the Baptizer identified Him as "the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world" (see John 1:29). With such an endorsement, it's not surprising that two of John's disciples began to tag along behind the Savior. It didn't take too long before Jesus turned to them and said, "What are you seeking?"
To their credit, John's disciples were moved to say they wanted to follow the Christ.
Since that day hundreds of millions of others have been brought to faith in the Savior who gave His life so all who believe on Him would be forgiven of their sins, freed from the Law's condemnation, and promised a sure and certain home in heaven. It is a course for which they, and we, will give eternal thanks.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, send Your Holy Spirit upon this sinful world so today's doubters, deniers, skeptics and cynics may see the wonders of Your grace and blood-bought salvation. Further, having seen, let them believe. This I ask in the Name of my Savior. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries