29 Nov Seek, Stay and Serve Him
Technology has created an environment for us to be able to work from home. In some cases, employers use apps like ‘Uber, ‘Menulog’ and ‘Dunzo’ to send tasks to their workers’ mobiles. After completion of the task, the payment goes to the worker’s account automatically. As a result, social interaction and relationships between people have become limited.
Social interaction is vital for humans to talk and share with others. If it is removed then man has become like a biological machine. God has created us in his image to love God and fellow man. Our God is personal, loving, and relational. He creates human beings in his image: relational, personal, and loving. He reveals Himself to us in a personal way and relates with us in a way that even the ordinary person can understand. Let us look at John’s gospel and see how Jesus relates to his disciples and develops a framework of discipleship.
The Lamb of God:
John the Baptist introduces Jesus to his disciples as ‘the lamb of God’. This title resembles, resonates, and connects with the Old Testament sacrificial system, starting from Genesis and Exodus.
Jesus, the lamb is from God and he is God and he is with God. He has come to tabernacle with us.
Jesus, the Lamb of God is our substitute and our representative, who went to the cross to die for our sin. He rose on the third day and sat at the right hand of the eternal father. John,the author of the Gospel and the book of Revelation, reveals that Jesus is the Lamb that was slain, and has the authority to receive the scroll from his Father to open and read it (Rev. 5:6-7).
Jesus is the Lamb who will come to judge the world, Satan, and others who are not his own (Rev. 19,21). He is the Lamb of God and Lion of Judah who reigns forever and ever. What do we have to do? We have to bow down and worship him.
The disciples heard John the Baptist referring to Jesus as ‘The Lamb of God’ and followed Jesus Christ. Let us go through the passage to understand the three S’s essential to follow him.
After John the Baptist pointed the disciples to Jesus, they followed Jesus. Jesus turned and asked the disciples a question “What do you seek?”. The Lord Jesus initiates the conversation with the disciples to know their intention (John 4:7).
The disciples had limited knowledge about him. They addressed him as ‘Rabbi’ and ‘Teacher’. Later on, after seeking him, they understood that Jesus is the Messiah (John 1:41). The disciples were with him physically and heard him explain himself directly. How can we know him now? John, the author of the gospel has meticulously articulated the reason for writing the gospel: to portray Jesus as the Messiah (John 20:31). What should we do? We have to read the gospel to seek Jesus and find him in the scriptures.
The disciples asked Jesus, “Where are you staying?” Jesus replied, “Come and see” (John 1:39). Jesus invites unknown disciples to stay with him. They went and stayed with him. What a great privilege for disciples to stay with Jesus!
Being in his presence is important in a disciple’s life. Adam lost God’s presence and His wisdom in the Garden of Eden because of his sin. God wants to establish His presence among His people as He did through the tabernacle with the Israelites in the wilderness and as He revealed Himself to the prophets, kings, and his people on many occasions. Now, he has spoken to us through Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son. Jesus Christ invites his disciples to remain in his Word, in the vine, his love commandment, and in him (John 15:4,9,).
As a result of remaining in him, we produce fruits and become friends of Jesus. (John 15:5,7, 12 15,16). What a wonderful privilege to have Jesus as our friend! How does He remain? Jesus has sent His Holy Spirit to dwell in us. He will be our helper to point us to Him. He guides us and restores the presence which we lost in the Garden of Eden. He has given us the spirit of His son to call him Abba and Father. He adopts us into his divine family (Gal 4:6).
The potential outcome of the disciples seeking and staying with Jesus is that they will proclaim him, the ‘Messiah’ to others. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him “We found the Messiah”(John 1:41).
Just like John the Baptist, the disciples used the title “The Messiah” to encapsulate the whole scripture. The coming of the Messiah is foretold in Genesis when God cursed Eve (Gen. 3:15). The same theme follows throughout the Old Testament: Moses expects a prophet, Nathan’s Prophecy to David about the expectation of a King (2 Sam. 7:14), and the reference of Isaiah to ‘My servant’ are examples. Cumulatively, all the Old Testament scriptures are pointing towards Jesus Christ as the expected king. In continuation of the Old Testament, Matthew introduces Jesus, the Messiah as the son of Abraham and son of David (Matt 1:1).
God has taken the initiative to reveal Himself to us through his son Jesus Christ. What should we do? We must seek and stay with him as the disciples did. As a result, we proclaim what we find in him to others and bring others to Jesus (John 1:42).
A Framework of Discipleship:
A disciple is to have three important components: seek, stay and serve. I would like to explain this through a basic Venn diagram to fit in all three components. The size of the circles is the same, so they have equal weightage.
The above diagram reveals to us the importance of all three in our discipleship journey. If we only serve and neglect the other two, then we miss the vital part of knowing Him as Saviour and staying in his presence.
For seeking and staying, we need to have a regular quiet time, prayer, and fellowship that opens up the treasure of knowing him as Messiah. Finding him as Messiah leads to proclaiming him to others.
As the disciples sought, stayed, and served Jesus Christ, we have to seek him wholeheartedly to know him as the Lamb of God, Messiah. Staying with him is to be in his presence by reading the scriptures and communicating with him in prayer and having fellowship with other believers. As a result of staying and seeking, we proclaim and serve Jesus Christ and point others to Him. As John the Baptist pointed the disciples to Jesus and Andrew pointed Simon to Jesus Christ, we also need to bring others to Christ. Let us seek, stay and serve him as his disciples.
Peter Daniel Joseph, lives in Perth, with his wife and two grown-up daughters. Presently doing Graduate Diploma in Divinity in Trinity Theological College, Perth.