preposition: in pursuit or quest of; in someone’s direction, following
The two disciples heard him and went after Jesus. Jesus looked over his shoulder and said to them, “What are you after?” John 1:37-38
“What are you after?”
Hmmm. What if Jesus asked me that? What if he asked you?
What am I after? What do I spend the majority of time and effort pursuing? Success? Loving relationships with my family and friends? Good health? A comfortable lifestyle? Happiness?
Too many things run through my mind.
There is nothing bad about any of these. But in my constant quest for these basically good things, I sometimes forget about Jesus. I forget to keep pursuing him. I forget that he is the main thing that I really should be after…
This is what he asked his first disciples to do, and this is what he wants from us. So how did they do it? How did they go after Jesus?
They turned from their old lives. They left what was familiar. They did not run from suffering. And they let him lead. Even when it wasn’t popular. Even when it cost.
That sounds very different than striving solely for comfort and control and good feelings.
So maybe for us it means turning away from things that distract us from his truth. Maybe it means making choices that are uncomfortable or trying something new. Maybe it means sacrificing, trusting him through the struggles, and bringing every decision to him.
Our quest for Jesus probably won’t be easy. If we put him first, our lives will probably be different than we imagined. Happiness might come in completely different ways than we thought. And that is okay.
And even when we do experience success, our dreams come true, and we are enjoying the wonderful things that we hope for and work for, Jesus still has so much more in mind for us.
Jesus knows what he is asking us and what he is offering us. Because he did it too. He told his disciples in John 14:28 as his death was near: “…If you loved me, you would be glad that I’m on my way to the Father because the Father is the goal and purpose of my life.”
And then in John 17: 24 he prays for all of us:
“Father, I want those you gave me
To be with me, right where I am,
So they can see my glory, the splendor you gave me,
Having loved me
Long before there was a world.”
Following after Jesus leads us to him. And that is where I want to end up. Experiencing his glory. Knowing his love.
Forever with him.
Invite Him In: Tell Jesus that you want him to be your goal and your purpose. He will lead you if you let him. He has already shown us that there is more to this life than this life. He sacrificed everything to have us with him now and forever. If being with him is our greatest desire, we will not be disappointed.