“We Would See Jesus”
In John 12:20-21, the following account is given by John: “And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.” John, by inspiration, records this account of men who desired to see Jesus. They came to Philip, a known follower of Jesus the Christ. Why did they go to Philip? Perhaps it was because they did not feel worthy to approach Jesus themselves, or perhaps because they were worried about how Jesus might react at being approached directly by Gentiles. We really do not know for sure. However, for whatever reason, they did want someone to take them to see Jesus, and they knew that the best person for that was one of His followers. And, even today, many all around those who are Christians are saying, as it were, “We would see Jesus.” Notice…
Our children would see Jesus. The Bible says, “Lo, children are a heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth” (Psa. 127:3-4). Children are undoubtedly a wonderful blessing from God, and we as parents are certainly parents for a lifetime after having/adopting children, but we also realize that our time to train them is brief indeed. Parents are instructed by God, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). Children love to learn about God and His Word, and they are ever eager to learn more. It thrills children to hear the stories of David and Goliath, Daniel and the lions’ den, and so on. The best chance for children to grow up into faithful servants of God is for them to see Jesus in their parents. Some children grow up to be faithful Christians in spite of their parents’ unfaithfulness, but such is the exception, not the rule. I am reminded of the terminally ill little boy who told his father, “If God is like you, then I’m not afraid to die.” Let each of us as Christian parents show our children Jesus in our lives, not just in our speech alone.
The world would see Jesus. Our lives as Christians are the only sermon that some will ever hear. And, even if a nonChristian does come to worship with a Christian friend, if he does not see Jesus in that Christian’s day-to-day life, the sermon(s) he hears on the Lord’s Day will be quite possibly be useless. Each day, there is a world all around us that would see Jesus, yet we sometimes live hypocritical lives, and sometimes we just do not tell others about the Gospel. There can be no argument about the fact that there are some rather wicked people in our world today, but there are also numerous souls out there who would love to see Jesus, just as those men in John 12. Can you imagine how differently the situation recorded in John 12 would have turned out if there had been no Philip in their area? Or, what if Philip had been a hypocrite? To whom would these men have gone for help in seeing Jesus? One might say, “Well, there would have been someone else,” but we all know that there just as likely might not have been anyone else. What a blessing it is to the cause of Christ when there are those in any given area to whom good and honest folk can go and “see Jesus”! Jesus commanded this very thing when He said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).
Our brethren would see Jesus. Whether I realize it or not, there is at least one brother or sister in the local congregation who puts a great deal of confidence in me and looks to me to “see Jesus.” Such being the case, it is not hard to imagine the damage done if that brother or sister looks to me to “see Jesus,” but sees the world instead. I am not solely responsible for anyone’s soul, but I must also remember the words of Paul in Romans 14:12-13—“So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.” Jesus also said, “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone where hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matt. 18:6—Keep in mind that “offend” is not just referring to something that another does not like, but is the idea of being a stumbling block and causing someone to sin.). There are brethren all around me that would see Jesus in my life, so I must take special care to be sure that my life reflects the glory of my Father in heaven (Matt. 5:16).
“We would see Jesus” is not a phrase that we are likely to hear come from those around us, but it is a concept that applies to our children, the world around us, and our brethren. When our children, our brethren, and the world look at our lives, do they see Jesus? If not, why not?
“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that theyhad been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13)