Twenty years ago, I found Jesus and my life changed. And years later, I continued to believe I found Jesus, until the pastor said at Tuesday Night Bible Study, “We don’t find Jesus, Jesus finds us. He’s not lost.”
I winced at those words. I heard the message, yet did not comprehend; still stuck in the notion that I had found Jesus. The days that followed, I read the gospels Mark and John debunking my belief.
First, Jesus chooses his disciples. Jesus walks beside the Sea of Galilee, spots “Simon and Andrew casting a net into the lake,” and then James and John preparing their nets. When he says, “Come, follow me,” they immediately stop and follow (Mark 1: 16-18). They are in a place of obedience and trust.
By the lake, Jesus selects Levi, a tax collector (Mark 2:18). Levi, otherwise known as Matthew, leaves his place of business and follows.
On the mountainside, Jesus appoints his twelve disciples because he sees something special in them despite their flaws. Judas is a trader. Peter is hot-tempered. James and John overambitious. These brothers had their mother ask Jesus for a position. Ironically, after miracles, healings, and teaching when the storm hits, the disciples have little faith and hardened hearts.
How many times has my faith wavered despite miracles in my life? And when life doesn’t seem to go my way bitterness and hardened heart evident.
When Jesus set his sights on Nathanael, he says “an Israelite not a false bone in his body.” Nathanael asks, “How do you know me?” Jesus answers, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree” ( John 1:43-48). In the Bible the fig tree is a symbol of prosperity and judgment.
It doesn’t matter if our life is successful or we are under scrutiny, Jesus knows when were wearing a mask, and we should too. We have to be real.
Just as tax collectors were not the crème de la crème, neither were women or Samaritans, yet Jesus takes a detour into Samaria stopping by the well waiting for the Samaritan woman (John 4: 1-26). She comes to the well thirsty for knowledge and truth. There he reveals her secrets, he knows her as he knew Nathanael.
No wonder Jesus found me, I’ve been bitter with a harden heart, thought I was all that and a bag of chips, full of doubt, afraid, broken, helpless, and discouraged.
However he choses us when we are: strong enough to be weak and trust Him, ready to be a servant, fall down in prayer, stop judging, ready to say not my will but your will be done and we can trusted with the things in life no matter how small.
When Jesus finds you, eventually you come running to him. And once you are with him, Jesus takes hold and doesn’t let go.
Are you in a place that Jesus can find you?