Did Jesus have dry seasons?
Did Jesus ever have one of those days when He said to Himself, “Man, it doesn’t matter how much I read my Bible, the Father just seems so far away right now.”
Sometimes I think God is playing “Hide and Go Seek” with my soul. And in a weird way, that encourages me. If God promises that He is a “rewarder of those who diligently seek Him,” (Hebrews 11:6) then at least I am comforted in the fact that He is faithfully waiting for me somewhere.
And I think Jesus clues us in on that “somewhere” just days before He death.
Once Jesus got to Jerusalem, He knew the clock was ticking. If His people hadn’t figured out that He was the Messiah by now, there was no time to waste. So He marched straight into the temple courts and pulled out His old whip.
Imagine what was going through everyone’s minds at this point? Years of ministry and miracles, the triumphal entry into the city, the clearing of the temple, and now here He was standing at the capital of the nation of Israel and the very epicenter of Jewish faith. Could this be the Christ? Is the kingdom of God at hand? Are we about to witness a revolution?
And right when everyone is on the edge of their seat, Jesus puts down His whip and shares three of the scariest parables about the kingdom of God ever recorded; each one ending with a group of people who don’t make it in and are left to suffer eternally.
The last parable is particularly haunting. But what has He got to lose? Jesus knows He will be laying His life down at any moment, so He calls it like it is.
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left” (Matthew 25:31-33, NKJV).
We know the story well. There are those who know the King already and those who don’t. Yet, both are surprised when they discover that they do know Him!
“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me'” (Matthew 25:37-40, NKJV).
When we seek out the lost and feed, clothe, visit and invite them; we don’t do it for God. We do it to God.
God doesn’t identify with the person who does the good works, God identifies with the person who receives the good works.
Is He beckoning us to a deeper, more experiential encounter with Him? Is there a greater dimension to “knowing” the God of the universe that we might be missing?
The cry of the Father’s heart, even in His last days before the cross, is that we would know Him. Maybe He is playing “Hide and Go Seek.”
If He is and if you are in a dry season and can’t seem to find Him, start with the lost. He would say that is where you will find Him and He is already there waiting for you.
Prayer Focus: “Lord, we want to find you. Will you help us?”
By: Justice Coleman, NextGen director at the Greater Los Angeles District