When Did You See Jesus?
I talk with many people who in some way or another want to see Jesus in their lives. Maybe they ll stuck in a dead-end career. Perhaps, they believe deeply in the untapped potential of their loved ones or of themselves. ey read the awe-inspiring stories of scripture and long to experience Jesus step out of the pages of scripture and into their world. People may sour at times on church, but they long to rekindle the passion of their rst love with Jesus.
February is a month where we celebrate Valentine’s Day. Valentine of Rome helped Christian couples to get married, even when Emperor Claudius II forbid it. Claudius only condemned Valentine to death after Valentine attempted to convert him to faith in Christ. Valentine was beaten, clubbed, stoned, and finally beheaded on February 14, 269. Valentine’s faith and love for Jesus the Messiah spurred him to risk big in order to serve other people. From one perspective, offciating marriage ceremonies does not sound especially spectacular. Yet Valentine’s faith was animated by the Spirit of God to see Jesus in unexpected places and in everyday people.
Jesus once told a story about a King rewarding those who served and aided him and punishing those who put themselves rst and did not risk their own comfort on behalf of others. “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” (Matthew 25:37-40)
It’s possible in this month celebrating love, we might unknowingly pass by our first love of Jesus the Christ. It likely wouldn’t happen by a vocal renunciation of our faith or conversion to another religion. Jesus challenges us to see him in the stranger, the hungry, the sick, and the needy. We might be devoutly praying to see and experience Jesus more fully in our lives while we walk by the marginalized people who represent the opportunity do so in our city and in our world.