As of Tuesday, August 7, 2018
KAMIAH While attending university in London many years ago, a young man became interested in the Christian faith. By the time he graduated, he was almost convinced but was still seeking evidence that this faith was practical and true. After accepting employment in East Africa, he lived in the home of a Christian family. He thought this would be an ideal testing ground for the evidence he was looking for. Unfortunately, as the months passed, he saw nothing that attracted him. The family was uninterested in him and indifferent toward their faith. They didn’t reach out to him and complained about any sacrifices they had to make on behalf of others. As a consequence, this student’s interest in God turned to disappointment. He left his pursuit of Christ and went a different direction, moving back home to India. He eventually led a revolution. This young man’s name was Mahatma Gandhi. The family in Africa had no idea who was in their midst.
Those followers of Christ missed their opportunity to influence a man, who became one of the most influential men of the 20th century—all because they were poor hosts. They never connected with him.
Not so John the Baptist! He was delighted to point away from himself to Jesus, the son of God. He announced him as the one who would carry away the sin of the whole world by becoming the final and perfect sacrifice, the lamb of God. Naturally, those who had followed John now wanted to follow Jesus. As they approached him, Jesus asked what they were looking for. Instead of answering his question, the would be followers asked: “Where are you staying?” Were they just looking for the address and location where Jesus lived? Most likely, their real question was, where they could find him, be with him, and receive from him what he had to offer. Jesus answered by saying: “Come and see!” He invited them into his space, allowed them to hang out with him, to eat, celebrate and work with him. Jesus took the initiative, made room for the seekers, allowing them to really connect with him. He still does—and he asks us, his followers to do the same by becoming skilled hosts who point others to Him.
Volkhard Graf is a pastor with Youth With A Mission, Kamiah