Which is better, to be the first to recognize Jesus or the first to run to Christ for forgiveness? That’s a question that entered my mind as I read the following:
It is the Lord!
John 21:6-7 ESV, He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.“ So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved [John] therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea.
A niece’s birthday party, purchasing a box of nails at the local hardware store, or ice fishing, we are rightly focused on the task at hand. And then Jesus shows up.
Surely it is excellent to recognize Jesus within any situation, especially where we were not expecting Him. And we are more likely to recognize Jesus when we are in close communion with Jesus. Still, it was Jesus that said, “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it?“, Luke 15:4 (ESV)
After Christ’s resurrection, it was He that sought out Peter, the Apostle that estranged from Him. And it was Peter when shown where Jesus was, that dove into the sea to run back to Jesus.
It seems to me that my question shouldn’t be either/or, because I think the answer is, “Both.”
Christians in close communion with Jesus will spot Him, even when there’s no expectation that Christ will manifest His presence. And it is those Christians who nudge others and say, “Hey, Jesus is here!” That’s when people that have a burning in their hearts to get right with Jesus will run to Him.
We all need to walk with Jesus, but there are times when some wander off. Jesus will not lose His own. He goes after them, and maybe it’s you that will play the role of the Apostle John and say, “Hey, I see Jesus!”