As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?
But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.
But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet.
For this is he of whom it is written: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You.’
[Matthew 11:7-10 NKJV]
If you are searching for something that you have misplaced, you will only find it where you placed it. If that something is a thought or an idea, you can work to reclaim it or realise it. You may or may not succeed. When it comes to the spiritual, we may not even know that we are searching. We may have pre-conceived notions, or ideas that have been fed to us, which we do not question, or merely an emptiness that we did not know could be filled.
But Jesus says “but what did you go out to see?” What were your expectations? He asks us to question why we are where we are - standing before Him in the crowd, listening to His words. Three times He says about John the Baptist “what did you go out to see?” A wild man from the desert, ranting incoherently? Did you expect someone in fine clothes, bringing words of comfort, soothing to the ear? Or were you looking for a prophet, showing the way ahead? In other words, are you seeking entertainment, or comfort, or truth?
Jesus speaks shortly after John has sent word seeking to know if Jesus was "The Coming One". He tells the crowd that John is the the messenger God reveals in Malachi chapter 3 - the one who points the way to The Messiah. We cannot see Jesus without being shown the way. Jesus cannot be seen with the natural eye. In verse 14, Jesus says "And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" Thus we have a picture of the heavenly one showing the way by which He may be seen. Seek and you will find.
So, what do we go out to see? Do we see Jesus standing before us in the everyday reality. We may be searching for any number of misplaced attitudes and truth; to be comforted or lifted in the Spirit; but we shall only find what we are looking for if we go out of ourselves to see Jesus. He will show us the way back to Himself. He is the only answer,
Open The Eyes of My Heart Michael W Smith
(Written by Paul Baloche)
Beware of the sentiment that we consecrate natural gifts to God; we cannot, we can only consecrate to God the holy disposition He gives us (Romans 12:1).