Why would Peter immediately leave fishing to follow Jesus? Why would Zacchaeus run ahead to climb a tall tree just to get a view of Jesus, or why did Nicodemus seek Jesus after hours? One answer is desire. They had an overwhelming craving for the knowledge and ministry of Jesus. Peter wanted it more than his passion for fishing. Zacchaeus wanted it more than his riches. Nicodemus wanted it more than his prestige.
How much do you desire Jesus?
Matthew desired Him: He was “sitting at his tax collector’s booth. ‘Follow me and be my disciple,’ Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him.” The news of Jesus, the miracle working, bible preaching, homeless prophet, was spreading. Matthew went to his unexciting, disdainful job to collect money from the oppressed people. In his heart, he must have longed for something nobler, something more significant to the cause of humanity, but he didn’t know where to look, until he found Jesus standing at his booth. Their eyes must have locked in a meaningful gaze and when Jesus said, “Follow me,” Matthew knew, Jesus was the answer. That kind of job was no longer important, God’s work became foremost. God sometimes calls us out of ordinary work for some greater contribution to His kingdom. You have to desire Him, to be willing to leave all behind and follow him.
Peter desired Him: He was an overzealous, pompous, quick-mouth kind of guy. His passion for Jesus superseded his common sense and his spiritual sense. For example, John chapter 13 tells us that at first, Peter didn’t want Jesus to wash his feet. Jesus told him, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.” In addition, Peter was willing to go wherever Jesus was going. “Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.” Peter was defensive of his Jesus, even grabbing a sword to chop of the soldier’s ears when they came to arrest Jesus. As you may know, when it came to the test, Peter denied Jesus three times and then wept bitterly. This in no way nullifies Peter’s desire for Christ. Peter passionately loved Jesus, but he didn’t understand how to control his love. Peter wanted to be involved in the ministry, but he didn’t understand the cause of the ministry. As you desire Jesus, ask Him to control your desire, to teach you the treasures of His ministry and show you how to channel the desire into action pleasing to Him.
The thief desired Him: It would seem that he was more desperate than he had desire, after all he was dying helplessly on the cross beside a ‘helpless’ Jesus. However, the spirit of the living God opened his eyes to the truth about who Jesus was. In his last few moments on the cross, he recognized three significant truths about Jesus that many who daily walked with Jesus struggled to understand. He recognized the divinity of Jesus, when he asked his colleague, “Don’t you fear God.” He recognized the holiness of God, with the declaration that, “this man has done nothing wrong.” He recognized that Jesus is the Savior, when he pleaded, “Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. It took him a few moments to realize and accept three of the greatest truths, that many today are yet to acknowledge and accept. When we desire Jesus, it will call out acceptance and genuine repentance from within.
Judas desired Him: Some would disagree that Judas desired Jesus, but desire is desire, good or bad. However, Judas’ desire was governed by an evil spirit. Judas may have over contemplated the thought, “what’s in it for me?” He knew wholeheartedly that Jesus could take care of himself, but not realizing that Jesus could take care of his needs too. When we genuinely desire Jesus, we will seriously contemplate, “how can God use me?” instead of “how can I use God?” We already have full declaration that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think” (Eph 3: 20 -21). As you desire Jesus, seek ways to bequeath yourselves solely for His purpose, rather than betray Him for your purposes.
To truly desire Jesus means:
To hunger for him more than food, so much that you would fast from food and feast on His word, because He is the bread of life.
To yearn for him more than sleep, so much that you wake up a little early or sit up a little late to have some quiet time with Him.
To love Him more than life itself, so much that you are willing to bear His cross.
To be willing to walk away from earthly things and seek after spiritual things.
To give up the things you love the most, for the things He loves the most.
How much do you desire Jesus?
Psalm 63:1, O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water.