Some Greeks who had come to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration paid a visit to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee. They said, “Sir, we want to meet Jesus.” Philip told Andrew about it, and they went together to ask Jesus. (John 12:20-22)
Relate: Sometimes, it is subtle and you really need to have your eyes open to notice it. Other times, the need, the cry is so blatantly obvious you would have to be blind, deaf, and dumb not to notice it. Sometimes, they will beat around the bush with so many other topics that you can’t even recognize what they are truly asking for. Other times, they will shock you as they come right out and say, “We want to meet Jesus.”
I experienced one of those “other times” recently. I was sitting at my laptop in a coffee shop when someone approached the person next to me and asked in Turkish what time it was. The person to my right didn’t know a drop of Turkish so I answered for them. My accent is terrible and it is immediately obvious as soon as I open my mouth that my Turkish needs a lot of work.
The person to my left, a Turkish man, heard me and immediately turned and asked if I was British or American. I answered American and added that I’m from NY. He then asked if I was a Christian. (His English was far better than my Turkish) When I answered yes he then said, “You don’t have to answer this if you don’t want, but I was wondering… Do you consider it blasphemy when I say that Jesus was not God but only a prophet?” Jackpot. I regularly beg, pray, and plead for God to give me opportunities this golden. What he was really saying, “Sir, I want to meet Jesus.”
We talked about how scripture undeniably claims Jesus is God. We talked about how even the Quran holds Jesus in higher esteem than Muhammad. We went on to talk about family, relationships, community, and work and then came back around to talk about how Jesus is different from ancient figures like Horus and Osiris. For over six hours we explored many different angles of what it means to be a follower of Jesus and although he did not chose to be a follower of Christ at that moment, I made a new friend and he has a new Christian friend. That is no small thing in a country where there are more than fifteen mosques for every single protestant Christian.
React: All around us there are people who are asking like the Greeks to Philip, “can you introduce us to Jesus?” How are we responding? How ready are we to give an answer? How passionately are we praying for such opportunities? how brightly are we shining our light?
I honestly have to say that there have been entire months, even years, in my past where it seemed like I never saw opportunities like this. When looking back, it is clear that there were three reasons why not. 1) I wasn’t looking for them. 2) I wasn’t asking for them. 3) I wasn’t ready for them. Are You?