Russell Washington

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What Are You Seeking-Revised

In Uncategorized on December 26, 2014 at 10:50 pm

A Christ Protégé

 What Are You Seeking?

What are you seeking (John 1:38)?  This question posed by Jesus to two disciples of John the Baptist remains relevant today for all who would follow after him, for anyone who will be his disciple, his protégé. The question is a poignant one.  The context in which the question is asked emphasizes the piercing, cut to the chase nature of it. John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus Christ, received a Word from God.  The Word John received said the person upon whom he would see the Spirit of God descend like a dove and remain, this is the person who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.  John saw the Spirit of God descend like a dove and remain on Jesus Christ.  Therefore, John was a witness to the fact that Jesus is the Son of God (John 1: 32-34). Following what he witnessed, the next day John sees Jesus coming near him and he announces, “Behold the Lamb of God” (John 1: 36)!

Imagine what must have been a surreal moment.  The Jewish people, the nation of Israel had been waiting for several millennia for the promised Messiah.  That is several thousand years.  It is a miracle that anyone was still looking for Christ to come.  With one announcement made by a peculiar, eccentric man, to say the least, John reveals that Jesus is the one, the promised Messiah, and that he is here!!!  Look at Him!!!  Wow!!!

Two of John’s disciples that were standing near him, heard him, saw Jesus and began immediately to follow after him.  Jesus sees them following him and turns around and says, “What are you seeking” (John 1:38)?  Essentially, Jesus asks these two men what do you want? 

Seriously Jesus?  You just heard John the Baptist declare that you are the one, the one who has been prophesied about in Scripture and the one on whom humanity has waited, for four thousand years, and you ask the question “what are you seeking”?  Good question!  If we will be followers, protégés, disciples of Jesus, he asks us the same question today. 

So what are we seeking in following after Jesus?  After giving much thought to the question, I have determined that what I most want from Jesus is for him to grant me the experience of an ongoing, tangible fellowship with him and God the Father.  I crave being easily aware of His Company in my life. I crave being able to inquire of Him and have that inquiry answered in the moment, like two people involved in a dialogue.  I crave to continually experience His manifest presence, to continually experience losing myself in Him, to continually experience be filled up of Him.

Now I must answer another critical question.  Does what I want please the Lord Jesus?  Is the desire/request something He is willing to meet/answer?  The written Word (i.e. the Bible) contains the answers for these inquiries.

When answering Jesus’s question, “what are you seeking”, John’s disciples state, “Where do you live”?  We know that Jesus is pleased with the question because he answers, “come and see”.  John’s disciples’ question discloses their desire to get to know the “Lamb of God”.  Jesus was willing for them to get to know him in the very personal setting of His own home.  The scripture further tells us that the men remained with Jesus for the remainder of the day, most likely until the next morning, it being 4:00 PM in today’s time when they accept Jesus’s invitation to come. 

Imagine after having received the revelation that this man Jesus, is God wrapped in flesh, you are allowed to remain in His Company in the confines of His home, and learn directly from Him.  Today, does Jesus provide us with the same opportunities to manifestly perceive Him, to remain in His Company, to experience Him as the real person that He is?  This question will be the focus of the next edition of A Christ Protégé.

Take No Thought

In Uncategorized on March 16, 2013 at 2:58 am

“Take no thought for your life, what you should eat; neither for the body, what you should wear.  The life is more than meat and the body is more than clothes (Luke 12: 22-23).” These are Jesus’s words as he teaches his disciples what life is or perhaps more accurately what life is not.  As I ponder these words, I reflect on my own practices as well as the practices of those that I have observed while visiting Japan, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Myanmar, India, South Africa, and Ghana.  Honestly speaking, the dominant share of my thoughts is job related.  My job allows me to make provisions for food, clothing, and the other great material need not directly mentioned by Jesus, shelter.  I spend the lion’s share of my time “making a living”.  The money that I earn is then spent on the mortgage (shelter), food, clothing, and more household (shelter) bills (gas, electric, water).  Moreover, the car loan and the gasoline for the car that is needed to make more efficient use of time to get back and forth to work, get the children to school and back home, and buy the food necessary for living are additional expenditures.  And in my case just like a great many others, the temptation to participate in the never-ending American pastime (or perhaps the World pastime) of chasing upward mobility is ever present, which equates to a pursuit of bigger, more luxurious homes, cars, as well as the pursuit of fine clothing and the routine experience of fine dining, fun leisure activities, and travel. 


Many people living in countries like China, Vietnam, Myanmar, India, South Africa, Ghana and the US struggle to earn enough to provide the basics (food, clothing, and shelter) for their families.  Consequently, earning money to provide the basics dominates their daily activities.  In well-developed places like Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore people work hard to attain and maintain the “good life”, which seemingly is greater material accumulation.  It is plainly evident that Jesus’s words so many years ago are just as relevant now as they were when he spoke them.  Jesus said that every nationality/ethnic group pursues what they will eat and what they will wear (Luke 12: 30).  A great percentage of the world’s economy is built on making these necessities available for purchase.


While the pursuit of these necessities are not evil, they tend to preoccupy our thinking and therefore dominate what we spend our time doing.  Little time and energy is left for us to seek the “Kingdom”, which Jesus directs us to prioritize our time doing (Luke 12: 30-31). Jesus said that “life” is more than the pursuit of material necessities. Therefore, his alternative of Kingdom pursuit must equal real “life”.  Astonishingly, Jesus asserts that if we prioritize living a “Kingdom” lifestyle then material necessities would be added to us.  Apparently, there is economy associated with living a “Kingdom” lifestyle.  Quite naturally then, a Christ protégé (I count myself as one) must ask himself/herself, what is the Kingdom?  How do I live in the Kingdom or live a Kingdom lifestyle?  By what means are necessities added to me?