The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. (John 12:21, K.J.V.)
Word has it that a church in Georgia has an angling stairway the preacher must ascend to get into the pulpit. At one point along the stairway a certain phrase is etched into the stone. The phrase is taken from the last part of John 12:21 and reads: “Sir, we would see Jesus.”
Even more than being etched into stone in a certain church in Georgia, that particular phrase has been used throughout the world to encourage and at times rebuke preachers. For example, an old story is told about a pastor who had lost his faith, a loss that started showing up more and more in his preaching. Finally, one Sunday morning he found an unsigned note on his pulpit Bible. The note read: “Sir, we would see Jesus.”
The note shook the pastor to his core and forced him to reexamine not only his preaching but also his personal beliefs. At the end of that long process, and after quite a bit of wrestling with God over the various issues that had worked to destroy his faith in the first place, the pastor returned to the childlike simplicity of His faith in Jesus Christ. This revival in the pastor’s personal walk with Christ soon manifested itself in his preaching, and it wasn’t hard for his congregation to notice the difference. Not long afterward the pastor found another note on his pulpit Bible one Sunday morning. This note quoted a portion of a different verse, John 20:20, from the same gospel of John. The note read:
…Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.
Do the people of the world need to see Jesus in preachers? Absolutely. But the truth is, they need to see Jesus in every Christian. So, I’ll ask you right now, Christian, how much Jesus can others see in you these days? If (like that pastor) you are currently experiencing a low tide of faith, you need to get alone with the Lord and work through whatever has crippled your faith. And be warned, that’s never an easy, pleasant process if you do it thoroughly. The fact is, however, there are times when it is a necessary one if others are going to truly see Jesus in you.