From the first time I became aware of the verses in John 18:4ff, I have been in love with the story of Jesus’ stepping forward in the Garden that night when He was betrayed and asking, “Whom do you seek?” and the events that followed.
“Whom do you seek?” When the Roman cohort and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees answered Him, “Jesus the Nazarene,” He responded, “I am He.” Just picture the dark, flickering torch-lit shadows of the garden at night and all of these men facing this One Who chose to neither fight nor flee. They were so astounded they drew back and fell to the ground! What was it about this man’s demeanor that brought about such a reaction in these men? Can you see them as they started to stumble their way back to their feet while he once again asked, “Whom do you seek?” And again, they responded, “Jesus the Nazarene.” Once more He told them, “I am He.”
As I partook of communion this morning I was transported back to that night in the Garden, to those men, to that question and that answer. There was more meaning to that question, “Whom do you seek?” and answer, “I am He,” than they realized…until after the crucifixion. We know that at least one man, a centurion, became very aware because he was standing right in front of Jesus when He breathed His last and he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:39) I wonder about the many other men who fell to the ground in the Garden; do you suppose they ever thought back to, “Whom do you seek?” and, “I am He”?
This morning during communion when I thought back to that night, the memory of His asking, “Whom do you seek?” wrapped around me like a comforting quilt. In a turmoil-filled time, with insecurities seeking to unsettle the very core of the person I have spent a lifetime trying to become, “Whom do you seek?” was a very powerful message of peace that reached deep into my soul because I know Who it is that I seek. I found Him a long time ago and have sought to walk with Him faithfully although too frequently I have released His hand and let the comforting quilt fall from my shoulders. Today I realized I simply needed to remind myself to keep listening for His voice as He asks me, “Whom do you seek?
I love that story!
© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 5-9-2010
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