Matthew 11:9-7 As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.”
Since we often only see what we are looking for it is wise to occasionally ask what it is we are really looking for. This was what Jesus was asking the crowd, many of whom had apparently also been followers of John the Baptist to one degree or another. What had they been looking for? What had they found in John? And what of us this Christmas? Are we looking for another successful social season, navigating the expectations of friends and family and our own inner compulsions? Are we looking for love and romance? A year-end bonus? A few days off? Jesus seems to be telling these folks, “of course you didn’t go to see a reed or a fashion show. You went to see a prophet. You went looking for someone to tell you about God.” What if all our surface desires and urges are just indications of our longing for something deeper, a longing for something more real, a longing for God? Since we often only see what we are looking for it is wise to occasionally ask what it is we are really looking for. What are you really looking for this Christmas?