Summary: Having an encounter with the Lord or the experience of seeing Jesus is fundamental to genuine Christian experience.
SIR, WE WOULD SEE JESUS
Dr. D. K. Olukoya
John 12: 20 – 26: “And there were certain Greeks among them, that came up to worship at the feast. The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus. And Jesus answered them saying, the hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.”
Certain Greeks came to an annual religious feast in Jerusalem. They saw men there practicing religion. They looked at everything, followed all the rituals and attended all the meetings, but were careful enough to note that in all these ceremonies, something was missing. They were still empty. But there was somebody in town who had the real thing so, they began to ask: “Sir, we would see Jesus.” You may ask what their motive was. Maybe it was curiosity or that they wanted to get something out of Jesus or they wanted to solve a problem or they just desired to know this man that people were talking about or they decided to encounter the truth in reality.
Having an encounter with the Lord or the experience of seeing Jesus is fundamental to genuine Christian experience. The reason some people backslide or are not able to appreciate their salvation is due to lack of this encounter. Sometimes people backslide because they have never seen the Man of Galilee. The day God opens your spiritual eyes and you see Him hanging on the cross, with blood dripping down, and suffering, the reality will dawn on you and all other things will be insignificant. The experience of seeing Jesus is so fundamental to the Christian faith.
TWO TYPES OF PEOPLE IN THE CAMP OF GOD
In the camp of the Lord, you can see two types of people.
1. Those who have met the Lord. 2. Those who have met the church. That is, those who practice church or religion.
Those who have not met the Lord lose their temper easily. For example, when they go somewhere and somebody takes up their seat, they would shout, “Get up from there, do you know when I arrived here. Get away.” They know how to pray fire prayer but they have not met the Lord. This is a tragedy. A time will come when all those proclaiming to be Christians shall be distributed into two clear camps. The first group is the group of the goats and the second group is the group of the sheep. The Bible says that eventually, the goats would be cast away into the lake of fire. This is because they did not really encounter the Lord. But if you want to encounter the Lord in reality, there is an essential condition that regulates such an encounter and we can find that in the response of Jesus to the request, “Sir, we would see Jesus,” in John 12: 24. It says, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” Herein lies the spiritual law that regulates God’s dealings with men for God is a God of law. This has nothing to do with your post or qualification. It has nothing to do with being a pastor or having attended Bible colleges and having studied theology.
Several years ago, a man who had a Ph.D in Bible Knowledge was invited to a Christian meeting somewhere in Ebute-Metta, Lagos. The meeting was filled with illiterates, carpenters and bricklayers and market men and women. He was supposed to give them a lecture on knowing God. He started by telling them the meaning of the phrase ‘to know.’ He spent about fifteen minutes on that and then went further to explain “God” for another fifteen minutes. After this, he went into the lecture proper and gave a beautiful lecture. But when he finished, one carpenter who did not even attend any school said, “Excuse me sir, I have a question for you. Have you met Jesus yourself? Can you claim that you have experienced Him?” The Ph.D teacher did not understand what the man was asking him so, he replied, “I am sorry, I don’t have an answer to that question.” The carpenter now sat him down and gave him a lecture on practical Christianity. The lecturer was trying to teach others about the man he did not know. God is a God of law and He works by divine principles. When you discover these principles and comply with them, it will bring you into line with God’s will.