Passion for Jesus Christ
What is Passion?
The primary meaning of the word passion as defined by Merriam-Webster is “a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.” I’m kind of stunned by what’s left out here. When did things take the priority over relationships? I would argue that passion primarily defines one’s enthusiasm about SOMEONE, not just something.
Allow me to illustrate this point by diving into 1 John 1:1: That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. (NIV)
This introduction to John’s first epistle is spectacular. He wants you to know that he was an eyewitness to the most dramatic event in human history. The verbs he uses to describe his experience with Jesus Christ are vivid, i.e. heard, seen, looked at, and touched. He desires for you to know that he experienced Jesus, the Eternal One, with his eyes, ears and hands. I can hear John saying, “God became a human. He allowed us to encounter Him at the most basic level of our human senses. We felt Him. We heard Him. We touched…”
Touched is an interesting word in the Greek language. It’s an emphatic and descriptive word that is only found four times in the entire New Testament, and only here in John’s writings. As you will discover, our English word is tame by comparison. The word John uses, touched, describes the process of groping after someone or something. Even more descriptive is the fact that this word was often used of someone who was either physically blind or in complete darkness.
I first came across this definition of touched when I was taking Greek classes at Hardin-Simmons University back in 1984. Since that time, I’ve spent many years pondering what John meant by this unique choice of words. And through the decades, I’ve come to understand something about “groping.”
Before I came to a full realization of what Jesus Christ does for a man, I was blind. I was searching. In my personal darkness I kept bumping into things that I thought would make me happy and complete. “If I could only catch that elusive dream, or receive that golden opportunity,” I reasoned, “then I will have embraced life. So I groped after all the things the world tries to put in your hands and in your pockets. All these things were as temporary as a shooting star.
Imagine this from your own perspective now. Place yourself in the position of John the Apostle. Life has been dull and mundane. You get up early. You fish. You clean the fish. You sell the fish. You go to sleep. You start over the next day. You do this year after year.
Until one day, groping in the darkness, you reach out your hand, and touch something you know is different from everything else you’ve ever felt. Your groping has led you to an encounter with the Son of God. When this happens to you, you know that you have laid hold of Some-One, not some-thing.
Nothing else in your entire life can compare to this moment. As you grope all the more, you are convinced you will never let go, or be let go. This day is different than all the rest in your life. You have found the pearl of great price, the buried treasure, the Kingdom of God.
Suddenly you see. Now you can follow.
This is our testimony too. That’s why John said, This we proclaim. People all around you are searching and groping in the darkness. Are you doing anything to help them find their way? I know that’s a pretty serious question. But somebody probably helped you out when you were still groping. And now it’s your turn to do the same.
All of this is to say that my passion is a person, and His name is Jesus Christ. My chief desire in life is to chase after Him with reckless abandon. My greatest joy is proclaiming the plan of salvation revealed through His atoning death on the cross of Calvary. If there were a greater cause to devote my life to, I would already be doing it. But there is none—not in my book.
I hope you feel the same passion!
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