I’ve started compiling a list of encounters with Jesus, wondering –
- What is the starting point of that person’s seeking?
- What was their spiritual thirst that propelled them to seek Jesus?
- What might spiritual thirst look like in the gospels?
- I’ve even wondered if people can follow Jesus without fully understanding their personal sin?
(BTW, I do believe that understanding sin is important part of the discipleship and conversion process, I’m simply asking is that first and foremost the starting point? After all, one foundational claim of the gospel is that Jesus died for our sin, according to Scripture. To ignore sin is to cheapen grace.)
A few observations about people seeking out Jesus:
- Lots of different reasons.
- Not all of them start to follow Jesus.
- Some worship, some follow, others we never hear from again.
- Some were seeking out of curiosity, some out of desperate personal need.
- Some were simply by-standers that got blessed.
I have intentionally left out the challenges of the religious leaders when they sought out to trap him. They were not seeking him to learn nor receive nor follow.
The list that follows is simply a list to jog memory of various stories.
A list of personal encounters with Jesus
- Son of David, have mercy on me / us. (Matt 9:27; 17:29)
- If I just touch the hem of his garment . . (Matt 9:21)
- Come and follow me, I will make you fishers of men (Matt 4:19)
- Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean. Filled with compassion, Jesus said, “I am willing” (Matt 8:2; Mark 1:40-41)
- Lord, my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering (Matt 8:6)
- He saw a man named Matthew – “Follow me” (Matt 9:9)
- My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession (Matt 15:22)
- Lord, have mercy on my son, I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him (Matt 17:15-16)
- Let the little children come to me (Matt 19:14)
- Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing. (Matt 26:10)
- What do you want with us Jesus of Nazareth, have you come to destroy us? (Mark 1:24)
- Son, your sins are forgiven (Mark 2:5)
- My little girl is dying, please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed an live (Mark 5:23)
- They asked him for a sign from heaven (Matt 16:-14, Mark 8:11-12)
- Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal live (Mark 10:17)
- Shepherds come visit the Christ
- Pagan wise men come to worship and bring their gifts
- A sinful woman anoints the feet of Jesus at the Pharisees house (Luke 7:37-38). Your sins are forgiven.
- Unless you repent, you will all perish. (Luke 13:1-5)
- A woman healed unexpectedly — she was just present when Jesus chose to heal her as a case study (Luke 13:10-13)
- Zaccheus wanted to see who Jesus was (Luke 19:3)
- When the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God” – Mark 15:39
- Finding Phillip, he said to him, “Follow me.” (John 1:43)
- “You believe because I told you I saw you under a fig tree” (John 1:50)
- He came to Jesus at night. How can this be? (John 3.3)
- How can you ask me, a Samaratian, for a drink (John 4:9)
- Many believed in him because of the woman’s testimony (John 4:39)
- He begged Jesus to come and heal his son (John 4:46)
- Jesus asked him, “Do you want to get well?” (John 4:6) Jesus later spoke to him about repentance
- “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? Neither do I, go and sin no more.” (John 8.10-11)
- Rabbi – who sinned, this man or his parents? (John 9.1)
For more information on my thoughts on spiritual thirst, click some of the related links below.
Talk #2 in the Fear Free evangelism Study Course is all about spiritual thirst and the role it plays in drawing people to start following Jesus.
Let me ask you this?
What observations do you see in this list?