In Plain Sight
Have you ever looked for something that was in your possession? Have you searched for your phone while on the phone talking with someone? Have you looked for your eyeglasses to discover the glasses sat on your head or even on your eyes? Such as John preached to his generation concerning Jesus.
John witnessed, "He (Jesus) was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him (John 1:10 NKJV). How can Jesus be in the world and be missed? How can it be possible for those created through Him to overlook His existence?
I'm reminded of the Samaritan woman at the well who initially did not recognize Christ. Going about her daily chores, interestingly, she recognized Jesus as a Jew but not the Christ. She used the same senses we use to identify others from different cultures, such as their attire, speech, or mannerisms. In her initial interchange with Jesus, He was just a Jew, the ones who traditionally snubbed the Samaritans. And if that was enough, Jesus was another man wanting something from her. She was on her sixth man and probably wasn't interested at the moment in having this engagement.
Jesus used what she came for, water, a conversation starter to fulfill what she actually needed-the Living Water. If she could stand amid the Holy One, the Light of the world, and the Savior and miss His essence, undoubtedly, we and others can.
What causes us not to recognize Jesus? John stated in chapter 1, verse 11 that Jesus own did not receive Him. Since we have free will, Jesus will not force us to accept Him. We can reject the teachings of Christ, looking for other things to fulfill or guide us. The Samaritan woman acknowledged Jesus when He revealed the truth (John 4:18-19). Once she saw the deity of the man she spoke with, the Samaritan woman received Christ.
Like the Samaritan woman, we can overlook Jesus from a lack of understanding or incorrect teaching of Who He is ( John 1:19-20). Jesus warned of false teachers (Matthew 7:15-16). Some leaders are self-centered and not Jesus-centered. Like Jesus, sometimes leaders must correct our way of living by teaching and modeling righteous behaviors. If we are to know Jesus, we must learn about Him daily. The church's primary focus should be discipleship.
Jesus is overlooked when we need more focus or are intentionally looking for Him. When we look for a phone while holding it, we are engrossed in a conversation or many thoughts. If we stopped and focused, we could focus on what is needed presently. The prophet Jeremiah encouraged the captives from Jerusalem to Babylon, "And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:13 KJV). God promised that if they sought Him, He would be found even in captivity! Although God ordained the captivity, God led Jeremiah to write a letter telling Israel to be intentional and prosper in captivity.
The Samaritan woman allowed Jesus to interrupt her day. From this interruption, she gained a new perspective leading to freedom of a changed life. Let us not miss Jesus. Let us learn of Him to know Jesus when He is in our midst. Let us be intentional in seeking Him daily. Finally, let us witness to others so they can walk in the Light.