By Alex Florez
When I first moved to Nashville, I got invited to a cookout at the home of a famous country singer. I had no real business being there; I just had friends in high places. I hardly know anything about country music. So, when I was going through the buffet line, and this internationally famous artist asked me if I wanted cheese on my burger, all I said was, “yes, please. Thanks so much!” At least I was polite.
It was a lovely afternoon. We played volleyball, and we sat around the pool and talked about life. Our gracious host was a natural at making everyone in attendance feel like they belonged—even a “nobody” like me.
But because I didn’t know anything about his career—like what songs he sang or what it was like to see him perform live—my visit was little more than a casual encounter. Nothing really changed for me after the fact. To this day, I wish I had said something that would have forged a human connection between us. I wish I had done some homework to have had a deeper appreciation for this once-in-a-lifetime moment.
This cookout came to mind when I read today’s text. When John declares, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29), I take it that John recognized something essential in Jesus that the rest of the crowd did not. John saw Jesus for who He really was, and he didn’t miss the opportunity to proclaim it to anyone willing to listen.
When I see Jesus, I hope I see Him for who He is; I hope I’m bold and excited enough to shout, “Look! It’s Jesus! I’ve waited for this moment my whole life!” The alternative would be to react to Jesus how I reacted to being in the presence of country music royalty—casual, unmoved, unchanged.
When I finally see Jesus face-to-face, I won’t have to regret only sort of knowing who He is. I have His Word, and I have His Spirit. I will know all of Jesus’s greatest hits and the lesser-known stuff that only the super fans know. Because the Holy Spirit dwells in me, there will be an undeniable elation in my heart the second I lay eyes on Him.
And I believe it won’t be a one-sided experience. I won’t merely be a distant admirer, completely unknown to the object of my affection. No, my King will see me and know exactly who I am. We will never run out of things to talk about, and we will cherish being together. When I finally see Jesus face-to-face, I will know exactly who He is, and I will boldly shout with all my strength for everyone to hear: “Look, it’s Jesus, the one who set me free!”