John 1:29-34 (CEB)
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one about whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is really greater than me because he existed before me.’ Even I didn’t recognize him, but I came baptizing with water so that he might be made known to Israel.” John testified, “I saw the Spirit coming down from heaven like a dove, and it rested on him. Even I didn’t recognize him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit coming down and resting is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and testified that this one is God’s Son.”
Back to John and Jesus! (and credit to the Jesuits who wrote today’s PAYG prayer for the relationship analogy I am about to play with.)
I imagine we have all known people who have had a string of relationships – all gone bad – and boldly announce about their latest heartthrob: “he’s the one“. (or “she’s the one” – fill in the details yourself!) And maybe you sigh to yourself having heard it so many times before, and brace yourself for the inevitable let-down and disappointment and tears over a tub of Ben & Jerry’s and a bottle of wine. (or maybe you look forward to that!)
He’s “the one” proclaims John. After years, decades, centuries, of looking for “the one” – and flirting with dozens of wannabee Messiahs, John points to this unlikely-looking young man strolling down towards the Jordan, and proclaims: “He’s THE ONE!” This one is the real deal – our forever-bestie-messiah-friend, the one who will not let us down and will deliver.
Well – how does John know?
How does anyone know?
Fortunately, the internet has the answer to all our questions – so I asked Jeeves…
And (as always) Jeeves has the answer. According to Glamour magazine online there are 5 ways to tell that he’s the one (though most of them seem to be ways of telling that he is NOT the one). He’s not the one if:
he ogles other women (it shows he’s still “shopping around”);
he makes you feel that you have to “play games”; (I don’t think they mean monopoly!)
he makes you feel insecure;
he doesn’t “get” you (he doesn’t really understand what makes you tick);
he can’t say “I love you”.
Jeeves also alerts me to an article by Today’s Christian Woman: “How Do I know He’s the One? Is there one person I am meant to marry, or should I just choose a good man?” article (You can read that for yourself if you like – though my advice would be to give it a miss!)
Let’s give Jesus the Glamour Magazine “he’s not the one” test.
Does Jesus ogle other women? Hmm.. I wouldn’t use the word “ogle” – but Jesus is not exclusively yours – Jesus offers a radical “come to me ALL who labour and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” There are always going to be other women and (indeed!) other men in Jesus’ life – in fact he wants everyone to be in his life. so – FAIL!
Does Jesus make you feel you have to play games? No. You can be real with Jesus – there’s nothing in your life that would scare him off – nothing in your behaviour or attitudes or in your past that would cause Jesus to abandon you.
Does Jesus make you feel insecure? If you were a hypocritical zealot piling needless burdens on the shoulders of the poor – then, yes, I guess Jesus might have made you feel insecure. At the very least he’d have embarrassed you and made you feel uncomfortable. But those least treasured by the world have always found refuge in Jesus – finding in him a dignity and a strength that the world never offered them.
Does Jesus “get” you? errr… YES! You are made in his image… because God’s Spirit is part of the fabric of your being (whether you recognise it or not) – Jesus knows you inside out… Jesus knows who you are – and (more importantly) who you COULD be… what you were made to be.
Can Jesus say “I love you”? That’d be a yes too… a big yes… you could say his whole life was “I love you” lived out to its fullest consequence…