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ONE THING I ASK


Drawing from Christart.com

One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple….

I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. – Psalm 27:4, 13-14

If you had one thing to ask of the LORD God Almighty, what would it be?

Solomon had that opportunity – to ask whatever his heart desired. Because he asked for wisdom instead of wealth or long-life, God gave him all three.

Solomon’s father asked for something better – an intimate relationship with the LORD Himself.

Did Philip, perhaps, have this Psalm in mind when he made a request of Jesus at the Last Supper? Jesus had just told His disciples He was going away to prepare a place for them and that they knew the way to the place he was going.

Thomas said to him “lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

Philip said, “Lord show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” – John 14:5-8

Being with Jesus had given Philip – and the other apostles – a greater desire to be with the Father and really to see Him, so he asked Jesus to show them the Father. Jesus had said much about the Father. Now Philip wants Jesus to show them this one of whom He had spoken.

Had Philip yet come to the depth of desire expressed by the Psalmist?

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirst for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?….

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God….

I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?”…

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:1-2, 5, 9, 11

The Psalmist sees God as the ultimate comforter and deliverer. Is this what Philip saw, or was his question merely making conversation?

Jesus’ reply brings all of our previous posts on “one thing” together:

Jesus answered [Philip, JS]: Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing His work. – John 14:9-10

Seeing Jesus is seeing the Father. Knowing Jesus is knowing the Father. Receiving Jesus is receiving the Father. The disciples experienced the answer to the Psalmists prayer. The one thing David asked of God, they received – and so can we.

The one thing the formerly blind man knew that whoever Jesus was, He was from God. The better part Mary chose was to sit at the feet of Jesus. What the rich young ruler lacked was a passionate desire to see God by following Jesus.

How about us? What is your passionate desire? What is mine? If I could ask but one thing of my LORD, what would it be?

If my passionate desire is to see Him, am I fixing my eyes “on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith“? Do I contemplate Him so that I will be “transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit”? Is my heart set “on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God”? (See Hebrews 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Colossians 3:1).

How can I see the beauty of the Lord and His goodness in the land of the living if I do not focus my eyes, my heart, and my life on Jesus, who shows us the Father?

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