Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: Everyone is looking for you!
Visit one of the busy shopping districts around town during the holidays, especially if you do it on a weekend, and you’ll feel like saying, “Everybody in town is trying to get to these stores.” If I were a burglar in such a jam, I’d be tempted to go to work, since apparently nobody would be found at home. Of course the reality is that even when cars so jam the area that the stoplights seem to create parking lots and the parking lots seem not nearly large enough, not everyone is shopping right there, right then.
On the morning in question in these verses, Simon Peter had to know that not everyone was looking for Jesus. Of course, this was Peter, who blurted out some of the silliest and best things that a person could manage during his normal day, but still, he had to see his words as exaggeration.
When I was a child, I had a book of Bible stories that I enjoyed. In one of those, before the story of Jesus’ birth, it described him as “The Baby Everyone Wanted.” I had an image of thousands of potential Marys sitting around and pining to be the mother of the Messiah. In reality, of course, most Jewish women of that day did not consider the possibility of giving birth to the Messiah. Most of the people in that land weren’t actively looking for the Messiah at any given time. At any given time, they might be walking or fishing or farming or something, but not really on watch for the Messiah, whatever he might look like.
Today, on Christmas Eve, how many of the people in your family–believer or non-believer–are actively looking for Jesus? How many of those people at Best Buy or Kohl’s seek him? How many of the people who lined up in the pre-dawn hours on Black Friday for “doorbuster” deals would inconvenience themselves in the slightest to gain audience with the Prince of Peace.
This Christmas, as we celebrate the Incarnation, as we marvel at God taking human form, let us not for an instant forget that much of the world has yet to receive this word. Unless, like Simon and his companions, these people actively seek Jesus, they will depend on us to bring Jesus into their lives. This Christmas, let us start with our own homes and work outward from there.