We usually see what we’re looking for.
Try this exercise, for example. Pause a few seconds and look around the room and see how much blue you see.
I’m usually surprised by how much there is of whatever color I’m looking for.
That principle actually works for many things.
Some people never find Jesus Christ, but it isn’t because he can’t be found, or that he’s hiding, or that he hasn’t left enough clues about himself.
It’s often because they’re just not looking.
One particular phrase about Joseph jumps out at me when I read Mark’s paragraph about him. See if you notice it.
And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate was surprised to hear that he should have already died. And summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead. And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the corpse to Joseph. And Joseph bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid (Mark 15:42-47).
He was looking for the kingdom.
That statement could’ve been made about many of Joseph’s contemporaries, but not in the way Mark uses it here. Thousands of people were looking for the kingdom of God, but they were looking for a preconceived notion of what that kingdom would look like.
Joseph had a different heart.
I think he wanted to see the kingdom as it was, not how he wanted it to be.
And so he found it.
One thing about him makes this even more amazing. He was a “respected member of the council,” and that means that he was part of the Sanhedrin, the same council that wanted Jesus dead.
But he pushed back against the prevailing spirit of his culture and saw God in a way that few did.
Because he was looking.
God shows himself to looking people.
Are you one of those people?
If you look for anger and hatred and violence, you’ll see it . . . there’s plenty of it.
If you look for selfishness and pride and egotism, you’ll see it . . . it’s everywhere.
But if you look for the kingdom, you’ll certainly see it.
You’ll see it in the love and kindness of kingdom citizens.
You’ll see it in the selflessness and outward focus of the King’s children.
You’ll see it in the obedience and commitment that have always characterized hearts where Jesus reigns.
What are you looking for?
Whatever it is, you’ll probably find it.