• Aubrey Shackelford

Can Jesus Relate to Being Wanted? Pt.1

I think we can all agree that at some point in our life we have struggled with the desire of being wanted. To know that you are loved and wanted by friends, family, or a spouse? But can God relate to that feeling? Let's find out.

"Then their eyes were opened, and they could see! Jesus sternly warned them, 'Don't tell anyone about this.'"
- Matthew 9:30, NLT

No one is immune to feeling the desire to be wanted. I have had my fair share of struggling with this topic, I currently am. But, God is revealing so many things to me, things about myself and things about Him. In my situation/experience, I struggle with the idea that I could be worthy of being wanted by others ... and by God. I have trouble believing that someone could want me, accepting all of my trauma, struggles, and insecurities. Mental health is such a tough concept to explain to others that don't struggle with it themselves. However, in the searching for answers and asking God "why?", he revealed something I didn't expect as a response. He too has struggled with feeling wanted by others.

So, in regards to the concept of feeling a desire to be wanted ... I found so many parallels in two different categories of instances with Jesus, making this a two-part series. The first is the healing of individuals. The second, the casting out of demons. So, let's jump into the first.

On several occasions throughout the gospels, Jesus warns/asks the people He heals not to tell anyone. Towards the end of Matthew 9, Jesus had just healed a little girl and as He left her home two blind men began following Him. The men were shouting for Jesus to have mercy on them. Jesus then asked the two men, "'Do you believe I can make you see?' ... 'Yes, Lord,' they told him, 'we do'" (Matt. 9:28, NLT). He then told the men that their faith in Him would provide healing to their sight. "Then their eyes were opened and they could see! Jesus sternly warned them, 'Don't tell anyone about this.' But instead, they went out and spread his fame all over the region" (Matt. 9:30-31, NLT). And it got me thinking, why did He keep asking those He healed not to tell anyone? And when I prayed about it, I got a response that stunned me. Jesus was human, He too had the desire to be wanted. Wanted by the people He encountered. Not just because of the miraculous signs He did, but for who He was.

Now, let's circle back to the little girl that He had healed before he encountered the blind men. In Matthew, nothing is mentioned of Jesus requesting those who witnessed the healing of the little girl to be silent. However, in Mark, there is. The girl is the daughter to a leader in the synagogue. Even after finding out his daughter had died, Jesus still had the intention to go and heal her. As He arrived at the home of the synagogue leader, He told those who were mourning that the girl was only asleep ... the crowd laughed in disbelief. Then, Jesus took her hand and said to her "'Talitha koum,' which means 'little girl, get up!'" (Mark 5:41, NLT). Of course, everyone who witnessed the miracle was astounded. However, "Jesus gave them strict orders not to tell anyone what had happened, and then he told them to give her something to eat" (Mark 5:43, NLT). So not once, but twice, within two miracles that followed one another, Jesus told the witnesses or the ones that were healed not to tell anyone.

"Jesus asked, 'Will you ever believe in me unless you see miraculous signs and wonders?'"

- John 4:48, NLT

The examples above are just one of many but fast-forward to John and one of my favorite responses by Jesus just touches my heart. Once again, Jesus is asked to come and heal a sick child, a young boy in Capernaum. The boys' father pleaded with Jesus to come and heal his son, Jesus' response? "Jesus asked, 'Will you ever believe in me unless you see miraculous signs and wonders?'" (John 4:48). The Father doesn't answer His question, just pleads again for the healing of his son. And Jesus healed his son, right where he was, giving verbal confirmation to the father. As the father was heading home, his servants told him the news that his son was well! The boys' fever breaking around 1 o'clock. "Then the father realized that that was the very time Jesus had told him, 'Your son will live.' And he and his entire household believed in Jesus" (John 4:53, NLT. The outcome of this family believing in Jesus is wonderful, but let's not forget the question the father was asked.

Everyone's experience with feeling wanted varies. In considering Jesus' question, how would you feel if you were only wanted or loved by doing great acts and deeds? It's safe to assume that the blissful feeling wouldn't last long because the people aren't wanting you for you ... the real you. I believe that Jesus can fully relate to the hurt or belief that you're not wanted for who you are. That no one takes the time to sit down and get to know you. And in Jesus' case, even those who listened and heard his message, not all remained faithful to him. That had to make Him sad, it did!

So often Satan sows the lie that you're not worthy of being wanted, or "who could ever want me?" But that's just it, it's a lie. You are wanted. You are wanted, sought after, and loved by the most important person ... Jesus. He knows what it's like to have the desire to be wanted, and guess what? He still does. He wants to be wanted by you, the same person who is struggling with feeling wanted. So believe in that truth ... you are wanted, loved, and cherished by the Most High God.

What is truth?

  • You are wanted by the most important person, God.

  • Jesus can relate to the desire of being wanted. And he wants to be wanted by you.

  • You are not only wanted, but you are also fiercely sought after by God.

Today's Scriptures: Matthew 9:27-30, Mark 5:23-43, and John 4:46-53, NLT.