Monday, June 09, 2014
Shoving Jesus Away
The crowd observed the results of an astounding miracle. A man who had been horribly tortured by demons was now whole and free. Yet the townsfolk begged Jesus to go away. Perhaps they were afraid that he would do something to upset their livelihood, as he had done to the owner of the pigs. More probably, they simply didn’t want Jesus to mess up their lives. He was too powerful, too unpredictable, too scary. So they cried, “Leave us alone!”I am guilty of this just like everybody else and I often ponder why. I always return to the same reason - it is because I do not have a clear vision of how wonderful life with Christ really is. There are really two reason why I lack such vision. The first can never be changed - in our fallen state we are simply not capable of of truly comprehending something so sublime.
I expect that most of us aren’t quite so honest with Jesus. We wouldn’t ever say to him, “Leave me alone!” Yet I wonder how often we do, in effect, tell Jesus to let us be, at least in part. If we were to put into words our secret thoughts, might they sound something like this: “You can have me when it comes to my family life, but leave me alone at work.” Or, “You are welcome to touch my public actions, but don’t mess with my daydreams.” Or, “I’m willing to give you a tithe of my income, but leave the rest of my money alone.” Or, “I’m happy to have you in my life, Jesus, but don’t ask me to forgive my parents.” Or . . . you can fill in the blank with whatever fits for you.
The second reason is the one that really bothers me though. And that is that those that claim Christ as Savior don't show me much. The Christian life is a communal life and part of the reason for that community is to encourage and provide example for each other. And yet so often I look at the other and I do not see a life improved by Christ, but a life burdened. I am quite sure others can say the same when they look at me.
We provide the necessary vision - at least we should.
life with Christ vision