Question Jesus Asked

Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? John 6:61                                                                                                                

What a powerful question.

There are whole parts of Jesus’ teaching that are offensive to us in our natural sensibilities. He was not hung on a cross because He walked around telling everyone to be nice to one another. People were offended by Him back then and the same is true today.

“Jesus, I don’t like what You have to say about picking up my cross. I don’t like that You say I am blessed when people mock me, persecute me and lie about me because I am Your follower. That offends me. I don’t feel blessed when that happens.”

“Jesus, I don’t like Your teachings on marriage or sexual ethics. They offend me. Jesus, I get the idea that we should not murder someone, but then You go and say don’t be angry? That’s offensive. And by the way, “eat Your flesh and drink Your blood”? That’s offensive too.”
Sometimes we want Jesus to be an “unoffending Jesus”—a version of Jesus who agrees with everything we already think likes what we already like, and wants us to do what we already wanted to do before we came to Him. But that Jesus is not the Jesus of reality. If you reduce Jesus to a cartoon who is not allowed to offend you, then be prepared that such a made-up version of Jesus won’t be able to save you either.

The sad reality is, not all who start out as followers of Jesus will stay followers of Jesus. But the Twelve stay with him, not because they are not offended but because they know that He alone has the words that give eternal life. Will you stay with Jesus when you are offended?

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Questions Jesus Asked

The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38 Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?  John 1:37-38

Jesus often led people by asking them a thought-provoking question. His very first question to His first followers was “What are you looking for?” What astounds me is that Jesus’ first question to those who would follow Him is not about God, sin, politics, or family history. It is a question that gives us a glimpse into the heart of Jesus. It is also a question that gives us a glimpse into ourselves.

Jesus’ question gives us a glimpse into ourselves because it forces us to examine what genuinely matters most to us. We are all looking for something. There may be no greater tragedy than a life spent looking for the wrong thing. Most of us are looking for good things—security, meaning, success, love, hope—but we’re not always certain where and how to find it. Jesus is aware that we can be distracted by the cares of the world, looking for even the right things in the wrong places and in the wrong ways. His question stops us long enough to take measure of whether the activity of our lives matches what genuinely matters. 

The good news is that Jesus’ question also gives us a glimpse into His heart. In John 1:35–39 He offers these two men conversation and relationship. They answer by asking where he is staying. “Come,” Jesus replied, “and you will see.” He could have just given them the address of the house. But Jesus’ invitation shows them that He actually wants to be with them. In one short interaction, Jesus moves from a question that invites us to explore our lives and hearts, to an invitation to come and see if what we are looking for is ultimately met in Him.

Who Moved?

I remember hearing a story about an elderly couple that was out for a Sunday drive. Things were quiet when the wife suddenly broke the silence, “Sam, do you remember years ago when we were dating we would go out for a drive in the country?” Sam smiled and said, “Of course I do.” “And do you remember how we would sit close to each other? (This was before seatbelts were required.) Why don’t we sit close anymore?” Sam’s response was, “I didn’t move.”

The reality of that story is that every relationship requires maintenance. This may be the reason many couples divorce after 30, 40, or even 50 years of marriage. The kids grow up and go off to college; the husband and wife look at each other and realize they are married to a stranger. A relationship will not survive if you do not make the effort to keep it alive.  Often neither husband or wife will admit they “moved” in the relationship; they just drifted apart.

Our relationship with Jesus Christ also needs to be maintained. But we are the ones who need to keep that relationship alive and we do that by staying close to Him.  As with any relationship, you choose how close you want to be with someone. It is a choice only you can make. The wonderful thing about a relationship with Christ is He is always constant.

  • He never changes. Hebrews 13:8.  
  • His love for you never changes. Psalm 136 
  • His commitment to you never changes. “…The Lord has promised that he will not leave us or desert us.” Hebrews 13:5

If your relationship with Jesus Christ has lost its fervor if it seems He is so distant; ask yourself, who moved? If you turn around you will find Him where you left Him!

Walking In The Light

I love how technology has made our lives easier and better. Take for example the motion sensing light. You park your car in the driveway, you begin to walk towards your home and Voila, a light comes on to illuminate your steps. I have them in my garage. When I enter at night, I don’t have to search for the light switch, the lights come on automatically. When I wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, a small motion light keeps me from stubbing my toe on the furniture.

But as convenient as they are, there is a Greater Motion Light. Jesus said He was the Light of the world and promises us if we follow Him we will not experience darkness. John 8:12 Light and darkness cannot exist in the same place. (Profound huh?)

The purpose of light is a revelation. You shine a light to reveal the next step on your path. Light helps you find items in a dark room. Light reveals there is nothing to fear from that unexplained sound you heard in the dark.

The Bible calls Satan the Prince of darkness.  Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going… John 12:35 Satan will attempt to shield people from the Light lest they see the truth and are converted. “The god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ2 Corinthians 4:4

But unlike the motion sensing light you can buy at Lowes, Jesus our Light is not fixed to a physical location. He goes with us everywhere we go and gives you light.

 

 

Are You Adopted?

“I have had the privilege of knowing several couples who have adopted children into their family. One couple had adopted several children from Russia. The children were brothers and sisters and the couple did not want them to be separated.

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When a couple goes through the adoption process, their desire is to become parents, to offer a home and a family to a child that has neither. When the adoption process is complete, that child legally becomes a son or daughter.

Think about the spiritual analogies. In adoption, there is a high cost to the parents and no cost to the child. [The Child Welfare Information Gateway, a U.S. government-funded adoption information service, estimates that the average U.S. adoption costs $8,000 to $40,000. ] As a Christ-follower, we are heirs to Christ’s Kingdom. We become legal, official children of God. Adoption comes at an enormous cost to the parents.

What does it cost the child? Nothing! It required the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross. Adoption came at a grace cost to the Father.We are adopted by God for the same reason that any parent adopts – out of seer love. In His great love, He plans adoption, pays the cost,  becomes our Father and unites us to a whole family of brothers and sisters.

Celestial Magnet

The world population was estimated to have reached 7.6 billion as of December 2017. In those billions of people; we find a myriad of differences: languages, political views, cultural differences, music and the list goes on.

But it might surprise you that every person on this planet has ONE thing in common. We are worshipers. Every day, all day long, everywhere you go, you worship. It’s what you do. It’s who you are.

I don’t know whether or not you consider yourself a “worshiping” kind of person, but you cannot help but worship—something. It’s what you were made to do. The native of the rainforest of South America and the stockbroker on Wall Street; are both worshipers. The object of their worship may be different but they are still worshipers.

I think it’s because we were designed that way. We were made for God. The Bible says it this way: All things were made by Him, and all things were made for Him. When I was a child, one of my favorite toys was a set of magnets in the shape of two Scottie dogs. Image result for magnetic toy scottie dogs

Image result for magnetic toy scottie dogs

As a child, I did not understand the dynamics of magnetic poles. It was intriguing that opposite poles attract! It might be a theological stretch but humanity has an initiate attraction to God. He is holy – we are not. He is loving – we are not. He possesses all knowledge – we do not. We may not know or understand that we have “something” within us that demands being fulfilled.

So, we endeavor to fill that “empty space” with pleasure, money, relationships, things; not realizing that only God Himself can fill that “God-shaped” vacuum that fills us all. A different spouse won’t meet that need. Changing jobs or geographical location, more money, bigger home, a more expensive car all are all vanity. All of our hungers point to the deeper hunger that only God can satisfy.

He keeps satisfying you with good things… Ps 103:5