We believe the Father the dozens of times he Biblically states that he can make all things new. But are we willing to wait for his timeline?
I‘ve been confronted this week with an interesting conversation between John the Baptist and Jesus in Matthew chapter 11. John poses the question, “Are you the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?” Jesus goes on to state that blessed are those who aren’t offended by him.
Though brief the question of John was, we’re left with an interesting thought. Was John the Baptist taken aback by the appearance of Jesus? Did he not recognize the one that he’d been preparing for all those years? Even to such extreme measures? This King of kings probably didn’t look like such. Whether or not these assumptions on John’s thoughts are accurate, they pose an entirely new thought to me: “Have I set expectations on Jesus?”
So much of the Gospel is filled with people being disappointed with who the person of Jesus is. His own people wouldn’t accept him. And they killed him for it. On occasion we actually see his own disciples question his methods. Even in popular culture we see people portraying this idea. In the Indiana Jones saga we see a man crumble to bones and dust because he chose the supposed Holy Grail to look like his kingly picture of Jesus rather than Indiana’s choice of a humble carpenter’s cup thus saving his life.
But how does this pertain to our own lives and ministries? I work in a discipleship/community ministry called Fascinate Training Schools and I’ve noticed more and more lately that I’m quite impatient with those around me who are not growing as I think they should. Those who are still wrestling with seemingly trivial sin issues or not moving forward in their faith.
They don’t look like the man or woman of God that I expect them to be. But Jesus is showing us over and over that he is a man of no expectation. He’s a man that chose to hang out with the wretched rather than the right. A man that came and freed us from the law which showed us we were dirty only to spend his days with the dirty ones. If we examine his rebukes, they’re usually geared towards those who were striving too hard to uphold the law rather than those who were doing a poor job already. We have a new saying in our community: “We value love above results.” And wasn’t that exactly what Jesus was about?
I’m not good with dirty. I’m an organized, orderly person. My entire life I’ve had this dream of being the model of man I wish to see. To be a man of God. I have set the bar and been waiting to reach it my whole life only to find that every time I reach it I lift it higher. I’m actually holding myself to un-Jesus-like expectations.
The Bible says in Psalm 127:1, “Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.” So, me and Jesus have been building the house that is me. For 25 years. And for 25 years I’ve been getting ahead of him and building pieces of it myself. I’ve been putting in sinks before there are counters, light bulbs before there are light fixtures, and bathtubs before there are even floors.
My house probably looks like Picasso tried to become an architect. Basically, I’m stating with my entire lifestyle that I am unsatisfied with the character of Jesus in my life and all the dirt that comes with it…and I find this unacceptable.
So, as I continue to live a lifestyle choosing to prepare the way for the Lord in others’ lives I have decided to accept the picture of Jesus in my own. I sat down with a good friend. And I told him something I’ve been yearning to say and believe for years…”I am a man of God. I’m happy with what Jesus sees in me and I’m ok with the dirt that’s left.”
What Jesus calls sufficient is sufficient and what Jesus calls new is new. So, I will no longer let my weakness dictate his character, but rather let his strength. I will be happy with the dirt in my peers’ lives as I love them like Jesus did. And I’ll be ok with the dirt in my own as I let Jesus love it out of me. That is love above results.
Photo created by Calvin Hanson