Friday, May 4, 2007

Jesus Never Begged

Jesus never begged. On the contrary, he made others beg to follow him! When others did beg, he made sure they knew how hard it would be to follow him. His point: God is only interested in those who desperately want him, treasure him, and would give anything up to follow him.

Jesus went so far as to speak in parables so only those who really wanted him would get it. That was the whole p onit of the parable of the soils (Matt. 13, Luke8). He wasn't going to waste his time watering soil that wasn't going to produce a crop. Unlike Christ, I've wasted a lot of time watering the sidewalk, rocks, and weeds.

I don't think I've ever answered a person the way Christ did in Luke 9:
57As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."
58Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."
59He said to another man, "Follow me." But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."
60Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God."
61 Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family."
62Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."

My answer to the first guy would have been: "That's awesome!"
I would have told the second guy, "Please do. God wants you to honor your parents!"
I would have insisted that the third guy say good-bye to his family!

Why haven't I answered people like Christ? I hate rejection. I'm scared of loved ones reject God, so I don't share too much of the commitment Christ requires. That would increase the likelihood of rejection. I share the benefits of Christianity, then beg them to agree. I don't ask too many questions because I'm scared of how they might answer. I don't really want to know if they're not true followers. I just want to keep believing that they are. In doing this, I've preached a message that cheapens the value of God.

God calls us to accurately describe the glory of God and invite people to treasure him and pursue him wholeheartedly. Our goal should be to act like Christ and teach like Christ. Jesus humbled himself to take the form of a servant, not a beggar. Let's keep serving people, sacrificing for people, loving people...but let's stop begging. It cheapens the value of the God we're called to magnify. Let's tell people how great our God is, and let them beg.

----Francis Chan, April 10, 2007

1 comment:

Matt Snyder said...

My sister. Missions has been on my heart for quite some time, but I didn't tell her. Then last week she told me she thought that I should do a Masters in Missions (and she told me to check out Wheaton). So I did. And I liked it. A lot. And I'm in contact with them to see what I can do.