Saturday, March 7, 2015

John Spratlin

After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He did not wish[a] to go about in Judea because the Jews were looking for an opportunity to kill him. Now the Jewish festival of Booths was near. So his brothers said to him, Leave here and go to Judea so that your disciples also may see the works you are doing; for no one who wants to be widely known acts in secret. If you do these things, show yourself to the world. (For not even his brothers believed in him.) Jesus said to them, My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify against it that its works are evil. (John 7:1-7)

Do you ever get unsolicited advice from family and friends?  Have you ever been in a relationshippersonal; business; or otherwise where you were communicating yet you really were not on the same page?  This story of Jesus and his half brothers told in these verses presents a good example of my point.

The Feast of the Tabernacles was coming up soon. All Jewish males were required to attend this feast. The brothers, as brothers will be, were full of unsolicited and untimely advice for Jesus to go up to the festival and to make a show of it. Go early and perform works so your disciples can see them. By doing so, your name can be known and you can quit operating in secret. Leave now and go!

There was a small problem with this advice. The Jewish leaders in Jerusalem were already well aware of Jesus and considered Him to be dangerous. They were on the lookout for Jesus at the festival and they had threatened to kill him if they could find him. Jesus had avoided Jerusalem for some time. The divine plan was not yet ready for Him to die.  

We can ask a simple question here. Who should have known Jesus better than his own brothers? They had been brought up together; eaten at the same table; had the same parents and yet they didnt know or understand their brothers mission. They were giving Him advice He couldnt use at all. With all their familiarity, they had missed the main point of who He really was.  They were talking to their brother and completely ignorant of His calling, mission and timing.  Verse 5 says they were not yet believers For not even his brothers believed in him.

My wife and I went to buy a car a number of years ago. She was the buyer and we were prepared that day to purchase a car and pay for it in full. The young salesman who met us immediately started talking to me about the lease options. He obviously had an agenda that revolved around the lease program.

I politely tried to tell him that he should be conversing with my wife and that we were there to purchase and not lease an automobile. We went through the drill several times before we finally left the dealership in complete frustration. He just couldnt comprehend that what he was offering was not what we were buying. She went to a different brand dealership two weeks later and purchased a car on the terms she wanted. The young salesman sadly missed his opportunity. If he had asked the simple opening question of, Why are you here? That question would have changed the whole dynamic. His agenda should have been to find out what we wanted since we were the buyers.

I sometimes think we treat Jesus the same way his brothers treated Him.  We are old familiar friends and we offer advice and helpful suggestions on what He can do and where He should act. We bring our agendas and in so doing, we miss the point just like the young salesman did. It is not about us. Our lives should be lived out for HIM.
Our proper role is not to prayerfully present our to-do lists to Jesus, but to humbly ask the central question of how and where He would have us serve Him.

Our reminder on a daily basis should not be WWJD but What Would Jesus Have Me Do?

Romans 12: 1  - I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.


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