Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Questions to Answer

The last two days I have been haunted by two questions Jesus asked. They have been playing themselves over and over again in my mind as I have been considering my answers.

The first question is the question the Lord asked Peter after the resurrection. You know the story. Peter denies knowing Jesus three times on the eve of the crucifixion and after the resurrection Jesus takes Peter aside in order to restore Peter. The process of restoration consisted of the same question asked three times: “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” (John 21:15; ESV).

Do I love Jesus more than…? It is easy to say that we do, but often our actions betray the truth. We love our families more than Jesus, we love recognition more than Jesus, we love our jobs more than Jesus, we love alcohol more than Jesus, or we love our hobbies more than Jesus. I won’t speak for you, but I know that I often put Jesus in the back seat, even when it comes to ministry.

Since we relegate Jesus to the back corners of our lives means this is a very important question for us to answer. Every day we need to tell ourselves, through prayer and commitment, that we love Jesus more than anything else. It is essential that we take the time to hear Jesus’ question and then take the time to answer it. We need to tell Jesus we love Him, and then show that love in the way we live our lives.

The second question is the question that Jesus asked of blind Bartimaeus. Jesus is passing through Jericho and a blind beggar hears that Jesus is walking past the spot he is begging. Blind Bartimaeus yells to get Jesus’ attention: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47; ESV). Over and over again Bartimaeus yells, even though all the other people tell him to be quiet, but finally Jesus calls for the blind beggar to come. When Bartimaeus gets to Jesus Jesus asks him, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51; ESV).

What do I want Jesus to do for me? I think we expect so little from Jesus. We come to Jesus and ask that He will forgive our sins, that He will bless us with good health, or that He will take care of our families. Don’t miss understand me, those things are good things, and in some ways they are essential things, but I think these requests are like Bartimaeus answering, “Jesus, I want you to provide an endless amount of money so I don’t have to beg anymore.” Sure it would be a wonderful thing for Bartimaeus to quit begging, but it misses the point. He gets it right when he says, “I want to see.”

What do I want from Jesus? I want life. I want to be free from fear and from sin. I want to obey God and follow Jesus with all my heart. I want to make a difference in this world for the Kingdom. I don’t want to settle for a life of my own creating, I want to live the life God created me to live. The only way I know that can happen is to ask Jesus to give it to us.

There are certain questions that we need to take time to consider and answer, because our answers will determine the direction of our lives. That is especially true when Jesus asks the questions. What is Jesus asking you?

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