Knee Jerk Devotional: April 21, 2021

Luke 4:38-44

Passsage:

He left the meeting place and went to Simon's house. Simon's mother-in-law was running a high fever and they asked him to do something for her. He stood over her, told the fever to leave—and it left. Before they knew it, she was up getting dinner for them.

When the sun went down, everyone who had anyone sick with some ailment or other brought them to him. One by one he placed his hands on them and healed them. Demons left in droves, screaming, "Son of God! You're the Son of God!" But he shut them up, refusing to let them speak because they knew too much, knew him to be the Messiah.

He left the next day for open country. But the crowds went looking and, when they found him, clung to him so he couldn't go on. He told them, "Don't you realize that there are yet other villages where I have to tell the Message of God's kingdom, that this is the work God sent me to do?" Meanwhile he continued preaching in the meeting places of Galilee.

As much as things change, they stay the same.

Everyone thinks Jesus is “ours.”

We all think that we have cornered the market on Jesus.

Yet Jesus says, “Don’t you realize that there are yet other villages where I have to tell the Message of God’s kingdom, that this is the work God sent me to do?”

Throughout the gospels I catch these little moments that too often I skip right on past. As I continue to read the gospels and the stories of Jesus more and more I am noticing these little moments where he has his heart set on the next town.

What I’m beginning to realize is that to fully embrace Jesus we have to let him go.

I know, I know that sounds counterintuitive. But, I think it might really be true. Grasping and clinging to Jesus to “keep him with us” is simply not going to to work. No, Jesus is too much for that. He is too much for one sect, one denomination, one type of person.

Jesus is…

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. - Colossians 1:15-20

The grand majesty of Christ is beyond anything that we can grasp hold of in our feeble hands and minds.

If we are going to fully embrace Christ we must let him go.

Jesus has to be who Jesus is. We must stop trying to simply hold on to him at all costs. There will be times when Jesus is going to make us very uncomfortable, he will rattle our cage in a way that makes us shiver. The Jesus that constantly and continually loves who we love and hates who we hate is not the Jesus of Colossians 1:15-20. No, that Jesus is the one who is an idol that fits in our pocket or on a chain around our neck.

To trust Jesus, to embrace Jesus fully is to let him go.

We have to let go of our preconceived notions about Jesus. We may have to let go of some of our long held beliefs about Jesus. We may need to admit that we have held a caricature of Jesus in our hearts and minds and have missed the real thing.

Will I trust Jesus enough to realize that there are yet other villages where he has to tell the Message of God's kingdom, that this is the work God sent him to do?

And yet, in this struggle do you see the grace? “Meanwhile he continued preaching in the meeting places of Galilee.”

Jesus meets us where we are at. Jesus meets me where I am at.

I want to love him enough to let him go. That’s what I’m meditating on today and processing in my soul.