Thursday, January 22, 2015

It's Time to Bother Jesus

Jesus & Zacchaeus
Stop me if you have heard this one-"Christians are nice." For many people in the 21st century, "nice" has become the defining characteristic of the followers of Jesus. People who are wild, different, rude or aggressive can't possibly be Christians. Christians are polite and that is what sets them apart in this rude world we live in. Christians may not love the people around them and they may condemn them under their breath, but we are always nice to people so they will think we love like Jesus loved. We would never want them to feel inconvenienced, and we certainly don't want to trouble God with our worries. When did this happen? When did followers of Jesus quit being wild-eyed, radically counter-cultural world changing & dangerous disciples and start being "nice?" And more importantly, how do we fix it? How do we get back to being Jesus Freaks?

In Luke 8:40-56 you can read the story of the Jewish leader Jairus and his daughter who is on the verge of death. He goes to see Jesus, to ask him to come to his home and heal his daughter. Jairus has great faith that Jesus will make her whole again. As Jesus begins to follow Jairus home they are interrupted by a bleeding woman who also seeks healing from the teacher. After the delay, as they are about to continue their journey, word comes that the daughter is dead. The messenger ends his statement with these words (Luke 8:49):"There is no need now to bother the teacher." It is a message that we modern believers have taken to heart.

I believe that we have quit being world changers in great part because we have decided not to bother the Master. We concentrate on doing things we might be able to do without him- like being nice. After all, the Creator of the universe doesn't really have time for our petty needs and prayers, does he? In fact, not only does Jesus not mind being bothered, he LOVES it! Think about some of the people in scripture who went out of their way to bother Christ. Blind Bart. The leper at the gate. Zacchaeus.The friends who lowered their paralyzed friend through the roof. Mary and Martha when Lazarus was dying. Nicodemus.The bleeding woman who grabbed hold of Jesus' robe. Jairus and his daughter (she lived!). None of these folks were polite. None of them waited their turn. All of them practically screamed at Jesus for help. And he did miraculous things in every case. Each of them decided that bothering the teacher was the only option they had left, that Jesus and ONLY Jesus could help them. And help them he did...

I don't know about you, but I think it is time to bother Jesus. It's time to pray big prayers and dream big dreams. It is time to return to the faith of those first followers of Christ who knew that in order to change the world they had to be radical believers. If we want to be like the church found in the book of Acts and turn this world upside down then we need to quit being so polite. I want to treat people with love and respect, but I don't want to be known for being nice. Nice is not a fruit of the Spirit. We cannot change the world on our own. It is time to bother Jesus.

Because of Jesus,

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