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Be It Ever So Humble…

27 Aug
from Google Images

from Google Images

There is simply no place like home![1] Where is home? In today’s environment home may not be a good place—a place one goes for comfort and protection. Where is that place where one goes to ease the tensions of the day, or of one’s life? Is there a person who personifies the idea of home—the place where everyone being involved with everyone else is the normal state of affairs. Perhaps, home can be seen not as a place of escape, but where all one’s troubles can be aired without judgment—a place of healing.

Jesus chose 12 people with whom he engaged himself in creating good personal relationships both with himself and the others within the group. He once referred to them as his true family (Matthew 12:49). Twelve people may be quite a large family by today’s standards, but twelve is a very small group of people, especially when one thinks in terms of a church body of believers. Jesus did have many disciples, but he chose 12 to be close to him—composed of Pharisees and zealots, tax-collectors and fishermen, and others. His group was composed of natural enemies, natural partnerships, Galileans and Judeans, most of whom were outspoken and hot tempered. Yet, Jesus chose them as they were, with all their nicks and bruises, their temperaments and political affiliations and called them his sheep—lambs among wolves (John 10:14-15; Luke 10:3).

This small group had all the problems that would point to failure, but Jesus was not shocked with or disappointed in them. Rather, when they competed to be known as the greatest, Jesus set a little child among them (Matthew 18:1-2) and taught them to relate to one another as a child rather than a ruler (Matthew 18:3-7). We often forget how we related to others when we were children. I remember watching my granddaughter at a social event where we were known by only a few people. I was quite reserved, speaking only to folks I knew or to the stranger when he addressed me at the function. My granddaughter, on the other hand, walked right up to a young boy about her age (perhaps five or six) and looked at him squarely in the face, with hers only inches away, smiled and ran away. This was the universal wordless invitation to play, and they became fast friends—never having seen one another before that time. As though he were a child, Jesus received us—just as we are, with all our problems and scars! So should we receive one another, as a child receives the child he or she has never met before.

One of the things Jesus did with his disciples was to expose himself to their eyes. He hid nothing from them (John 15:15). They didn’t always understand (Matthew 16:21-22; John 13:7), but Jesus was patient and loved them (John 13:1) and commanded them to do likewise (John 13:34). The disciples were good at hiding their true feelings, but Jesus was good at exposing those feelings to the light—not openly for the world to see, but in the light of the understanding of the group. He was able to do this because he loved them.

A story is told about a man wearing a heavy overcoat on a cold day. The North Wind and the Sun engaged themselves in a contest as to which was stronger. The North Wind blew hard on the man, but the stronger the wind the more tightly he clung to his coat. The Sun then beamed warm rays upon him, and the man of his own volition took his protective covering off. The moral of the story is that one cannot be forced to reveal himself, but the warm rays of love will permit folks to trust enough to reveal themselves to others. James tells us to confess ours sins to one another, and folks will pray for us, and we will be healed (James 5:16). Home, a real home, is a place of healing, where folks love you and folks with whom we can share anything. It is not a place of perfection but, rather, a perfect place where one can confess all and be received by all as a new person.

Paul tells us that we once regarded Jesus from a worldly point of view, but we no longer do so. Therefore, anyone who is one of Christ’s is in him and therefore a new creature (2Corinthians 5:16-17). We cannot think of one another as new creatures and still remember the old persons. Either we are new or we aren’t. Either I am able to receive my brother as a newborn believer in Christ, or I cannot; but, if I can’t, then how does the love of Christ dwell in me (1John 3:16-17)? If I am a member of the Body of Christ, the stronger parts protect the more vulnerable parts. No one is more vulnerable than the one who confesses his sins (James 5:16). Jesus tells those of us who are burdened with heavy loads to come to him, and he will give us rest (Matthew 11:28-30), and then Jesus tells us to love one another, as he has loved us (John 15:12; cp. 2John 1:5).

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[1] As I said HERE, this current theme about the person of Jesus is based upon the book: The Jesus Style by Gayle Erwin. They are my thoughts about his book. He may or may not agree with the impression his book has made upon me, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading what Gayle wrote and recommend his book to anyone who is looking for a good read about Jesus.

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Posted by on August 27, 2015 in Jesus

 

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