Rick was a street performer. A magician, and a mighty good one. Vegas begged to book him but he insisted that the street was his stage. He traveled a lot, but booked only street gigs. Sometimes he just showed up on busy corners in New York or Paris or Dubai.
And women loved his magic, like it cast a spell on them and they couldn’t get enough of him. Mandy liked him, too, but not for his magic, really. She saw him as a person, more than a performer. She got to know him, actually, when they were both booked for a gig and sat backstage for a couple hours. She was a performer, too, but wanted to get to know him behind the act.
Problem was, he had taken on the identity of performing and wanted her to like him as a performer. To like him for his magic. She asked if he’d join her for coffee, and he did, but he couldn’t stop making the stir sticks magically move across the table. He invited her to fly with him to London for a show. And as much as she wanted to know him personally, she realized she couldn’t. He couldn’t.
That’s how some people think Jesus should be. A professional religious leader. Performing magic tricks as answers to prayer. Not getting too deep or too personal. People actually asked him to be a performer when they wanted him to miraculously make more bread, or to magically come down from the cross. He refused. Jesus wants more from you than knowledge of his power. He wants to be more than a superhero in the Bible. He wants to share your life with you.
The question is, do you want to share yours with him? Are you willing to go deeper? How have you used your knowledge of Jesus to keep him at a safe distance? Do your prayers sound more like shopping lists or are they truly intimate conversations? If you’re so close to Jesus, why do you talk so much more about other topics? Why do you resist his call? His cross?
I have some good news. Jesus knows you, and still loves you. Jesus knows that you have some limits, somewhere, in your relationship with him. You want to keep it professional. Not too close. He doesn’t change his desire to be closer to you, however. He wants to share life with you. That’s personal. That’s vulnerable. That’s saving grace, he holds nothing back. “I am here. I am with you. I am your Savior. I am listening. I am not going to give up on you.”
Stop performing, and stop asking Jesus to be a professional performer. That’s not life. An unlimited, unbounded, free and fulfilling life is what Jesus says to his Father about you in John 17:3, “Now, this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
Personal knowing, not just casual conversation or performance or Google search knowing. Jesus is that interested in you. He’s reaching out right now. Take his hand. Listen to his invitation. Share more of yourself with him.
PRAYER:Dear Jesus, you know the life that is truly life for me. Teach me to know it, too. To believe it. To love it. To live it beginning today. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION:Read John 17:6-19. This is a portion of the prayer Jesus spoke to his Father the Thursday night before he died on Friday. It’s deeply intimate. In this section, Jesus is praying for his disciples. His words can be applied to present day disciples like you. Based on this prayer, create two lists.
- Write down 5 requests that Jesus makes to his Father, asking about _______ for you. Meditate on these. Thank Jesus for this prayer. Recall how these blessings have come true for you.
- Write down 5 actions that Jesus takes to show his love to his followers. Meditate on these. Thank Jesus for his love in action. Where in your life do you need these loving actions of Jesus right now?