How are Jesus, Porsches and discipleship connected? Here’s how.
You walk with Jesus, get to know him and trust him; watch him do wonders, listen to his authoritative teaching, even witness God’s power working through you. Then there comes a day when you approach Jesus with your heart’s desire.
James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, ‘Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.’ And he said to them, ‘What is it that you want me to do for you?’ Mark 10:35,36
First of all, I love the approachability of Jesus. He was patient and generous with these two friends, who had no qualms about coming to him with a pretty selfish request. They must have known they would be welcome. This is where the maturing begins, trusting Jesus enough to come to him as you are, daring to ask for what you really desire. You don’t have to pretty it up, or pretend you don’t want it. “God desires truth in the inward heart.” (Ps 51). You must be real and raw. If you want a porsche, tell God about it. Start where you are. Go to Jesus with your heart in your hand. Enter the conversation. Key word: conversation; complete with give and take, speaking and listening. Don’t demand and then shut your ears.
This is God’s entry point into your heart. In telling God what you really want, you invite God to talk with you about the contents of your heart. Remember Jesus said, “Where your treasure is there will your heart be.” God uses this conversation to shed light on the true nature of your soul.
Back to Mark, “But Jesus said to them, ‘You do not know what you are asking.’” Jesus’ gentle reminder that they are limited in their vision, their power and their understanding. They think they know what would be best for them, but they hold only one little part of the story. They cannot comprehend the big picture, which is about so much more than their small wants and desires.
We ask Jesus for a porsche (or a husband, or health, or a child), his come back is, “My friend, you don’t know what you need.” Period. We sit together with that big matzah ball hanging in the air between us (a Seinfeld reference, hehe). Staying in the conversation with Jesus, when a porsche does not materialize, forces us to look beyond the porsche to the nature of our relationship with God. Is God a vending machine, there to service my needs? Hopefully, this silence leads us to the realization of “I trust that God wills whatever is best for me. If God doesn’t give me a porsche, maybe having a porsche would not be what is best for me. hmm.”
This place of openness to God’s will is where the rubber meets the road. Jesus asks some significant and challenging questions. “Are you able…Are you able?” Mark 10:38
By the leading of the Holy Spirit we now realistically examine our motives, and without judgement, realize our sin-tainted values and intentions. Oh, dear friend, this is the purifying and necessary path to a mature faith. Not using God to get what we want, rather, wanting God to get what we need. And what do we need? Power to follow Jesus where ever he leads.
“(James and John) replied, ‘We are able.’ Mark 10:39. Jesus affirmed their ability to follow him where ever that might lead, he did not give them a porsche. Porsches will rust and decay, relationship with Jesus will increase and remain.
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