Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Wow Factor

In John 15, Jesus talks very candidly with His disciples. In essence, He tells each one of them, “I could have called you servant, but I chose to call you friend.”

He says the same thing to you and to me.

I’m not sure I’ll ever get over it.

“Lord, I would have been happy with servant. You had me at ‘hello.’”

That may sound flippant, but think of it. Is it not enough of a wow-factor that the God of the Universe calls you by name? Is it not enough that He pays any attention to you at all? That He is actually interested in a relationship with you? The…God…of…the…Universe.

Which is the greater surprise—that God is who He says He is, or that He takes a personal interest in us?

One of the most poignant examples is Christ’s interaction with the thief on the cross next to Him, the thief whose eyes were opened to see (in the words of John Newton) that “I am a great sinner, and Christ is a great Savior.”

Did Jesus ignore the man—a condemned man in the process of dying, a man who deserved every lick of his punishment—for the grander Cause? Can you imagine? Jesus could well have said, “Look, buddy, it’s a bit late for you. I’ve been around. Where were you? You could have thought of repenting before now. And wouldn’t that have seemed a bit more sincere? Now, leave me alone. I’m kind of busy dying for the sins of the whole world at the moment.”

Would that not have seemed a logical response, considering the gravity of the scene?

But even then, even then, even THEN, Jesus reached out to someone in need and offered the sinner hope. The individual sinner—the thief on the cross. If Jesus died just in a general way for “the world,” then why was this interaction included in the canon of Scripture? Because it wasn’t humankind He cared about. It was the individual. You and me.

He could have called us servants. He chose to call us friends.

Bibles should be sold with accompanying ankle weights to keep us from being blown away!


E said...

Thank you again for coming to sit with me FRIEND. You showed Jesus! I love you bunches.

And I loved loved loved the magazine. Like it was written for us for our time. Wow.