We are amazed when we hear of Jesus as a servant. When he washed people’s feet or when the woman washed his feet with her tears and hair. WoW. What an act of service. This act is even done in churches and weddings today. But keep in mind, Jesus’ feet were dirty. Yes the were dirty because of the footwear at the time wasn’t really full coverage and people were always walking in the dirt. His feet were dirty because he was always walking somewhere, walking towards people.
Jesus was not in some maxed-out conference arena. He was not standing and smiling at some merch table. Not to say conferences are wrong or bad. I LOVE going to a conference! Most of the time it involves travel near or far, cute freebies, powerful messages, great music. It is always a good time spent with friends and family. But, here it comes… my primary motivation isn’t really to get closer to the Father. My primary motivation is to be entertained. I’ll let that sit a moment.
I have my most treasured intimate moments with God in the privacy of my home, car, etc. The times he’s spoken deepest was when I least expected it or when I was alone in my room communing with him, just us two.
I think that’s how he prefers it. There are many stories in the Bible when Jesus made the effort to speak to people one on one. He went well out of his way to meet the woman at the well in Samaria. While walking in a crowd he made effort to stop and speak to the woman that touched the hem of his robe. While addressing the woman caught in adultery, He gave the iconic, “he who is without sin, cast the first stone” line and drove away the crowd. He got rid of the crowd to give us one of the most powerful moments (in my opinion) in the Bible.
Jesus spent a lot time telling people to not tell other people he healed them. He spent a lot time passing through towns not ever staying for too long in one place. He didn’t rally for a crowd to come together, they just showed in droves on their own. He preached against the pretentious and those that did things only to impress others. Jesus was highly selective when he chose his disciples. He often went off on his own to pray alone.
Jesus wasn’t a keynote speaker listed on an agenda of who’s who of the elite. Jesus didn’t sell out venues but fed tens of thousands on at least two documented occasions. He fed his disciples in the upper room. “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.” Mark 14:22
He gave us Himself on the Cross as payment and sustenance to move forward.
We need to be careful where we are placing our affections and treasures.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21
Is your treasure in sold out conferences, Christian bands, eloquent Bible teachers? Do you worship worship music and worship leaders? Do you go to the Christian bookstore more than you open your Bible? Do you seek answers in a traveling prophet but drag your feet with what the wise counsel in your local church told you to do?
I could ask a lot more questions but I’m sure you get the point.
What if Christianity was outlawed tomorrow? Would there be enough evidence to convict you of crimes against the State? Or would it be an easy transition for you to jump into the secular fandom?
If you could no longer have Christian books, music, paraphernalia. There were no Christian concerts, conferences, festivals. No Christian t-shirts, keychains, church bumper stickers. There were no Christian gatherings and no underground operations that you knew of, what would your relationship with Jesus really look like?
What if you didn’t have a Bible anymore? Would you even know what it had said?
Don’t lose sight of what is important. Jesus stands alone like no other. He never needed the crowd or flare.
(Painting: The Rescue -by Nathan Greene)