Not on my own terms, please!

Yesterday I asked myself (and everyone who was there at the time) when have I have been frustrated that our friend and savior Jesus hasn’t been doing things the way I would want? The way I think they should be done? Does that affect who I think Jesus is? Do I give up? Get frustrated?

I asked that question because in John 6, when Jesus did this awesome thing of feeding a hungry crowd of 5000 with 5 barley loaves and 2 fish, the crowd caught on that he was the “prophet” they had been waiting for God to send to rescue them. (See previous post “Where’s Waldo?”) Getting all excited, there were rumors that they were about to take things into their own hands and force Jesus to be king. In other words, they figured out who Jesus was, sort of, and were going to make use of him the way they thought best…They wanted Jesus on their own terms. Crazy, isn’t it?

None of us likes it when people “use” us. We all want people to care about us because of who we are, not because of what we can do for them. Once the crowd got clued into who Jesus might be (the prophet-messiah), they immediately jumped to what he could do for them (like get rid of the Romans and their taxes and give them free bread). But that’s not what Jesus was planning, so he manged to leave by himself without being followed.

But I do it all the time, try to use my connections with Jesus for my own purposes, that is. I want him to fix this situation I’m involved in, heal this sickness, help make that person’s life better in a certain way. Jesus made it clear we are invited to ask God for absolutely everything, but do I cross a line and simply use God without the accompanying love and trust that belong in a caring relationship?

While the crowd had caught on to who Jesus was, sort of, they hadn’t made it to first base with the love and trust part. They (and I?) wanted a fix-it king, not an awesome Lord to love and follow. So maybe today I won’t ask God for a single fix-it thing. I’ll just say: I love you. For our savior Jesus, that might be a surprisingly welcome change.