There was nothing special about today. It was warm and sunny as usual. I took my laptop and was ready to start work in my living room. I opened my Spotify and a familiar song started playing in the background.
As I listened to the lyrics of this song, "Give me Jesus", I felt a soft whisper in my heart.
Do you really want Me?
What does having Jesus truly mean? He’s definitely not a genie in a lamp who comes out now and then to fulfil our wishes whenever we call. He’s also not a vending machine that dispenses our favourite wants whenever we press a button.
On the contrary, having Jesus means to give up something - the world and all its earthly treasures.
To Joseph, it meant giving up his own dreams and plans. Having Jesus was a huge disruption to his plans in marrying Mary, and having a bright future together. Having Jesus inconvenienced him - it meant leaving his comfort zone, his home, friends, and community to be on the run.
To John the Baptist, it meant giving up the need for recognition and credit for all that he had done. He had spent his entire life in the secret place, growing in the Lord, preaching the coming of Jesus, and building His Kingdom. He got no applause from anyone, but an audience demanding his head on a platter.
To Peter, it meant giving up his inheritance and livelihood as a fisherman to follow Jesus. It meant constantly getting rebuked, renewed, and challenged to step out in faith to obey even when it didn't make sense.
To Paul, it meant giving up his old ways - what he grew up learning and excelling in, his pride and ego. It meant to humble himself and suffer for the sake of the Gospel.
What does having Jesus mean to you? To me? To us? If having Jesus means giving up on everything, then why would anyone want Jesus? What’s there to gain, what’s in it for us?
Herod rejected Jesus. There was too much pride and power to let go. Jesus was not gonna be worth his time, his position, his power, and his pride. Eliminate Jesus, eliminate all threats.
The Pharisees rejected Jesus. He was too much for them - Jesus didn’t fit into any of their realm of logic and knowledge. Jesus was not gonna be worth their time, their position, their power, and their pride. Eliminate Jesus, eliminate all threats.
Judas rejected Jesus. Having seen all His glory and miracles, Judas decided that Jesus didn’t seem worthy enough for him to fight for, to stay loyal to, and to die for. Surely, 30 pieces of silver was worth more than Jesus.
Pontius Pilate rejected Jesus. He washed his hands to symbolise wanting nothing to do with Jesus. He was in a position of power to defend the innocent but chose to turn a blind eye because it was politically correct. Jesus was not worth his position and his reputation with men. Man’s empty praises are far more worthy than the life of an innocent Man.
Will we still want Jesus if there’s nothing for us to gain but everything to lose on this side of eternity?
No fame, no riches, no glory, no power, no position, etc.
Yet having Jesus means giving up our rights, comfort, achievements, plans, dreams, conveniences, family, loved ones, time, position, power, pride, etc. It means going out of our way to love one another and to obey His commandments. Having Jesus means a complete paradigm shift in our mindsets and lifestyles. It will look like foolishness to many.
Do you want Jesus? To be like Him - humble and meek - to turn the other cheek? To do His will no matter the cost? To surrender and lean in to His ways? To give our lives up to receive the abundant life He offers?
Joseph chose Jesus.
John chose Jesus.
Peter chose Jesus.
Paul chose Jesus.
They gave their lives up for a reward far greater than what anything or anyone else can offer.
Will it be enough if Jesus Himself is the reward?
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? -- Matthew 16:26 / NASB
What about you? How does having Jesus in your life look like?