48 The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?”
49 “I am not possessed by a demon,” said Jesus, “but I honor my Father and you dishonor me. 50 I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.”
52 At this they exclaimed, “Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that whoever obeys your word will never taste death. 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”
54 Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. 55 Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and obey his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”
57 “You are not yet fifty years old,” they said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!”
58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”John 8:48-58
John chapter 8 reviews the disbelief that Jesus faces. As I read that chapter all I could think was “who had it better?” Did those that knew him and could see his works or hear about them directly have a better chance at belief? Or do we, now, as those who have seen the full story play out birth, death, resurrection, have the advantage?
Here is why I thought those questions, so few people believed Jesus was the son of God and not just another prophet. They got to see first-hand what he could do and they still couldn’t believe. How powerful is that? It seemed as though everyone was split over who Jesus was. Jesus explained time and time again who he was in relation to God. The bottom line is that Jesus never wavered, he never stopped loving and serving people that did not deserve him.
Have you ever thought about the fact that Jesus came to save an undeserving people, and we denied him? Often continue to deny him. He came to do good and we rejected him. One, it’s sad. Two, we have missed the point and continue to miss it.
What about this, how many times do you serve others with the expectations of something in return? Or not even in return but some semblance of effort on their part to get better, do better, etc.? I worked in the nonprofit sector for over four years and to say that I am jaded would be an understatement. I have to be extra careful not to place people in buckets. As someone leading an organization you are not allowed to serve with no regard for the client or their efforts. Our model was built around partnership, not one-sided giving. How are we supposed to approach the world as a Christian?
How ironic is it that Jesus came and did something for us that we are not willing to do in return? The commandment is simple, love others as you love yourself. Look, I know it is challenging. And I’m not saying that you should give all of your money to every homeless person you pass but I am suggesting that we be intentional, that we acknowledge our struggle and actively seek to remedy it. Day after day we will all struggle with this. The struggle is unavoidable, so what do you do?
I’m not positive but I think the answer lies in more serving. Keep doing it. Keep evolving and growing. The more we serve with intentionality the more like Jesus we can become.