We sing about it.
Talk about it.
And pray about it.
But, do we experience Him?
Most of us initially go after Jesus at the invitation of a friend. And, in fact, it is a Biblical model:
“The two disciples heard (John the Baptist) and went after Jesus. Jesus looked over his shoulder and said to them, ‘What are you after?’ They said, ‘Rabbi’ (which means ‘Teacher’), ‘Where are you staying?’ He replied, ‘Come along and see for yourself.’ They came, saw where He was living, and ended up staying with him for the day” (John 1:37-39 The Message).
We ask a question or two, wait for His invitation and then enjoy whatever hospitality that Jesus would extend to us. He cleans the house, makes the meal and we just enjoy everything — from His place of residence.
Our society is much like this. We love to be invited into someone else’s home, but rarely open our own. We shop for houses in which to “entertain”, but rarely dirty up the kitchen. We like having someone else do the serving.
Yet, isn’t it funny how true relationships are experienced when friends are welcomed in each other’s homes.
Compare another story. This one also includes Jesus, two men, and an invitation, but the result is vitally different.
“That same day two of them were walking to the village Emmaus…Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who He was …Then He started at the beginning, with the Books of Moses, and went on through all the Prophets, pointing out everything in the Scriptures that referred to Him. They came to the edge of the village where they were headed. He acted as if He were going on but they pressed Him: ‘Stay and have supper with us. It’s nearly evening; the day is done.’ So he went in with them. And here is what happened: He sat down at the table with them. Taking the bread, He blessed and broke and gave it to them. At that moment, open-eyed, wide-eyed, they recognized Him” (Luke 24:13,15-17,27-31 The Message).
The American Standard version says: “The eyes were opened and they knew Him.”
We often want our relationship with Jesus to be like our friendships. We are all too willing to have Him do all the cleaning and preparation, but when it comes our turn to invite Him into the messiness of our details, it’s just too much trouble. We’d rather have Him serve us than have to serve Him.
Could this not be the reason that our relationship remains distant? Our hearts and minds may be stirred at good preaching or vibrant music, but even the men on the Emmaus road didn’t know Him during the heart stirring. Their eyes were not opened to truly see Him until they had urged Him into their own abode (Luke 24:29-31).
Are we truly passionate to know Him? Or are we content to wait for the mansion He is preparing for us in glory (John 14:3)? Fullness of relationship beats a pathway between the two locations.
“Father, thank You for preparing a place for me. I want to extend the same hospitality to You. Remind me of Your Presence every moment as we walk together within my own territory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
Photo above by Sara Jeng Grewar. Follow her on Instagram!