03-26-17 Jesus on the Move: What Do You Want?

We had a wonderful day of ministry this Sunday morning!  Mark Andrews and Erika Agans shared about the upcoming Missions Trip to Haiti, and what it meant to them personally to be a part of the team.  It’s not about “showing people that we have everything all together up here,” but rather being willing to serve brothers and sisters that we haven’t even met yet, serving those whom we pray will become brothers and sisters, and watching God working in a totally new and different culture than our own.  Please be praying that the Lord would be preparing the hearts of our team members as well as the hearts of the people of Haiti even now, two months before the team is scheduled to head out.

Speaking of reaching across cultures, we hosted two visitors from Ghana this Sunday--who hadn’t come together.  Nope.  They both just somehow independently joined us for the Sunday, having never met before the service.  I dunno what that means, from a spiritual perspective, but it has to illustrate something significant...

In our sermon this week, we looked at the question, “What do you want?” in Mark 10.  That basic question kept coming up in one form or another over and over at this point in the ministry of Jesus.  Back at the end of chapter 9, we saw Peter rebuking Jesus because he didn’t want to hear what Christ was trying to tell him, and we saw the disciples fighting over which one of them was the most important -- so Jesus used the tangible example of a child to show how those who wish to be on the highest level should actually strive to be on the lowest level as an act of service to others.

And then, in chapter 10, we saw the Pharisees testing Jesus to trip Him up (which never worked), leading to Jesus reminding everyone that marriage isn’t about what you want as an individual any longer -- it’s what God wants for you as a couple.  And then we saw the disciples rebuking people for bringing children to Jesus (completely ignoring Christ’s teaching of the last chapter).  But then they struggled to see how a rich and successful young ruler might not be able to earn his salvation -- because to them, children and lowly people are a waste of time while the rich and important people deserve God’s blessings (thoroughly missing Christ’s point from the last chapter).  Again, Jesus reminded them that the first will be last and the last will be first... but James and John still asked Him to let them have the first and best seats, over and above their fellow disciples (utterly brushing off Christ’s commands from the last several chapters).

In the end, after everyone has told Jesus what they wanted, after everyone’s wants have consistently taken no notice of what Christ had been teaching, He finally ran into a blind man in Jericho.  But when Jesus asked him what he wanted, Bartimaeus just wanted to be healed -- no “good seats” in God’s Kingdom, no “earned salvation” for being good enough, none of that...  And when Jesus healed him, Bartimaeus turned around and followed Him.

So if Jesus looked at you and asked, “What do you want?” how would you answer?   In your heart of hearts, really and for true -- what do you want?  I know that for me, I far too often fall far too short of this goal, but what I know that my answer should be is that what I want is for my life to genuinely and consistently honor God...