Practical Proverbial, from Mark, 7 January 2015

Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him.  Mark 3, verse 13.

Let’s ask two simple questions:  does Jesus want you?   If you haven’t received a personal calling, a personal message, from Jesus of Nazareth; if you haven’t experienced an on-the-mountaintop moment; if you don’t feel born again even though some preacher says you are; if Jesus doesn’t call you by name in a way you can understand, does Jesus want you?

Then the second question is just as easy:   how do you know?

Ah, to go into Wednesday pondering such theological questions.

Of course you know the answer to number one:   yes, Jesus wants you.  Mark 3 says that He called those He wanted, and they came to Him.   Mind you, in this section, it is specifically talking about Jesus calling His first disciple; Peter, James, John and the rest:   this section of the book is where they are first mentioned.   Yet don’t lose sight of the fact that, before naming those men, Mark says verse 13.   Jesus called to those He wanted and they came to Him.  It isn’t, therefore, illogical to make the correct assumption that whoever Jesus calls He wants and that this calling can be more than just the twelve disciples named soon after.   It includes you and I.

Jesus wants you just like He wanted those disciples.   He made you with specific talents, gave you the heart and mind to gain experiences (both good and bad), and put it on your heart to want to know Him more even when you didn’t understand, or fought against it.   Jesus wants you just as you, just the way you are now, just as who you are now.  He didn’t ask the apostles to be men they weren’t; Jesus didn’t ask they be anyone other than who they were right then and there.   In two thousand years, that hasn’t changed.   Jesus wants us for who we are, and will use our lives for His love and His glory just as we are.   Does that mean we don’t change for the better?   Of course it does (and doesn’t).   He wants the best for us, and that may indeed include us giving up things that are bad for us; a ‘sin diet.’  But the first step comes in Him coming to us as we are.   He does that because He wants us.

So how do we know?  Perhaps the best answer is the old children’s hymn:   “yes Jesus loves me.  The Bible tells me so.”   Were you looking for me to give you some grand insight, some hidden secret, or some secret Christian handshake?   There isn’t one, you know.   I know Jesus wants me as me because He said He did.   He said it in His actions; He said it by the way He talked with people.   He says it when His Spirit speaks to me through my conscience, letting me know what I should or shouldn’t do about a hundred decisions per day.   Jesus loves me just because He says He does.  His word is enough.  Jesus wants us just because He says He does.   Jesus means what He says and, in this simple verse, He tells of so much more just by calling simple men, then accepting them as they were.

Lord, accept me as I am.   Forgive me, and help me to want to change where I should so that Your love and kingdom may increase.

Re-read Mark 3, verses 13-19.

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