The Downside of Bold
Here’s a confession. Bold dreams, goals and prayers lead to frustration, fear and disappointment. I’ve found myself asking God, I thought this dream was from you. Where are you? What seemed so clear a few days, weeks, months ago feels hazy and blurred now.
This isn’t what I thought it would be.
Here’s another secret. I’m not alone.
This week, leading up to Easter, I read John 12. It’s the beginning of the end for Jesus. He makes (more) bold statements, and the people around him begin to wonder if he really is who they thought he was. Jesus isn’t what they expected out of a Messiah.
These weren’t bad people. They were just disappointed.
But despite all the miraculous signs Jesus had done, most of the people still did not believe in him. -John 12:37
Who are you?
Here is something I know is true, but I still struggle with.
Jesus isn’t who I think he is.
He defies my expectations. He disappoints my pre-conceived notions. Jesus isn’t who I think he is.
So I have a choice to make. Do I believe? Do I walk away?
Matthew 26 records the same story John 12 does. It’s the story of a woman breaking a jar of expensive perfume, and her anointing Jesus with the perfume. Judas (and many of the disciples) were upset. This could be sold and used to help the poor! Jesus corrects them – he is only with them for a short time. It was an act of worship.
It’s not what Judas expected, so he reacts. He walks away. He betrays Jesus.
Judas had big dreams and goals about what Jesus would be – a king, a lord, a revolutionary! A lot of people had the same expectations –
We understood from Scripture that the Messiah would live forever. How can you say the Son of Man will die? Just who is this Son of Man, anyway? -John 12:34
Lose to Win
Not many expected him to die a criminals death. Less expected him to rise from the dead. No one believed he was the savior of the world.
Now the time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me. -John 12:23-26
My expectations must die. When they do something else completely unexpected happens. They multiply.
When I lose my life, I gain it.
This is what makes Jesus so beautiful. He’s more. He’s more than I asked for. He’s more than I need. He’s generous beyond description.
Jesus is bigger, better and beyond.
He’s not who I think he is. He blows up my world.
It is Well
I don’t always see it, but I believe. So I say, “It is well. It is well with my soul.”
Today, Easter Sunday, I invite you to declare the same. See it or not. Expectations met or not. Say,
God, you are good. It is well with my soul.
Why? He is risen! Risen indeed!