As a new writer for this blog, I feel Tom Rich was amazingly polite in giving me this chapter to begin my WRCC blogging career. I suppose, based on this chapter’s content, there was some discussion in the Rich household that probably ended up something like this: “Well, this Wasson guy could probably use all the help we can give him…I got it! CHAPTER 24!”
Chapter 24 gives us a one-chapter synopsis, a highlight reel of the amazingness of our Savior. Such things included in the chapter are events with such a high impact level that they are some of the most famous aspects of the Scriptures. Parables, the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus’ many miracles, and several key interactions with the disciples, are included in this chapter.
As I was preparing my thoughts for this posting, I found myself thinking back to a three-year span of my life, where I had as much impact on the world for the rest of history, as Jesus had done in this three-year period. And…well… I am still waiting for those three years that can even come close to comparing. In fact, I bet that if you were to do the same sort of self-reflection about your own life and try to imagine the best three years of your life, having a worldwide, ongoing impact, such as these three years in Jesus’ life, that there would be none of us who could honestly say we even come remotely close.
There is no doubt that Jesus is worthy of every ounce of praise we give him. In fact, reading Chapter 24 made me fall deeper in love with our Savior. You know why? Because, as he went through this part of his life, his main focus was on teaching about his Heavenly Father, not just on doing miracles. He performed miracles because he loved people, not so that he could have a highlight reel. He did nothing in his entire life for show. Every single ounce of his being was to glorify God through his life and actions. The Scriptures even give us an insight into the primary focus by the way this chapter begins. Taken from Mark 4:1, “Again Jesus began to teach by the lake.” It is the use of the word, again, that hit me like an Andrew Luck TD strike in the chest, because I was quickly reminded that Jesus’ teachings were not his hobby — they were his life.
Jesus, clearly, was successful at satisfying his goals for coming to Earth. I think — actually, I know — that it isn’t just because he is the Son of God. Granted, I am sure that didn’t hurt his chances at success, but still. Jesus had three attributes in his life that, if we were to each emulate, we could also be a little less ordinary ourselves.
- Jesus was all loving. He had, as mentioned at the end of the chapter, a “rock-solid” sense of who he was. This self-confidence in all he did allowed him to do everything with an overarching love that dictated his actions. I speak for myself here, but I know that there are times when I struggle to find peace in a situation and if I approached it with love, I know I would have a much better chance of a successful outcome. I bet, today if not sooner, that we will all have a situation arise where we can act with love, or without. Try love.
- Jesus lived each day with an unrelenting passion to achieve his goals. What is keeping you from having the life you want to have? If you are like me, you are not pursuing your passion with everything you have. We all have something that drives us, but we also have something that is keeping us from “getting after it.” Chase your passion with reckless abandon, and if you do not know how to get started, or what that means to you, pray passionately. God will answer.
- Focus on the forever. Jesus worked endlessly to prepare all of us for the eternity that awaits us in heaven. He endured more, pursuing his work, than we will ever endure, and he was able to do that because his focus was not on the now, His focus was on the forever. I know there is a lot going on in the news these days, and I know we each have so much going on personally, but I also know that the more we focus on the now, instead of the forever, we become a little less salty, our city on the hill becomes a little less bright, and we will all become a little less like Jesus.
Though there are so many more ways that Jesus proved to everyone he was “No Ordinary Man,” there is comfort to be taken from the fact that with a daily focus, prayer, and immersing ourselves in the Lord’s word, we too, can become a little less ordinary.
In His name,
Eric J. Wasson