June 12 - Who Is It That You Want?

Monday, June 13, 2011

June 12 – Who Is It That You Want?

When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it.

Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.

Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”

“Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?”  “Jesus of Nazareth,” they said.

Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.” (John 18:1-9)

Who is it that you want?

Who is it that you want?

We all have our own idea of who Jesus should be in the world, don’t we?

Some of us would like a vending machine Jesus … we pop in the right amount of money (or prayers or service … whatever it might be) and out comes the desires of our heart.  But, that isn’t how Jesus works.  It really doesn’t matter what we do or do not do, He can’t be bribed or bullied. 

Some of us want to see Jesus punish all the sinners out there – bringing justice to the world.  We recognize them all and could easily come up with the proper punishment for them.  In fact, we’ve probably punished most of them already.  The great thing to see would be His punishment for their sins.  The only problem is, justice is handed out equally and our definition of sin might not line up with God’s, so punishment in our lives might be pretty awful.

Some of us would like to see Jesus take care of all the world’s problems.  End hunger and poverty, end the wars and please protect us from nature’s havoc.  Sickness and death would be gone, as would enmity among humanity.  That’s a nice thought, but before you think that is the Jesus you want to see show up tonight, please be prepared for the end of the world.

Along with the Jews of His time, many of us would like to see a kingly ruler, come to reign … Again … end of the world stuff and until God is ready, it’s not happening.

We all have ideas of who Jesus should be.  The worst part of that is we also share our own interpretations of who we desire Jesus to be with the world, treating those around us as we believe Jesus should be treating them.

Jesus didn’t come to help us create our own world, He came to transform the world into His desire.  This world is filled with sacrifice, humility, gentleness, kindness, self-control, love, joy, peace, patience and faithfulness.  It might look nothing like our vision of the world – well, maybe we’d like to live in a world where everyone else practiced those things – but, it isn’t who we are.

Who is it that you want?