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Need or want

April 14, 2013

  A few years ago my wife ordered some underwear from a TV shopping channel. A few days later a surprisingly large parcel arrived at our home. When she opened is she discovered some de-icer and an electric ice scraper! Needless to say this was not what she had in mind and she sent it back.

This afternoon I was reading “King’s Cross”, Tim Keller’s very readable account of the life of Jesus according to Mark. Keller was talking about the familiar story of the paralysed man whose 4 friends brought him to Jesus, and then proceeded to vandalise the house roof and lower him down to Jesus feet. I’ve always tended to think about the 4 friends when I read this story, as it seems to be all about their faith. The man was entirely in their hands.

But presumably he was in on it, and he had ideas as to what he wanted from this encounter. What he got, like my wife, was not what he expected. Jesus told him that his sins were forgiven. Keller comments that the man could have protested “Um thanks, but that’s not what I asked for. I’m paralysed. I’ve got a more immediate problem here”. Although Jesus did go on to heal the man, there is a challenge to us when we look at our priorities.

Keller challenges his readers there is a need to go deeper. We all have things we want. Maybe a promotion, perhaps better help, perhaps like an actor waiting for a big break. We tell ourselves “if only I could have that, I would be happy. If only I had perfect health or a bit more income each month”.

Jesus says to the man “Your biggest problem is not your health, though I can handle that. Your real problem is sin”. We know nothing about this particular man’s sin. But we know deep down that we are all sinners. And while God may give us what we want isn’t it more important to have what we need, our sons forgiven?

What do I depend on in my life? I need to think about this? Do I imagine there are things in life that can make me happy and fulfilled? Or do I know that actually it is all about my relationship with God? God may bless us in so many ways, but ultimately it is about knowing him and walking with him, even in the times that we feel a deep want.

As say I going to have to think about this week, because my focus can be pretty dodgy much of the time.

As we sang tonight in church “Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise, be my inheritance now and always”. It really is about Jesus being our vision. It’s all about the fact that we are forgiven sinners, who walk with Jesus day by day. Now there’s a challenge!

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From → Christianity

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