This Is Not Church




The disciples were astounded. 
"Then who in the world can be saved?" they asked

Jesus looked at them intently, and said, 

"Humanly speaking, it is impossible.
But not with God. Everything is possible with God.
Mark 10:26-27


Early one morning this week I read the above passage. I closed my eyes and pictured myself among Jesus' disciples. Jesus was looking at me, intensely. My heart thundered in my chest as I lifted my head to meet his gaze. I looked straight into his eyes. He was looking into my eyes and I knew he knew, everything.

He has known me forever. In that moment my soul recognized him. I felt a rush of adrenaline, as I stared deep into his eyes. His gaze melted me. I was wobbly kneed and shaking inside. His love is so great that I felt like I couldn't receive all that he gave. It was personal, very close, and more intimate than I have ever been, with anyone. This is a love I have never known. In that moment I was completely vulnerable. He saw me. Everything that has ever hurt me, and every wall I’d built to protect myself, he saw me. Straight through. I forgot all my fears, all my failures, all of my pride. There was only one emotion coursing through my body, a longing for him, to be with him. I felt his love. In his gaze my heart was entirely unguarded and I was safe.

This. is. Jesus.

I have been meditating on why people followed Jesus when he walked this earth. It says in Isaiah 53, "There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him." Why did people that would never walk through the doors of a church on a Sunday morning feel so comfortable in his presence?  My answer is, once again, not what I expected. I am discovering Jesus outside of the church, again. Why does this surprise me? 

When I looked into Jesus’ eyes, I finally understood why all of my righteous acts are filthy rags in his presence. He doesn’t need my good deeds to validate who he is. He is eternal. He is God. I do not have to prove anything, to anyone.

He is. He loves.

He did not come to condemn. He came to save. Look into his eyes, you will know. You will finally understand. He is not judging you. He sees your soul, your essence, and he knows you from eternity. You don’t have to prove anything. You don’t have to change. He accepts you. No matter what the church says, he accepts you just as you are. You do not have to change to deserve his love. He knows everything about you, and he still loves you more. He understands you. He gets you. He knows everything you’ve ever done, and still, his gaze is steady, he accepts you.

That is what drew so many people to him, why so many just left everything they’d ever known, and followed him.

This is Jesus. He knows us, yet he still loves us.

~Renee

Comments

Aritha said…
Thanks for this. Its amazing.
Miranda said…
Hi Renee!

Sometimes it is hard to believe that Jesus loves us when we have made bad choices or not living the way we should be. Your post is a good reminder that he does and he wants the best for us. It is up to us to accept that love.

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