September 19, 2009

The Joys of Jesus

Reflections and refractions of Matthew 5:3-10 & 7:28-29

Jesus of Nazareth prayed to God like a beggar prays for daily bread. He prayed to the Spirit of God and he found and received God there, in the Spirit. And Jesus found joy in this lifelong poverty before God's Spirit, because the Kingdom of God had at least one faithful subject, on Earth.

Jesus of Nazareth privately lamented and wailed. He knew that something had been lost. He knew that God was not King, on the Earth. But Jesus found joy in submission to his Father. He was one who was not lost. He was called into the comfort of his Father's Kingdom.

Jesus of Nazareth was gentle and humble of heart. He did not break a bruised reed. He did not snuff out a smouldering wick. He did not rule over men like the lords of the Gentiles. But Jesus found joy because the Father gave all things over to him, so he knew he stood to inherit everything.

Jesus of Nazareth ate food and drank wine, but he hungered and thirsted much more to be right with His Father. In Him was Life and in that Life, Jesus grew. He had emptied himself, but since birth, his Father's Life and Rightness had been growing inside Him. And so Jesus found Joy, because during their three decades together on Earth, the Father was filling the Son.

Jesus of Nazareth was somewhat pitiful. He never became anyone special. He never got to get married. He never got to have kids. He just worked with wood, cared for his family, attended the Synagogue and showed compassion to other people. But Jesus found joy, because the Father took pity on his life and blessed him with spiritual blessings.

Jesus of Nazareth was clean all the way to his heart. His innermost thoughts were not cluttered and corrupted by other desires, because nothing else in all the world ever happened to equal the greatest desire of Jesus' own particular heart. Like no one before him and perhaps no one since, Jesus loved God, his Father, with all his mind and soul and strength. And so Jesus found joy, because wherever his heart looked, it could see God.

Jesus of Nazareth came to bring fire on the earth, so that God could have peace. He came to fulfil the Law, so that man could find favor with God. He came to make peace between God and man, not among all mankind. And so Jesus found joy, because He was not a son of the world, but a faithful, loyal son to his Father, God.

Jesus of Nazareth was hounded because of his Rightness with God. He was pursued. He was chased. He was always in motion. Friends and foes alike came to him everywhere, constantly pestering Him. And everywhere he went, Jesus found joy in proclaiming to all of them that the Kingdom of Heaven was right there, at hand.

The people who listened to Jesus were blessed, because he spoke with authority. He spoke from his own life experience. And the fact that people could tell Jesus knew what he was talking about... was the most amazing thing about his teaching.

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