"Are You Just Visiting?"
"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."
John 1:14 (NIV)
When I was a child, going to visit my grandparents was not on my "Top 10 list of Favorite Things To Do." Honestly, it didn’t even make my Top 50 List.
The drive was way too long. There was nothing to do at their home or in their tiny town. And they didn’t even have cable TV-- making a visit all the more painful. The one thing I hoped for was a short trip.
I was selfish-- making what was meant to be about someone else, all about me instead.
Unlike me, Jesus understood that His coming to Earth wasn’t all about Him. He was the Son of God who came to give His life for the forgiveness of our sins. God’s plan involved Jesus laying down His life for the honor of His Father and for our salvation.
Today’s key verse, John 1:14, says Jesus made His "dwelling" among us. The New Living Translation says Jesus made His "home" among us. Both those words create a picture in my mind of Jesus immersed in life with those around Him.
When He came, Jesus didn’t just pop in for a visit. He didn’t come just to check a commitment off His list. Instead, He gave His best — His very life — for humanity. If Earth and His heavenly home were set side by side, I’m sure Earth could not compare.
And it wasn’t just about His physical surroundings. Jesus knew He was coming to a place where many would hate Him.
Jesus didn’t have to spend as many years with us as He did. He could have skipped the first part of His life, shown up just before Good Friday and left after He rose from the dead.
But He didn’t. In fact, for over 33 years, He made planet Earth His home with the full experience of life: birth, growing pains, even puberty. He went through the awkward stage of gaining independence while still being respectful to His parents. He learned a skill, worked, made friends.
Jesus came and engaged. He wasn’t too good for this place or the people. That’s powerful, unselfish love in action. It is a love that invested all the years of His life on Earth leading up to His ultimate act: dying for us.
Thankfully, I no longer exhibit all the selfishness of a child, but there are places in my life where I am still "just visiting." Fulfilling my responsibilities, but not seeing those around me who need this unconditional love Jesus came to bring. I want to change. I need to change in order to fulfill my purpose on Earth.
Are there places in your life where you are just visiting, too? Missing out on investing in and really loving on the people around you? At work, church, home or the gym? Open your eyes today to see with love the same value Jesus saw in others.
Dear God, what a challenge You give us today through the example of Your Son, Jesus. I need Your help to love in the extraordinary way You love. Open my eyes to see others as You see them. Then, help me take action to show Your love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
John 15:12, "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you." (NIV)