Just.like.Jesus {Tangible Motherhood p.LAST}

Jesus and I are one6Jesus and I? We are one.

I used to doubt that.  Down right defy that declaration.  How is it even possible?  I’m a huge sinner. A mighty mess of a woman who regularly forgets the Truth, regularly overlooks the Gospel, regularly acts like a lonely, lost soul.

And then I entered the tent.  You know –  the one I helped erect? The one marked, “Misunderstood & Mistrusted.” I met Jesus inside.  He lived there too. And I soon discovered, that if Jesus dwelt here, then I wanted nothing more then to remain in His presence.

There was only one problem.  He wasn’t content to remain in the tent.  He’s always in motion, this One who lives in me.  Always moving, “further up and further in” {a C.S. Lewis quote from The Chronicles of Narnia}. Always beckoning me to follow Him {Matthew 4:19}.

If I really wanted out of this tent and into restored relationship with my golf-ball chucking son, then it was time to follow Jesus’ lead – out of the tent, and into my son’s heart.

Jesus and I are one5So now that we’re out of the tent, where did Jesus go?

1. Jesus observed

Zacchaeus was a wee little man; a wee little man was he. He climbed up in a Sycamore tree for the Lord he wanted to see. And as the Savior passed that way, He looked up in that tree…

In these most recognizable lyrics, Jesus encounters Zacchaeus – a curious little fellow unsure of Jesus and His motivation for visiting town. And where does Jesus go?  Straight towards the doubter, straight into his life, and observes. Jesus looked.

This wasn’t the first time Jesus intentionally set eyes upon dubious followers:

  • While teaching His disciples, Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” {Matthew 19:26}
  • Upon meeting Simon for the first time Jesus looked at him and said, “So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter). {John 1:42}
  • Jesus looked at a rich young ruler and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” {Mark 10:21}

Did you notice how Jesus never demanded their attention?  He never said, “Look at me when I’m talking to you!” He simply looked. He.simply.looked.

2. Jesus overlooked

Zacchaeus was the most hated, despised man in the whole city and – of all people – he was the one Jesus chose to have tea with. The important People sneered, “Jesus is the friend of sinners!” They were right. Jesus loves sinners. And they’re the whole reason he came.

{Lloyd-Jones, Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing, p43}

 Jesus knew Zacchaeus was incapable of living a sinless life.  He didn’t get hung up on the sin so easily experienced.

Jesus and I are one8

Instead, Jesus overlooked the sin in search of the heart. He overlooked the offense that He could have taken {that we all take too readily} and searched for the heart of the matter: the heart of the sinner.

3. Jesus offered to meet a need {not demand what he deserved}

“He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” {Luke 19:7}

If anyone deserved to be shunned. If anyone deserved a good old-fashioned chewing out, an, “Aren’t you ashamed of yourself?” sermon, Zacchaeus did. Yet, Jesus {He always turns things upside down, doesn’t He?} Jesus gave Zacchaeus what he needed and not what he deserved. Zacchaeus  needed to be seen, and Jesus looked.  Zacchaeus needed to be reached, and Jesus overlooked the offense.  Zacchaeus needed to be restored and Jesus offered forgiveness and a new life publicly endorsed by the Son of God.

Jesus and I are one4So what if I applied these lesson to my overly competitive, impulsive, golf ball-chucking son? What if I met him on his level? Looked him in the eye and overlooked my embarrassment, my shattered parenting pride, and my dismay at having failed at this parenting gig.  What if I looked instead for his heart?

Might I see a young man breaking over his own shattered self-worth? Afraid of losing Mom and Dad’s approval because, after all, he is the eldest son who just lost to his 3 ft tall baby brother?

Might I see a boy, like Zacchaeus, desperate to be forgiven,  longing to be restored, searching for hope?  Might I see an opportunity to rebuild the trust that we misplaced somewhere along the way? Might I have an opportunity to look as Jesus looked, to overlook my offense in search of his heart, and offer to meet his need for forgiveness, restoration, and hope.  Just.like.Jesus.

While I am tempted to believe I could never live up to these expectation, I need only remember one Truth:

Jesus and I are one7

We sat down, my superhero son and I.  I looked him in the eye, and I listened.  I listened to his heart.  I overlooked my offenses {even as his very words conjured up even more reasons to be offended} and I offered only what I thought he needed: to be heard, to be understood, to be assured of my love for him, to be forgiven, to be restored, to have new hope. Just.like.Jesus.

Photo Credits {HERE}

Might I Pray for Us?

Dearest Jesus,

I no longer live, but You live in me.  You look through me.  You help me overlook my offense at other people’s sin.  You help me give what is needed, and not what is deserved. I confess that I try to take over my life and vindicate my own suffering.  I fail to see what You see.  I often focus upon myself, instead of my neighbor’s need.  I fail to give what You desire to give through me – forgiveness, restoration, and hope. Please take over.  Help me to give up control to You and You alone. Amen.