It’s hard to watch people walk away from Jesus. We know it’s going to happen and it still hurts. We invest hours and hours into our weekly environments for teens and kids. We train group leaders to mentor their small groups. We work diligently to craft messages that are clear and focused and communicate the story of Jesus. As much as we strive to help people see Jesus clearly many still walk away.
Why are we surprised? People watched Jesus walk this planet, heal people, and teach with authority and then they still walked away. The message of Jesus is amazingly beautiful and still at times it’s hard to embrace and live out.
We are working through a summer series at Grace Community Church called React and this week we processed an encounter Jesus had with some religious leaders and how they reacted. When you read Mark 3:1-6 you watch some of the smartest leaders of the day see Jesus do a miracle and still walk away angry. This coming summer with all our services, camps, retreats, and mission trips we will watch people we care about see Jesus clearly and still walk away. People will walk away but it does not change who Jesus is! Here are some reminders when people walk away from Jesus…
- The way I respond to people who reject Jesus must mirror the heart of Jesus. / Jesus came to seek and save those who are lost…misplaced…separated from God. When Jesus watches people walk away he responds with compassion and not rejection.
- Someone who walks away from God can’t stop God from pursuing them or loving them. / the rejection of man never has nor never will phase the plans and love of God.
- Just because someone disagrees with me does not demand I prove my belief is right. / It’s ok to ask questions, listen, and stand firm. Maybe instead of arguing with people we can focus on praying for them. We know that God can break through hard hearts.
- Affirmation can never be allowed to drive our system of values. / Affirmation can become addicting. We don’t live for the pleasure of people…we live to bring joy to the heart of God and spread the message of Jesus who brought us from death to life. We can never allow people walking away from Jesus to keep us from spreading the message of Jesus.