Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hands and Feet

As I prepare to speak to many students on Wednesday night, I have been thinking a lot about the works of Jesus while on earth. He served, he saved, he healed, he transformed, he loved. But what did he do that left an impression?

Miracles? Not really. In fact all through scripture we are amazed at the miracles that took place--parting of the Red Sea, Balaam's ass*, Jonah, Jesus turning water into wine, Jesus healing, Jesus resurrecting Lazarus, demons being cast out. But the interesting thing about almost every miracle is that they usually didn't lead to life change. Even Jonah was griping soon afterward! The Israelites turned their back on God just days after God saved their rears from the Egyptian army. The Jews went from shouting Hosanna! to Crucify! in like 4 days!

Speaking of Jesus, people loved what Jesus did, but few loved Jesus. So who did he really effect? The disciples. The followers. Those in whom he invested. Jesus was a mentor, a teacher, a rabbi. And I think to be Jesus' hands and feet today, we have to make that our tallest order. Invest in people, mentor the young, pour into their lives, and walk with them. Sure, volunteering at a shelter or handing a sandwich to a man on the street is a great thing to do. But most of your time should be spent investing in other people. Jesus did everything. And the people that started the New Testament church and kept it going were those with whom Jesus spent the most time. Peter. James. Brother James. John. Paul. Timothy. Barnabus. Not all of those men knew Jesus while he was on earth, but the domino effect of discipleship kept the movement going.

So what are you doing to invest in people? How are you making a difference? In our church this week, we are looking at Matthew 25:31-46--the parable of the sheep and the goats. When did we see Jesus hungry? Thirsty? We served? We did because it was in our very nature. We valued people. We saw needs, we met them. Without even thinking. When people become your priority, service will become natural. Jesus' hands and feet responded to Jesus' mind and heart. They just followed directions. So should you and I.