The last few months I have been decluttering our home, selling unwanted or unused items and generally getting rid of our excess stuff. It’s amazing how much we can gather around us.
Part of the process of parting with possessions is that with each item I’ve chosen whether I want to move forward with it or not. In amongst my sorting I’ve been continually reminded that parting with stuff doesn’t just apply to material possessions. It’s also what we carry around emotionally and mentally, and perhaps most of all what we’ve collected regarding our thinking and beliefs about Jesus and who He is. I’m constantly challenged that our thoughts are so often not God’s, and that much of what we can think or hold as important Jesus couldn’t give a fig about. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
Take for example the numerous accounts in the bible where the religious leaders of the day were found to be constantly offended and mystified by Jesus and His behaviour in comparison to what they held to be important. We read about Jesus healing the sick, raising the dead and preaching to large crowds but sometimes we clutter up or even lose sight of all that Jesus is and does.There is just too much other stuff, tradition and religious thought that we can miss the simplicity and beauty of who Jesus really is.
Take for example Jesus’ response when a man with leprosy approached him and knelt before him, “Lord the man said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.” Jesus reached out and touched him, “I am willing,” he said “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared. (Matthew 8:1-3 NLT)
Consider afresh for a moment what Jesus did here. A leper if they passed through a village was required by law to cry out “unclean, unclean!” This was a warning to their neighbours they were close by, lest unwitting citizens accidently touched them and defiled themselves. Leper were not allowed to live near others, must wear worn clothes, allow their hair to become unkempt and cover the lower part of their face. To get anywhere near such a person was to jeopardize your reputation and status in society.
So what does Jesus do – he stops, turns and reaches out and touches the man. Imagine this man, a leper who had been forced to live alone, starved of human contact, whom no one had touched for such a very long time. Seeing him Jesus reaches out and touches and instantly heals him, for he is moved with compassion. (Mark 1:41)
I love that Jesus knew exactly what he was doing in the eyes of the law, the religious system and all of society but he didn’t seem to care, or he simply chose to care about the right things.
In my sorting I’m wondering if perhaps it’s time we parted with and moved on from more that just our extra material possessions. Maybe it’s time we cleaned out some of our thinking and beliefs about Jesus and what it means to be loved by and know Him. That we start to see Him through fresh eyes.
Because so many of the things we care about, fight over, struggle with, work for and care deeply about really don’t matter when you compare them to what Jesus cares deeply about. And if we cared about what He cares about how different would our world be, and how different would we all be?
I encourage you to slow down and take another look at Jesus and all that He did and does today. Choose to make room for what really matters and what you want to move forward with.
“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3)
“By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.” (1 John 2:3)
Prayer: Lord would you teach me afresh what radical freedom, kindness and love looks and feels like. Please help me to declutter my thinking and beliefs about you and who you are so that I can see clearly what matters. In Jesus name Amen.