I can't believe that it's been this long since I last wrote about this chapter. Life has been busy! I leave for Haiti in the morning. Very excited and nervous at the same time, more excited than nervous though! :)
This part of the chapter isn't even 2 pages long, but I think it deserves its own separate post. It starts out with,"we usually applaud any gesture of intimacy toward Jesus." Okay you might be like, "yeah. Intimacy toward Christ is great!" But then the author writes about the brothers, James and John.
Jesus asks them, "what is it you want Me to do for you?" They told Him they wanted to be seated on His right and His left in His kingdom. He told them, "no." A few verses later a blind man is calling out to Jesus and His disciples tell him to be quiet. Jesus asks him the same question He asked James and John. "What is it you want Me to do for you?" The blind man says, "I want to see." Jesus heals him and he followed Jesus, praising God.
What was the difference? James and John wanted places of honor and power. The blind man wanted to see and praise God. Mark Buchanan writes, "we typically applaud people who want to get closer to Jesus. But that in itself tells only half a story. The movement toward Jesus begs interpretation. The motives need to be searched, parsed."
I think the original reason someone comes to Christ needs to be examined. The rich young ruler came and wanted to know what he could do. Some may come so they can do the "right" thing. Some may come for what they can get from Jesus. Some may come for the "power". Some, of course, come for a genuine transformation through His salvation.
Even after we come to Christ we need to continue to reevaluate our own motives. Just the other day I found myself thinking more of how I would look in a particular situation. I was focusing on how good I would look. Thankfully, it was only for a few minutes, before I realized I was focusing on me in the situation and not God. I repented and thanked the Holy Spirit for convicting me. I want to be closer to God. I want to be more like Him. But I still need to make sure my motives are pure. Like Mark says at the end of the chapter, "'What is it you want Me to do for you?' Jesus asks. So much depends on our answer."