“And all were weeping and mourning for her, but He said, ‘Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping.’ And they laughed at Him, knowing that she was dead.” (Luke 8:52–53, ESV)
More and more I realize that if I want to imitate Jesus, I have to imitate His interior life with God. In that context, this verse struck me as very interesting. Of course, this flows from an ongoing conversation I am
having with God at the moment.
If I just look at Jesus’ humanness, I’m even more challenged, yet at the same time the desire that my automatic reactions could reflect His grows. Yet I know this won’t happen without my own inner transformation leading to believing, literally and really, believing God’s presence with me along with His love that embraces me.
What caught my attention in the passage? “And they laughed at Him.” Yes, it startled me that this stood out. Jesus enters the home of Jairus with three of His disciples and tells those present not to weep because the girl only sleeps. For this reason, they “laughed at Him” (they knew dead people stay dead, or so they thought). Jesus just took it. He didn’t defend, argue or reason. He just let it go. He didn’t even say, “My Father has let Me know He’s going to raise her from the dead.” In all humility, and in reality, in subjection even to His own creatures (now I’m considering Jesus’ deity), He lets the statement go. His automatic response understood their perspective and reflected both love and empathy. Why? Jesus lived securely in the love of the Father, and He automatically reflected His love to those around Him. He lived in a God-centered universe.
While I share those reasons, and I understand them, and I would like them to be true about me, they are not; at least not in the sense of automatic or natural reactions to similar situations. As we have entered our transition to Germany from Poland, I have noticed in my relationship with my wife, that my automatic responses lack the character of Jesus’ humility. The stress of the move has entered, and it has surfaced my mettle, showing intemperate reactions to my spouse. As fire allows impurities of metals to surface, the stress has shown, my automatic responses and ingrained habits need transformation. What has been different in the move, though, is that I now see God doing gentle surgery on my heart so the appropriate transformation can take place. I want to join Him in that so I can move closer to imitating Jesus in my interior life and humility. God is good, and I am glad for this, even though I don’t particularly like the process. So, I am asking Him to heal the cracks and remove the impurities.
Warmly in Christ, Doug Mitts
“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” (Romans 12:2, The Message)
Where are the growing edges of transformation in your life? What is God drawing your attention to?
What plans do you have for joining God in that transformation process so grace has its way in this area of your life?