He Was at Home

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“A few days later, when Jesus came back to Capernaum, the news spread that he was at home.” 

Mark 2:1

You can’t hide the presence of Jesus.  There is a ‘built-in’ need for Him in the hearts of men and women.  You can’t keep it quiet, it is an open secret.  Believing people let it out in many ways.  You can see it in their faces, and hear it in their voices.  They become gentle and caring, where once was selfishness and anger.  Peace is present, and a wonderful new thing called joy.  They can’t help but share about their new guest, when they speak it spontaneously spills out.

Spring flowers can’t help their beautiful fragrance.  There is a fragrance that announces that He is present.  You might say that He takes over, just as a bright light takes over the darkness.  When Jesus is present, His brightness pushes through the cracks and shines out every window.  He cannot be contained or hidden.  Love itself is invisible.  But it has an effect on all who take it in.  The very presence of Jesus transforms us.

My heart is now His home.

People travel and gather great works of art.  They collect these things of beauty and culture.  They will go out of their way to search for paintings and statues of grace and elegance, and finding them they will spend a great deal of money to obtain them.  But no one or nothing can compare to having Christ as the honored guest. The poorest farmer can be the wealthiest man. No matter how quietly Jesus enters, His presence will soon make itself known.  Where Christ truly abides, nothing but good will be observed.

Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.”

Ephesians 3:17, NLT

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The Desire For a Place of Power

“But they didn’t answer, because they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest.” 

Mark 9:34, New Living Translation

As the disciples walked they talked.  There was a casualness as they followed Jesus, it was a warm day and they walked, and sometimes even stopped–keeping up in a relaxed way. They finally meander their way slowly into Capernaum.  There was a safe-house there, and a place of peace.  It is here that Jesus confronts His followers.

He wants to know what they were talking about as they walked.  “What did you say to each other?”  The disciples looked at each other, and then down at the floor.  No one spoke. I think they were ashamed.  No one would reveal what they had thought about, and then had spoken out loud.

Did Jesus really need to ask this?  I honestly don’t know, but as I think about these verses, I say yes, and no.  Jesus was bringing His disciples to a place– an opportunity for them to be critically honest, perhaps even a bit reflective and thoughtful.  And yet He knew exactly what they had been discussing.

Even though the disciples knew what they had discussed on that dusty road; they don’t know that Jesus knows.  Awkward.  At this point Jesus doesn’t confront.  He shows.  As they sit down, Jesus begins to reveal their hearts.  A local street urchin, playing outside is brought into the house.  The disciples look, and think.  The child moves close to Jesus.  Jesus pulls him close.

At this point, Jesus begins to say things that elevate.  One of those crystalline moments that happen when His truth meets the human understanding.  That child is transformed into a lesson of influence.

Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not only me but also my Father who sent me.”  v.37

This is a clear, and powerful statement of how things operate in the kingdom.  The child is brought into ultimate significance and worth.  The disciples are diminished into a lower status.  It’s funny, but our treatment of a child describes our real relationship with our Father God, and our Savior Jesus.  That little one has now become our “litmus test.”

I encourage you to seek out and develop relationships with the children in your life.  Although this is a literal interpretation, it will adjust us to a broader application of our Lord’s lesson.  When we are altered, we will be putting others first.  Our desire for place, and the power that goes with it, is nullified and zeroed out.

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