Monday, June 15, 2009

Where Jesus Dwells

Andrew was a curious sort—a seeker in the truest sense of the word. His search for spiritual reality beyond the religion offered in his day led him out to the wilderness to hear the fiery prophet John the Baptist. It was there that John pointed him to Jesus, putting him face to face with the one for whom he was seeking.

The only question that comes from Andrew's somewhat tongue-tied lips is a seemingly insignificant piece of trivia. “Teacher, where do you live?” What makes us ask questions like this? Could it possibly matter?

I suspect I would ask it because I couldn’t think of a more significant question to ask. Yet this is a very important question. Like Andrew, I want to know more about this amazing person that John the Baptist declared in no uncertain terms was the long awaited Messiah.

Jesus said, "Come and see." We don’t know if Jesus inhabited a prophet’s chamber in the home of a gracious couple. He may have had a lean-to in the desert. Maybe he kept a place in the city. Wherever it was, Jesus took these two future disciples with him there, and they spent the day together.

There is something tantalizing about Jesus that makes us want to spend time with him. But often, unfortunately, it is only in short spurts at his place. We may invite him to visit our place, but seldom do we surrender it completely to him. He remains something of a friendly stranger to most.

In another part of scripture, a teacher of the law actually pledges to follow Jesus wherever he goes. Jesus replies, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." Besides the obvious—laying out the requirements for following him—Jesus also enlightens us about his dwelling place. Maybe the answer is not a location as much as it is a way of living. Wherever I am, I am with him. He dwells in pain, suffering and loss, as well as joy unspeakable. Whatever your circumstances, he is there. Living in consciousness of his presence is far better than living in a place.

We find great security in our dwelling, our position, our placement. Jesus is all about the moment. What Andrew had no way of realizing on that day, in the full flush of excitement in meeting the Messiah, was that Jesus would take him to some very uncomfortable places. He would sleep with greater insecurity and a lot less personal comfort.

Where does Jesus live? David knew the answer: "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty" (Psalm 91:1).
So Jesus does have a place. The answer to Andrew's question isn’t found in a lean-to or small apartment in the city but in God's eternal home in heaven. He has promised those who follow him that they will have a place there too. Jesus said in John 14:1-2, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going."

Come to Jesus, make no conditions, come and abide with him. He’ll lead you through this nomadic life with all its complexity and take you to a place built just for you. Don’t be overly impressed with and don’t over-invest in the places of this world. Jesus dwells with us.

Ed Litton


Deek Dubberly said...

I enjoy reading every time you post. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

We love you Pastor. I am so very thankful for you!