Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him. But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew human nature. No one needed to tell him what mankind is really like. (John 2:23-25)
Daily Bible Reading: Leviticus 4:1 – 6:30
Relate: There was this movie where the main character was actually a bit of an outsider. They only had one or two friends in high school but inside they really longed to be part of the in crowd. Suddenly, something happens where they start to get noticed. They suddenly are incredibly popular and begin to bask in their new found fame. The problem is, this popularity begins to change them. They start to become crueler than the person they once were. That friend who has been there forever is now feeling the hurt of rejection. Finally, after much emotional angst, they decide to go back to being who they were at first even if it means turning their backs on all this new found popularity. Can you guess the movie? If you named pretty much any high school flick from the latest Blockbuster all the way back before Grease and all points between, you’re probably correct.
There is a reason this basic plot line has been used in one variation or another so many times. It resonates. We all want to be popular. We all want to be loved. We all want and need the affirmation and acceptance from others but we don’t like the person we have to become to get that recognition at the level we want it. All too often becoming part of the “in” crowd changes us. Popularity didn’t change Jesus because He didn’t depend on it. He didn’t need it. He was who He was and He did what He did not for anybody but the Father.
React: There have been times in my life when I was it. I was the man. There have been other times in my life when I have been very… not popular. I’ve lived on both ends of the spectrum and, lets face it, being popular is a lot more fun. It has been a long road to learn that popularity and affirmation are fickle friends. They may come and they go but God’s love never fails. I’ve learned this and I know this well but it seems to be a lesson I have to continually relearn over and over again. He is the only audience for whom I must perform.
God, help me to live only for You. Help me to desire only You. It is so easy to get pulled and tugged in so many ways trying to become something I don’t really want to please people who don’t truly care. Help me to be my best, act my best, work my best only because You love me. I long to please You.