Giving God Room
Aug 26, 2019
The disciples continue to push the question of who is “in” and who is “out” this week. Their primary concern is to make sure they are getting “in”. Jesus does not give them a clear answer and in fact he creates confusion. Not only are some who think they are on the way “in” not going to make it, but even more startling are the ones who everyone knows to be “out” (the foreigners) will be some of the first to get “in”. It is tempting to take the disciples point of view and worry about how narrow the way “in” is, but I think there is a much more profound answer as Jesus tells them that it is impossible for man to save himself. Only God can save anyone.
The narrow way that Jesus speaks of is not about actions ( if I just pray enough, or do enough good deeds, etc. etc.) it is about an attitude. When asked who is the greatest Jesus takes a little child and tells them that the least ones are greatest in the kingdom of heaven. It is not the self starters and the ambitious, but the ones who know themselves to be dependent, like a child who depends on it’s parents. In this world we are encouraged to rise up to the challenges that our lives present. In the coming world we are more encouraged to grow in our dependency on God.
I suspect that is why we are so prone to being broken in different areas of our lives. We experience our imperfection and wish we could change but it just doesn’t happen. Somewhere in the struggle we finally turn to God and say: “ I need you because I cannot do it myself” This is perhaps the strongest prayer we can offer to God. How often do we instead tell God that we will be better next time. There is not much He can do for us if we do not give Him room. For man it is impossible, but nothing is impossible for God.