Jesus, You’re Just Not Worth It

Ever catch yourself saying this? Oh. No. Not outloud, sure, but how many times are we caught choosing one thing over Jesus? Over quiet time. Over doing what’s right. 

Yesterday, I listened to a teaching on God’s view vs our own worldview. It’s a topic that’s come up a lot lately. 

Each time the outcome seems to be that there’s a good chance there’s some skew in our worldview. In the way we see God. In the way we are obeying. 

The overall teaching was about why Jesus came. We shouted out typical answers and he wrote them on his paper easel. Redemption, to forgive, to return order in our relationship with the Father. Sure sure. These are great answers. But then this guy quoted a conversation between Pontius Pilate and Jesus. 

Jesus is in custody. He’s been turned over to Pilate and the mob outside is calling for blood. The holy ones are calling for Jesus’s death. Pilate just wants to be free of all of it. 

John 18:37 

“You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

Ouch. So anyone not currently obeying Jesus one hundred percent is a liar. Ok. That hurts a little. And wait. I thought you came to forgive me. To redeem my sinful life and get me back to God. 

As it turns out, all that’s a byproduct of Jesus bringing truth. What he wants us to know us. To KNOW us and be known in return. He wants us to first seek to hear not only be heard. 

I don’t want to relate to Pilate’s answer so well. “What is truth?” We don’t know his tone in asking this. But I imagine we aren’t so different. He asks the question and doesn’t bother tuning in for the answer. He seeks to be heard. 

He’s talked with his wife about this Jesus. And while she gave the sage advice to have nothing to do with Jesus’s death, Pilate was mentally elsewhere. He was weighing his willingness to be shunned and blamed by the government over his reputation in choosing Jesus. He seeks to be heard. 

Am I doing this same thing? Do I seek to know Jesus or am I mostly caught up in being heard? 

I mean. I pray. But does it always go up and out, or do I allow space for God to speak back to me? Am I ever quiet after I ask a question? 

I read my Bible. But am I doing it right? I mean, do I read and ask God to open my eyes and ears and heart and truly soak up what God is trying to reveal to me? 

My answers don’t seem to be a resounding yes, so what I’m really saying is “Jesus, you’re not worth it. You’re great, and thanks for everything, but I’m not willing to give up this {fill in the blank} to know you more.”

I want what I want and my time and reputation are such that I will ask you questions but only so I feel heard. 

When I lay it out this way I feel like a tantrum throwing toddler. I’m caught up in my own way and I’ve more often than not come into a prayer situation knowing what I’m going to do before I ever ask God what he thinks. And I ask, but only so I feel heard. 

Am I Pilate? What is truth? This world is too much. There’s no way to balance what’s expected of me and what I feel is the right action. They’ll kill me. I’ve got a responsibility to keep the peace. 

No. Or at least I no longer have to be. I can choose to press in and seek. I can abide in the true vine. I can learn to sit in God’s presence. I can approach in reverence not questions. And overall, I can seek to hear first rather than only to be heard.