I was doing a Bible study the other day and ran across a question about how we should treat other people. As I started to write ‘love and respect others the same way that Jesus loves and respects me’, something struck me. I don’t believe that Jesus respects me.
While I know that Jesus loves me, I don’t believe that love translates into respect. I assume that He sees me more like a parent sees a young child. That’s an incredible and immeasurable love but it doesn’t include a great deal of respect.
Even when I think about this now, it seems weird to assume that God respects me the same way I respect my friends. I ask for their opinion often and invite them into work that is important to me. It would really surprise me if Jesus did either of those to me.
If Jesus showed up to tell me something, I assume He would tell me to have faith or take courage and not genuinely ask my opinion on something.
My assumptions do not come from Scripture though. Jesus clearly shows his desire to share all of His knowledge with us. Parents don’t do that for toddlers but friends do that for one another.
“No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does no know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.” – John 15:15
The parables make a good examples of this because Jesus gives them in two stages. He starts with telling the parable to the crowd and then fully explains the parable to the disciples afterwards. Jesus obviously doesn’t want to just keep us from sticking a fork in the electrical socket, He wants to explain what’s going on behind the scenes.
These explanations take the shape of invitations into His work in this world. God gave Jesus the incredible task of freeing the captives and binding up the brokenhearted. With His ministry, death, and resurrection, Jesus got the ball rolling and now He wants us to help Him continue things.
I’ve heard this before but it never translated into knowing that Jesus respects me. Sadly, this truth hits the roadblock of my shame and doesn’t get a chance to plant itself in my heart. Shame is a powerful and destructive force that holds back many important truths we need in our everyday lives.
My shame tells me Jesus can’t respect me because He knows about all of my sins. It tells me Jesus will always see me as a disappointment or a screw-up because of how often I get things wrong. After hearing this, the idea that Jesus wants to hear my opinion on something seems ridiculous.
I need this apparently ridiculous truth though, probably more than I realize.
It lifts my heart above the clouds to believe deep down in my heart that Jesus wants to hear my thoughts on something. On top of that, knowing that Jesus specifically wants my involvement in some of His work brings a big smile to my face. I didn’t realize how much these doubts weighed on me until the truth lifted them off of my shoulders.
Fully accepting this truth will probably take more than one day though. Getting a reprieve from the doubts and completely unlearning the lies in my heart are not the same thing. I trust God will keep working with me and slowly but surely bringing more truth into my heart.
Before I started that Bible study, the truth about Jesus’ respect for me never came close to crossing my mind. Jesus used that Bible study to plant that little thought into my head and get me started on a brand new path. I don’t know where this path will end and I have no idea when He’ll show me the next path, but that’s just a part of the excitement.
Do you believe deep down in your heart that Jesus respects you? Would it surprise you to hear Him ask your opinion on something? Do you believe He really wants you to help Him with His work?
Image Copyright: Peter Dargatzby