I like Jesus because He was at peace with himself. It didn’t bother Him that people didn’t ap- prove. He expected it. I on the other hand am bothered when people don’t approve of me, or when they disagree with me, or are indifferent toward me — how could they? I am so lovable … or am I self-deceived? Yup.
That wasn’t Jesus’ style. He knew who He was.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about His peaceable wisdom and poetic presence. I have tried to carefully imagine Him…
He is on a hillside overlooking a lake. He is quietly sitting with a crowd. A breeze, clean and damp, drifts up from the water. He is silent for a moment; closes His eyes, tipping his face slightly into the fragrant wind — a trace of a smile.
He surveys the crowd, the faces hopeful and tired. He reads something in them and says, “You don’t need to be anxious about life; about what you will eat or drink or wear. Your life is more than food. Your body is more than clothing.” He pauses — no hurry in this peaceful man.
He tilts his head again, listening — and there, again, is that trace of a smile. “Listen! And look!” He turns to the sky where sparrows have taken flight. The eyes of the people look up to see what He is seeing. He says, “Look at the birds!” There is something like wonder in His voice. The birds land and hop about, pecking at the ground. Jesus smiles. “They don’t sow or reap. They don’t lay up stores for winter. And yet, your heavenly father feeds them!”
He returns his attention to the people: an old man, face weathered and drawn; a woman with a baby in her arms; a poor man, roughly dressed. “You are so much more valuable than a sparrow. So, don’t be anxious. Worrying about life will not add even a moment to it.”
He turns to the poor man — “And don’t worry about your clothes.” And then looks out at the countryside, dotted with orange poppies and white flowers, swaying in the breeze. “Look at the flowers! How do they grow?” He smiles at the crowd as though expecting an answer. “They don’t seem to work at it, do they? They don’t spin yarn or weave cloth, but I tell you, King Solomon in all his glory wasn’t clothed like even one of them! Now, if God clothes the grass of the field which is alive for a season and then thrown into the fire, won’t He clothe you, too?” He breaks into a broad grin. “Don’t ever doubt it, you of little faith!”
And then Jesus is on His feet. “Don’t worry about what you’ll eat, or drink or about what you will wear — everybody worries about those things. But you have a heavenly Father who knows that you need them. Focus on His kingdom and righteousness and all those things will come.”
There is something about his confidence that has changed the crowd. It is hard to identify what has happened. The people seem less weary and fearful; more encouraged and hopeful. Jesus is walking among them now, looking at one, then another, speaking to each of them as much as He is all of them. “Don’t worry about tomorrow … Tomorrow will take care of itself … One day at a time! … Today has enough trouble. No point in borrowing any from tomorrow. “
[From Matthew 6:25-34].
I like Jesus. I want to grow up to be like Him.