A couple of days ago as I was driving though Jefferson, Ohio, I heard a song which spoke of how some viewed Jesus as a fool dying for His dreams. When I heard that line something caused my heart to ache and I immediately began to weep and I really do mean weep. I was at an intersection and was very aware of a couple of people who glanced my direction and were probably wondering what kind of terrible news I had just received. Later in the day, while I was telling Kay about what happened to me the same exact feeling came over me and I broke again.
It wasn't the fact that some people thought of Jesus as a fool which effected me like that. Jesus was more than strong enough for that and I'm He understood that it just came with the territory. There are people that think I'm a fool and to be completely honest, I could care less about it. So it wasn't the "fool" part that got to me. What did was the thoughts of Jesus dying for His dreams. Even now I'm finding myself fighting a sudden lump in my throat as I think about it again.
When Jesus came to earth, He relinquished His rights to act here as God. He became fully man. A man with feelings, emotions and thoughts just like any other man. We are also told in scripture that Jesus even faced every temptation known to man. I started thinking how Jesus had to have dreams and hopes just like I do, even though He was the Son of God. The thought of Jesus dying for His dreams just rips me apart, because His dreams had to be so unselfish compared to mine. I guess I'm not talking about actual dreams we have when we are asleep. I'm talking about the hopes and dreams that we have in life. Dreams of "getting ahead" in life. Dreams of a better life. Maybe dreams of a little more money, or maybe even a lot of more money. Kids have a lot of dreams about what they want to do when they grow up and as adults we still dream, even though the focus may change. The most common dream I heard about growing up was the great "American Dream." Funny how we don't hear a lot about that anymore.
I can imagine Jesus' dreams had Him hoping desperately that because of His life the world would be a better place. Yes, Jesus died so that you and I could have eternal life, but in His agony He died for so much more. Jesus had such a burning passion for the poor, the widowed, the orphaned, the weak, the sick, the prostitutes, the drunkard and the people who society had discarded. I believe His dreams focused around them and not of Himself. He lived not only to eventually lead them to finding eternal life, but He lived to make their lives better. He reached out to them, He touched them, He loved them. His compassion burned for them. He lived to bring the kingdom of Heaven to earth so that lives could be better. Jesus' heart broke for the desperate and hurting. (Matthew 23:27; Luke 19:41-42)
Jesus said that if anyone loved Him they would follow His teaching. (John 14:23) I believe Jesus dreamed of a better world for people. I wonder if when Jesus closed His eyes for the last time, if His hope and dream was that His efforts would continue,............. because we do love Him, right? For when I've fallen short of keeping those dreams alive, I seek God's forgiveness.
Honestly, I believe that we've allowed a hole to penetrate our gospel. For too long we have been focused on, "Are you going to heaven? Do you know my Jesus?" If the answer is "yes", or if we lead someone to say "yes," then it's almost like, "Hallelujah, let me punch your ticket to Glory." So many seeker friendly ministries that never want to offend helped create that hole. Yes, yes, yes.........that's important and I'm sorry if I sound cynical, but what about the rest of that life lived here on earth. Are we investing in people so that they can experience a bit of the Kingdom here and now. JESUS DID. He cared about the here and now, not just the sweet by and by. He knew how to balance it all out and it's time we all figured it out, too.
Even though I've really tried to change over the last several years, after I heard the line in that song the other day, I felt sick when I thought about my dreams compared to Jesus dreams. Sick enough that it broke my heart when I thought about Jesus dying for His dreams. Were they just broken dreams from a broken Man? God forbid! You and I hold the answer to that.
A couple of days ago, my dreams changed even more.
(Stop the mixpod on the right if the music is playing, watch and listen. You'll hear that line.)