In Mark 10, James and John (two of Jesus' disciples and brothers) ask Jesus to "give them whatever they ask".
I love Jesus' response. He asks them: "what do you want me to do for you?"
Jesus' question is weighty and adds value to their request.
He doesn't just give them a yes or no answer. Instead, He returns a question and makes it personal. His question isn't about what services he can provide, but reaches deeper into their longing and the gravity of their existence. Imagine, for a second, if God showed up in the flesh and asked you how he could serve you.
If Jesus looked you in the eyes and said: "What do you want?" Would you ask for something you've always wanted? Would you be speechless? Would you swing for the fences with your request? Would you look for answers? Would you ask for something that would guarantee your happiness? A meaningful life? A pleasurable life? A life of status and accomplishment? Be honest.
Jesus' question invites us to journey into the depths of our motivations. He encourages the disciples to clarify where they are putting their hope. His question challenges everyone to answer: Do we want Jesus, or are we hoping for something "more"?
James and John replied by saying that they want to sit at "the right and left" of Jesus' throne. They want status, power, and authority. These disciples find Jesus to be insufficient. His love, grace, and presence are simply not enough.
Jesus responds and tells them that they "don't know what they are asking for".
Every year, my family asks me what I want for Christmas.
It is December 18th and they still haven't received my list. I am uncertain and visionless. I don't know what I want. Yet I live each day with a long "wish-list" and Jesus is often at the bottom. I misguidedly believe that I want happiness, status, success, control, security, and freedom apart from Jesus.
I believe we all do this.
We try to vacate, placate, medicate, soothe, hide, run, flee, shop, escape, diet, eat, lust, save, hoard, obsess over, surgically alter, and "power of positive think" our way into finding the eternal life we truly desire. This leaves us disillusioned, visionless, bored, and afraid of missing out. In living lives of shear avoidance, we find ourselves fearful that what we may lose our life if we trust it to Jesus.
We do everything we can to avoid death..and miss out on Jesus' resurrected life...Which is the only thing we truly want.
To find Jesus' life to be our life. To be one with The One who is eternal and sits at the right and left hand of the father. To receive and give Jesus' love and grace to all that the Spirit brings before God's throne. To experience the joy of being His servants and friends who share His mercy, truth, hope, and friendship with all we encounter.
As a community we hope to be a conduit for this resurrected life that we all desire most. We want to be a community where Jesus' love and grace moves in us and through us. We want to be a people who are loved, and live loved as a result. A newly forming church where Jesus' saves us from our fleeting wants while He becomes our greatest desire.
Jesus is asking: " What Do You Want? "