I was at the noonday eucharist service at my church this week, and the Gospel reading for the day was the passage where John the Baptist’s disciples come to ask Jesus if he is really the Messiah that has been promised. Jesus tells them:
“Go back and tell John what you have just seen and heard:
The blind see,
The lame walk,
Lepers are cleansed,
The deaf hear,
The dead are raised,
The wretched of the earth
have God’s salvation hospitality extended to them.”
— Luke 7:18-23
I started thinking about the testimony Jesus gave here about himself. He was, in one sense, declaring himself to be the fulfillment of prophecy about the promised Messiah. But in another sense, I saw that he was declaring himself to be someone who changes the people who come in contact with him.
When I reflect on my own life and journey with Jesus, I see that he is indeed one who has changed me. I am not the same person I was ten years ago, five years ago, one year ago, or even last week! The more I spend time with Jesus, getting to know him and being in regular relationship with him, the more I notice that I am becoming a new person. The process feels like something happening to me, rather than something I direct myself.
In this sense, it really is Jesus doing the changing in me.
How has Jesus changed me? He has softened my edges. He has placed compassion in my heart. He has given me a greater ability to hold seemingly contradictory truths at one time without feeling the need to resolve them. He has increased my patience and my love for people. He has strengthened my desire to love and serve others. He has helped my life to become less about me.
Above all else, he has made me fall more and more in love with him.
What about you? How has Jesus changed you as you’ve lived your life with him? Or what change does he seem to be about in you right now?
Postnote #1: My apologies for the lack of consistent posts here in this space this week. We’ve been preparing to go out of town for the holidays! I will be posting here while on the road over the next couple weeks, but the posting schedule will be altered from the usually intended “five posts per week” to a schedule of “as our travels and wi-fi connectivity allow.” Thanks for your understanding.
Postnote #2: I will be offering the Look at Jesus course again in the new year! Registration will open on January 2, and the course will begin January 16. If you’ve found the posts in this series on Jesus meaningful, perhaps the Look at Jesus course would be a fitting next step for you. More details to come once registration opens on January 2!