In our first encounters with Jesus in the New Testament he is telling John to baptize him1, using God’s word to refute Satan’s temptations2, and preaching “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”.3 After this he calls certain men to follow him and according to Matthew they immediately leave everything to do so.
The overall impression is of a person with great authority, he has the authority to direct the lives of his disciples. This is obvious if you understand that Jesus is God, but I’m noticing how easily I forget Jesus’ authority over my daily life as I go about my busyness.
The ‘my’ highlights a problem here; there is an ownership dispute raging over this life – I have been redeemed by Christ so am not my own (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), but my human nature resists this and likes to consider this life to be my own exclusive possession (Romans 7:15-18).
Here are some thoughts on this from Francis Chan:
“Worry implies that we don’t quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what’s happening in our lives.
Stress says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace toward others, or our tight grip of control.
Basically, these two behaviours communicate that it’s okay to sin and not trust God because the stuff in my life is somehow exceptional. Both worry and stress reek of arrogance.”
From Crazy Love, page 42. If God has redeemed me, can I not at least trust him this one day?
1. Quote from The Princess Bride by William Goldman ↩
2. Romans 2:16 and 2 Corinthians 5:10 illustrate this.↩
3. As with the widow of Zarephath; God blessed her with enough to feed herself, her son and Elijah but the provision was only ever just enough and by our standards quite meager (see 1 Kings 17:8-16).↩