At our last all-school chapel we touched on part two of our school theme: It is Good to Follow Jesus. Our MAK staff are passionate about following Christ. For many of us, that’s why we teach at a Christian school – so we can openly share what is good about following Him. On Friday we discussed two of these reasons.
First, Jesus is for us. Sometimes it’s easy to doubt this, especially when things aren’t going too well. How can we say God is for us when a close friend gets terribly sick? Or when our family is going through a really rough experience that is outside of our control? Or when He gives us instruction through the Bible that doesn’t seem to be what we desire? How can such a God be for us when these things are happening to us?
What I often return to in the midst of such questions is Jesus’ death for us. Here is a God that stated that what he had for us was so crucial, so beautiful, and so good that He was willing to die so that we could understand and possess it. That’s an incredible thing. When I’m in the midst of suffering or anguish, I know that He experienced the same. When I’m in the midst of confusion about what He asks me to do, I am assured that He died in part to communicate the validity of His words. When someone dies on our behalf, it’s worth listening! He is for us.
Second, it’s good to follow Jesus because He knows us. In chapel, MAK students read bits of Psalm 139 (中文) to each other. If you haven’t read that passage, I strongly encourage it. It’s a wonderful account of the depth of God’s knowledge of and love for us. Consider these words:
O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
What is most profound to me in all of this is the incredible, divine tension between these two statements about Jesus’ disposition toward us. When we truly get to know another person, inside and out, we often are struck with the depth of our own rough edges. When I claim that ‘God knows me,’ I’m not only claiming that he knows all my gifts and hidden joys but that he also knows the extent of my evil and ungrateful thoughts, my selfish longings, my bitter rampages, and my rock hard, stubborn impulses. But yet, when we claim Him as our Lord, putting Him in control, admitting that He knows the way better than we do, He knows us and is for us, eternally.
The God of the Universe knows me and is for me. That is incredible. We have hints of that kind of love. Many of our parents know us, deeply, and despite that are for us, incredibly. Many of us who are parents, or aunts, or uncles, or grandparents also taste this depth of love in our own hearts. But with God it’s much greater. And that makes it so, so good to follow Him.