A Story with a Happy Ending

Who would believe they are not open to Jesus? Everyone would imagine they are open to Jesus and he is their friend. Who would believe that Jesus doesn’t want to be their friend? We imagine that Jesus likes everyone. He is kind to the worst of the worst. He is kind to lepers and those with horrible disease. He is kind to the blind and lame. He takes the sinful and forgives their sin. Even when they are caught in the middle of committing sin Jesus finds a way to forgive them. He also tells them to not do it anymore. Does that mean he would not be as friendly the next time? What about if it was 167 times of doing the exact same sin would he still be as nice? The Bible only talks about that first-time encounter. From there people change their ways and they do what Jesus says or they are not part of his story.
Maybe that would be the nice way to say it today. Jesus calls disciples to follow. He meets people in their sin but then expects them to change that behavior and follow him. If they don’t, they are no longer part of his story. They go on a different path and live their own story. Jesus does encounter all kinds of different people in his life and all of them are sinners. It is not sin that separates them from Jesus. Jesus came to save sinners. But when sinners walk away from Jesus to live their own story, they separate themselves from Jesus. It isn’t that Jesus left them, but they left Jesus. Whether it was intentional or just curiosity driven, they took a different path and they are no longer in the story of Jesus.
We do know the ending of the story of Jesus. After he forgave many be also lived out the reason why he could forgive them. He laid down his life by dying on a cross for the sins of the people he healed. He also did it for us and for all people who become part of his story. We follow him living it out with him even though there has been a lot of years since his death on a cross and assertion to heaven. His story does end with him in heaven and all those who are part of his story will be there with him. That means all those who live out his story now as part of their life know the end of their story. They will be with Jesus in the same place where Jesus is… heaven.
Most of us don’t know where our story will end. We see the conclusion of the story of many people and wonder if that is what they wanted. The good thing about the story of Jesus is we can come back at any time. We can decide we want to be in his story and live as one of his followers. That way we can be sure of the end of our story. We also have the best story to tell. It may include some times of sin and separation but it also includes our healing and the power of God at work in our life. It is always best to have a happy ending.

Friday June 7, 2019

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