Do we really want Jesus to show up?

When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well. Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.
Mark 5:15-17

Do we really want Jesus to show up?

Because when He showed up in this community, they lost a huge part of their economy. Yes, He had done a great thing for a crazy man living by himself in a cave. But He was messing up their lives and freaking them out. So they asked Him to leave. As soon as He touched their money, His presence wasn’t welcome.

I think most people want Jesus to show up and have their lives improve. Fair enough. Jesus told us He came to bring us abundant life, full life, and that’s what His presence brings.

The problem is that in addition to wanting an abundant life, we usually want everything else to remain the same. Business as usual. Status quo intact. On both national and personal levels.

We want Jesus plus economic prosperity. Jesus plus national security. Jesus plus safety.

Jesus doesn’t always work like that. It’s not that safety, security, and prosperity cannot coexist with Jesus and His movement among us. It’s just that our desire for safety, security, and prosperity at the expense of Jesus cannot coexist with Jesus and His movement among us.

One of the greatest things standing between you and the uninhibited, powerful presence of Jesus in your life is probably the thing you believe must coexist alongside Him. Big things like the economy. Or smaller things like your boyfriend.

But in order to bring us what we really want – abundant life – sometimes God has to take away what we think we need. It’s often the things that we hold onto most tightly that we need to let go of most desperately.

Do we really want Jesus to show up?
What if Jesus comes and messes everything up?
What if we ask Him to show up in our nation and the economy goes down?
What if we ask Him to show up in our family and our kids decide our preferred career path for them isn’t God’s vision for them?

Some of us probably wouldn’t want Jesus to show up then. But that would be our loss.

Jesus’ presence may mess everything up. But by messing everything up, He is actually putting everything exactly where it belongs and positioning us for exactly what we need. And that’s Himself.

Originally posted on January 11, 2011.