HOW BADLY DO YOU WANT JESUS?

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That really is the million dollar question is it not? How badly do you want that nice house, that nice car, that next big promotion? How badly do you want that man or that woman? And usually these questions come closely followed by, how much are you willing to give up for it. The more you want it, the more you love it, the more you are willing to give up for it, right? So beloved, how much do you love Jesus? And how much are you willing to give up for Him?

We live in a world of ‘no free lunch’. We never get ‘money for nothing and our kicks for free’. Everything, and indeed for some, everyone has a price. It has been like this for a long, long time. Remember the rich young ruler who came to ask Jesus how he could get eternal life?

“Another day, a man stopped Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
Jesus said, “Why do you question me about what’s good? God is the One who is good. If you want to enter the life of God, just do what he tells you.”
The man asked, “What in particular?”
Jesus said, “Don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as you do yourself.”
The young man said, “I’ve done all that. What’s left?”
“If you want to give it all you’ve got,” Jesus replied, “go sell your possessions; give everything to the poor. All your wealth will then be in heaven. Then come follow me.”
That was the last thing the young man expected to hear. And so, crestfallen, he walked away. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and he couldn’t bear to let go.” Matthew 19:16-22 [MSG]

How badly did he want eternal life, really? Be honest. He clearly THOUGHT he wanted to ‘give it all he’s got’, Jesus saw that. But that was all. He just thought about it. And ultimately, the thought did not count, because there were a great too many things he could not bear to let go of. What does that say about how much he valued eternal life? Clearly, not much.

Now contrast this to the two women who were willing to anoint Jesus with expensive perfume.

“And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil.” Luke 7:37-38

How much did she want the forgiveness that she knew He could give her? How much was it worth to her?

“Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” John 12:3-5

How much did her brother’s resurrection at the hand of Jesus mean to Mary? Indeed her gift was costly; it was three hundred (300 in numerals just in case you missed it) times a laborer’s daily wage, and they were not wealthy. But to her it was worth far less than what Jesus had done, and was going to do for her, just that she did not understand it yet.

Beloved, how much do you think you are worth to Jesus?

“Now the men who held Jesus mocked Him and beat Him. And having blindfolded Him, they struck Him on the face and asked Him, saying, “Prophesy! Who is the one who struck You?” And many other things they blasphemously spoke against Him.” Luke 22:63-65

“Then Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate.” Luke 23:11

“So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. Then they said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck Him with their hands.” John 19:1-3

“Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, “Behold the Man!”
Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”” John 19:5-6

“And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center.” John 19:17

“Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”” Luke 23:39

He was beaten, scourged, mock, scorned, and finally crucified for all our sins, just as the prophet Isaiah prophesied,

“Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy].
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.” Isaiah 53:4-5 [AMPC]

He died so that He could exchange our sinful lives for His perfect one, so that we need not be punished anymore, so that we are now righteous in the sight of God our Father, just as it is written,

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

And as He was hanging on that cross, beaten, bruised and battered, He still said,

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Luke 23:34

But even more than that, just before Jesus was arrested, in the quiet of the night, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed,

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
“Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17:20-26

This prayer is for us. We who have believed because of the prayers of their, that is to say His original disciples, words, we are now in Him and the glory our Father gave Jesus, He also gives us, and eventually, we will be where He is. What love! Beloved, this is how much Jesus wants you. This is how much you are worth to Jesus.

And how much do you think Jesus demands of you in return?

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

“This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” John 6:29

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to My Father.” John 14:12

“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:24

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.” John 14:1

Got it yet? Yes, believe. That is all.

Beloved, you know what? Everything the world has to offer asks something back from you. But for all that Jesus has to offer, He only asks that you believe. All those who gave to the Lord, did so out of willingness and a revelation how much they have already been blessed, to the extent that what they had, though costly, paled in comparison. If you realize just how much Jesus loves you, you would feel the same way too.

Friend, everything Jesus has to offer is freely given, as the apostle Paul tells us,

“He who did not spare His own son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him, also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32

I don’t know how much you love Jesus, or how much He means to you. But I know how much my Jesus loves you and I know you mean the world, and more, to Him.

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