It’s been a while since my last post, but i’m still alive! Here’s something that’s been resonating in me this week.
I met two people on campus this week in the space of 20 minutes and I asked them how many years they had been studying for because they didn’t look like freshman. The first guy said that this was his 8th year, he was doing a masters. The second guy was in his 6th year. I asked both of them this: “In your years at University have you ever come across Jesus?”. They both said yes, and in their own ways added that it had been a while since they had experienced or had a real touch with the Lord. The one specifically said that it seemed to him that Jesus had been distant from him for a while.
I’ll pause that story for now. But later I considered why this had been their experience. There’s probably different ways to explain why, but this is how I see it based on whats been resonating within me this week.
Matthew 21:12-22 is a record of Jesus’ last week on the earth before being crucified and He goes into Jerusalem riding on a donkey and is welcomed by a group of people. But then when He enters the temple He overturns the tables of the money changers and casts out the people who were buying and selling there because He wanted His Fathers house to be a house of prayer. But He was rejected in Jerusalem and the chief priests and scribes often wanted to kill him. So, due to this rejection He would go to a place called Bethany just outside Jerusalem where He would be with people like Mary, Martha, Lazarus and Simon who loved Him and didn’t reject and persecute Him. In Bethany He was with His lovers. (The picture is an artists rendering of Bethany)
Where am I going with this?
What about the two college guys?
Well, our experience is often that we believe into the Lord and we get saved and so He comes into us as His temple and cleanses it and deals with things like “the world” that we were previously involved with; this is Him “casting out those buying and selling”. But then often He just “goes away” and it seems as though Jesus is not with us in our experience. Obviously the Lord never actually leaves us, but in our experience He has gone to Bethany to be with His lovers.
Often we don’t experience Him because we don’t love Him or He doesn’t have the first place in our heart. So we might still be in Jerusalem, but He’s gone to Bethany, and if we would open our inner being to Him in a genuine way and be His lovers, then in our experience we are in Bethany and He’s dwelling in and with us. The picture of the house of Bethany is so sweet and intimate to me. I love it that Jesus had a sanctuary in the midst of being persecuted, and in that place there was just love flowing.
So I hope those two guys on campus can come back to Lord to love Him. Hopefully our meeting people doesn’t turn them away from God because we compel them to do something, but rather causes them to fall in love with Jesus.