By Rev. Dr. Brandon Morrow - Good News Community Church
I made a comment to a friend the other day, “It’s almost like I forgot just how much Jesus loved me.” I assure you it’s not as concerning as it may sound, but don’t we get a little lazy in our rumination of Jesus and His affections for us? Aren’t we apathetic at times when it comes to rehearsing the truth of the gospel to ourselves? Sometimes I do become a tad indifferent and then waves of guilt set in — “I should be doing better" or some other condemning statement about worrying that I’m an imposter. Suddenly my apathy turns to shame, and my shame leads me on a path to develop a laundry list of why God has reserved His deep love and desire for somebody else. In no time at all, I’m in a frame of mind where somehow, some way, I don’t measure up. Maybe I’m alone in this, but something tells me that this is a prevalent thought amongst the people of God.
There’s a little chunk of scripture in the Gospel of John that we need to soak up into every fiber of our wary, often disbelieving beings. If you don’t catch it, you might miss it. It’s the back half of John 6:37 where Jesus says, “and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” Jesus drew many crowds, and oftentimes they wanted something, usually a free meal. Instead, Jesus gives them the love of the Father, but the crowds don’t want that and they heap on rejection. Context aside, there’s something intoxicating about that short chunk of scripture. Something that, internally, we are repulsed by. How can that be? Doesn’t Jesus know all that I’ve done, said, thought? What about the stuff against others? What about the stuff against Him? Author and pastor Dane Ortlund wrote that we are “factories of fresh resistances to Christ’s love.” If we’re a human assembly line of excuses that try to push back against Christ’s love for us, what is it that we’re actually resisting? It’s coming to Jesus. That’s it. Not a whole lot more.
Jesus gives a wild invitation: come to Me, and I won’t cast you out. Ever. We who bring nothing to the table, and nothing to our own salvation, and we try to refuse the one who said He wouldn’t refuse anyone who came to Him? The answer to our laziness, apathy, guilt, shame and imposter syndrome is just as simple as coming to Jesus. Bringing our whole self, the hidden parts, the public personas, every nook and cranny, and His promise to us is that He will never cast us out. What He finds is something worthy of His salvation, something that He intends to delight in for all eternity, and all we have to do is come to Him. If there’s a short list of things that I don’t want to forget about Jesus and His love for me, it’s that. I can come to Him, and He’ll never cast me out.