I just have to tell you this quick story from my jail Bible study: Maybe you could use the grin. There were three Native American gals there. One has been coming since July. I knew her since she was a kid. She declared when she first started to come that she just came to get out of her cell and that she had never touched a Bible before. But now she’s hooked. She’s studying the Bible and is an eager participant in our studies. She gets out at the end of the month. She’s covered in tattoo’s and wants to get them head to toe like her boyfriend, but just has them on her arms at this point. The other two have some tattoos, but not like her.
The other two gals (sisters) just came in the previous Wednesday from a big drug bust at their house and they were telling about that. Somehow it fit into the study. Then they said that the night before, in their cell, they were all sitting around their cell talking about the book of Revelation. So I said something like “that’ll blow your mind” and they were like “yeah.”
My Bible study partner for the evening had them turn to Revelation 19:11 and said something about the gist of it being that Jesus wins in the end after a big battle. Then I read verses 12- 16 and verse 16 includes this about Jesus: “on His thigh He has a name written ‘King of Kings and Lord of Lords.’” The gal who has been there since July said, “so it’s safe to say He’s a tattooed man.” And one of the others sighed and said “I never could resist a tattooed man.” I said “this is one tattooed man you don’t want to resist.”
That’s what Jesus told His parents when He was 12 in Luke 2:49. Picture it: He gets to go from Nazareth to Jerusalem with His parents for the Feast of Passover. I don’t know if it’s the first time He gets to make the trip or not. But He is fully human, so how much does He know? He doesn’t have an earthly father, so He doesn’t have original sin pulling at Him, that sin nature that dogs the rest of us.
Maybe it’s like this: He’s finally here and this is Jesus’ chance to interact with people who have studied the Old Testament scriptures–the very ones that were written about Him. He’s had these dreams about glory, and when He gets to hear scripture at the Synagogue, His heart burns. And now He’s finally at the Temple. He’s home.
“I’m home, this feels so good. I want to stay here. Wait a minute. Why are these guys so spiritually cold? Why don’t they recognize Me? Okay, I’m only 12. I don’t even know how my dreams are going to work themselves out. That Passover Lamb–is that Me? I have to tell them there’s another way, to not be all caught up in the rules so they miss the love and the promises and the relationship with God Almighty…”
“If only they knew what this Temple was made to be, what it was like when My glory filled it. Why do I keep having these dreams? I wish I could tell someone who gets it…” “JESUS! Where were you? We were worried sick. We were halfway home. What are you still doing here?”
“I MUST be at My Father’s house.”
Do you have the same things that drive and pull you because Jesus lives in you? Do His dreams tug at you and speak to you and scream at times, driving you mad in a good way?
I do. I’ve come to realize they are put there by my Father. I realize that because Jesus lives in me and His Spirit is alive in me, I can say with Jesus (John 2:17) “Zeal for my Father’s house will consume me,” and as the KJV renders Luke 2:49 “I must be about my Father’s business.” And “I must be in His house.”
There are a few other must’s that drive me.
- I must sit at His feet on a regular basis, not just whizzing in and out like those “5 minutes with God” devotionals (what?) but reclining in God’s presence, speaking with Him in an intimate, secret place. “Your words were found and I ate them and they because to me a joy and the delight of my heart. I did not sit in the company of revelers. I sat alone because Your hand was upon me.” Jeremiah 15:16-17
- I must tell a lost and dying world the good news of Jesus.
- I must be where Jesus is. He is bent low, so I must have friends in low places: the outcasts, outsiders and outlaws. I must go to people and places where others won’t to shine the light of Jesus and bid them to come from darkness to His marvelous light.