Once a week, I pick my 15 year-old daughter, Piper, up from school and bring her home for lunch. We don’t have a long time. And we have no agenda. We just eat lunch and talk. Just me and Piper.
But there are weeks when I can’t make it work. And, if there are a couple of lunchless weeks in a row, Piper lets me know that she needs some time with me.
I love so much about this.
- I love spending time with her. She’s fun.
- I love hearing her process her life. She has great insight.
- I love that she wants to be with me. Alone.
This alone time is the very best thing I can do to understand what my daughter is thinking and feeling. It’s the best thing I can do to get know her. And the same is true for Jesus.
Crowds gathered around Jesus. They wanted wine, and loaves, and fish. They wanted to be healed. They wanted to hear him teach. And so he did.
He taught them about the Kingdom of God using mysterious stories about seed scattered on hard soil, seed choked out by weeds, seed that grows into a full harvest, and a tiny mustard seed that grows into the largest of all plants.
He taught the crowd using parables. And they were hard to understand. Just about nobody understood what Jesus was teaching in these parables. Mark 4:1-34
Maybe you can relate.
You are part of the crowd. You gather with people some Sunday mornings. You identify yourself as a christian, but if you’re honest … the Bible seems archaic to you. Irrelevant. The ideas in one passage seem to contradict the truths in another. If you’re really honest, you can’t understand how intelligent people can take the Bible seriously. But being part of the crowd is important to you.
I get it. I really do. Being part of the crowd has its rewards. However, there are greater rewards in stepping away from the crowd and getting alone with Jesus.
When I spend time alone with Piper, I build a relationship with her.We move beyond me just fixing her lunch, taking her to school, and telling her to clean up her room. I can ask her questions. Get below the surface. Get to know her. This doesn’t happen unless I spend time alone with her.
Have you been part of the crowd? Viewing the Word with skepticism? Scorn? That’s okay. Today’s a new day. All by yourself, start reading one of the stories of Jesus’ life — Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. Read it simply to get to know Jesus. And as you read, ask him to help you understand what you’re reading. You might just be surprised. Maybe today’s the day to get alone with Jesus.