Sunday, April 04, 2010

Born for this

Lately I've been hearing a lot of people use the phrase, "I was born for this." It is usually during this person's reality show "look into the camera and answer questions" interview. You know the ones I mean. Someone is prompting them to say stuff, but you don't hear the questions, just the answers. These captivating interviews are a cornerstone of all reality shows, and were even featured on the Olympics. I heard the phrase uttered by an Olympic hopeful or a commentator a couple times back in February when the games were on. But more recently I've been hearing it on American Idol. A proud mom of a contestant is having her reality show interview (deserved by association, of course) and breathes, "My daughter was born for this."

I've decided it's an interesting phrase, mostly because these people seem so sure they are correct. "I was born for this" is certainly a statement of knowing one's purpose. And I can't think of anyone I know who is 100% certain of his or her life's purpose. I am sure only of the fact that I don't know the reason I was born. I can give you some theological answers - I was born to love God, and to love others. I can give you a description of the jobs I have - part of my purpose is clearly to be a good wife, mother, friend, etc. But what is the more specific reason I am on this earth in God's eyes? I don't know, because God is the one writing the story and He doesn't always let me in on the details.

You know where I'm going with this. It's Easter, for goodness sake. You think I'm going to say that Jesus was born to be our Savior. It's all too familiar. But this Easter, while reading the accounts in the Bible, I noticed that Jesus had his reality show interview too. You won't believe what He said. Minus the cameras, He is asked to explain himself, tell everyone why He is so special. It was kind of an informal trial after He is arrested, but here is a bit of the conversation (now, think first century reality show):

Then Pilate went back into the headquarters, summoned Jesus, and said to Him, "Are You the King of the Jews?"

Jesus answered, "Are you asking this on your own, or have others told you about Me?"

"I'm not a Jew, am I?" Pilate replied. "Your own nation and the chief priests handed You over to me. What have You done?"

"My kingdom is not of this world," said Jesus. "If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I wouldn't be handed over to the Jews. As it is, My kingdom does not have its origin here."

"You are a king then?" Pilate asked.

"You say that I'm a king," Jesus replied. "I was born for this, and I have come into the world for this: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice."

"What is truth?" said Pilate.

John 18:33-38

He totally said it. I read this a few days ago and had to read it over and over. Here is a man who truly knew His purpose! Jesus was born to tell us the truth. Think about it. He could have been born, lived a perfect life, been wrongly accused of something, and still died a martyr's death, effectively paying the price for our sins, without teaching us a single thing in the process. He could have been a silent lamb led to slaughter and still gotten the job done, in terms of saving mankind. But though dying for our sins was a definite part of Jesus' purpose, He was born to tell us the truth.

Pilate gives the same response many people give Jesus when faced with the truth. It is a stroke of dismissal: "But what is truth, anyway?" If you continue to read the account above in the Bible, you'll see that Pilate's statement is the final one in the conversation. After he utters it, he leaves the room. This philosophical argument is the quickest way to shut out Jesus and His purpose in our lives.

So these are the questions I'm pondering based on Jesus' interview: Am I "of the truth" from regularly listening to His voice? Or am I just coming up with my own ideas? Am I willfully shutting out truth in any area of my heart? Am I praying that God would lead me to His purposes for my life, and not just indulge in my own? Am I also sharing truth with others, as Jesus modeled? These are all questions with varying answers, depending on the day. But I am thinking. And asking. And praying.

The whole pre-crucifixion scene in the governor's quarters would make for a pretty crazy reality show. But I need the resurrected Lord and His truth to fill my life so badly that at the end of the day, I'm
glad it was Jesus who got voted off.

[or how about this ending]

...I'm glad it was Barrabas who got the final rose.

[or what about]

...I'm glad to hear Pilate say: "King of the Jews? YOU'RE FIRED!"

[OK, I'll stop]

1 comment:

  1. Leslie, even if you one day stop blogging, please never delete your blog. If you do, give me notice so I can print it out and bind it for reference!