The kids and I have been reading through the Gospel of Luke. The gospels are full of the Bible stories that I have known since childhood. It is so easy for me to read through them without really thinking about what I am reading. I have been asking God to teach me more than the obvious as we work our way through the chapters. I have been asking Him to show me how these familiar stories are relevant to the very minute I am living in.
We read and discussed Luke Chapter 9 between slurping bites of Ramen Noodles and grapefruit this afternoon. A sticky meal. In verse one, Jesus gives all twelve disciples power and authority to drive out demons, cure diseases, and to share what they had been learning from Him. All twelve. Judas included. Judas who later turned informant. Judas who pocketed the amount of money one would receive for selling a slave when he sold information on Jesus' whereabouts.
How could he do this? Judas had seen Jesus raise people from the dead, teach and heal crowds that were so large that there was the danger of being crushed to death by the sea of humanity. He, himself, had felt the healing power of God flow through his body. God whispered a word to me as I put this question to the kids. Agenda.
Judas had an agenda. He wanted to be with Jesus because this was his ticket to fame, wealth, and power. For a while, it appeared that his agenda and Jesus' were one and the same. Jesus challenged the status quo. He was a rebel and He had super powers to boot. But by the end of same chapter in which Judas was driving out demons and healing the sick, Jesus started talking about storing up treasure in heaven, serving others, and dying instead of taking over Palestine. This was not what Judas had signed up for!
Judas' agenda was about the promotion of self. Jesus' agenda was about saving the world!
That one word reverberated in my head. My agenda, of late, has been the promotion of self. I am questioning and doubting God for moving us to Smallville. I want to be known. I want to be important outside of my family. I want to be useful and valuable in a big way. Right now, that is not on God's plan for me. But if I look at Judas and Jesus' agendas side by side then I can know for sure that God's reasons for moving us to Smallville are enormous and that the doubting and questioning are a big waste of time.