…in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples.
How Jesus Loved People:
Here we see, Jesus didn’t baptize people, He had His disciples do it. And in verse 7, of this same chapter, Jesus asks the Samaritan woman to give Him a drink. Then in verse 8 we see, Jesus sent His disciples to buy food. (John 4:1-8)
Jesus gave (and continues to give) people the opportunity to participate in what He’s doing.
How to love like Jesus:
I don’t know about you but I’m a perfectionist personality. One of the most counterintuitive things, for me, I’ve ever had to learn is to ask for help. There are a couple of reasons for this.
1) “If I’m to love others as myself,” I think, “if the roles were reversed, wouldn’t I want things to be done for me?”
The answer to this question is a definite, “sometimes.” The problem with always doing things myself is, I deny people the opportunity to grow. Jesus not only loved his disciples by sharing great truths with them, and by setting a perfect example, He also loved them by giving them opportunity to learn by doing. He gave them responsibility. He gave them opportunity to love people by doing for them. In my experience, the greatest growth I’ve seen in people occurs when they’re given responsibility, sometimes even a little before they’re ready for it. Most of the most fruitful people I know, can point back to a time when they felt like they were in over their heads.
2) I often believe I can do it better myself, so I do.
Kathy and I built a house once (and I hope to never have to do it again). In the beginning I thought I’d contribute in all kinds of ways. I thought I’d paint, hang insulation, pull electrical wires, do the finish work, clean-up, build the deck, do the landscaping, the list went on and on. It didn’t take long before I figured out, if I were to do all these things, the house would be finished around the same time the Cubs win the World Series (I’m a Cubs fan — yea, I know, I’m a glutton for disappointment). So I had to take a big swallow and ask for help. I asked for help from family, from friends, and of course much of the help came from subcontractors.
Building a house, among other experiences, taught me to keep in mind five of the most important words ever spoken by John the Baptist: “I am not the Christ.” (John 1:19-20) Because I’m not the Christ, because you’re not the Christ, we can’t do it all! Even though it’s possible we might do a better job than most people around us in the short term, in the long term, we can accomplish more when we engage the participation of others.
Now obviously there’s a danger here. If we ask for help from others with a selfish motivation, we’re asking amiss. But, if our heart is truly to love people, by giving them opportunity to grow by doing, then we’re loving like Jesus. We’re providing people with a chance to grow and more fruit will come to bear as well.
The motivation for it is a fine line I know, but asking people for help, with the right heart, is one of the most loving things we can do.
Jesus did it.
You can too.
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Kurt, this is my current favorite! (Aren’t you glad I asked you to get me that sunscreen in Marblemount?) Love, Kar