Are We Busier than Jesus?

by Bethany

Highlighted Text: Matthew 14:14
Full Text: Isaiah 66; Matthew 14

Busy | Tim Kreider recently critiqued the modern busyness trend, where people’s default response to, “How are you?” is either, “Busy,” or “So busy,” or “Crazy busy.” He noticed that it is usually the self-imposed busy people, not the people pulling double shifts, who boast complain about their busyness. Why are they so busy? He writes, “Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy … I can’t help but wonder whether all this histrionic exhaustion isn’t a way of covering up the fact that most of what we do doesn’t matter” [1].

Important | Jesus was the most important person that ever walked the earth. It’s impossible to understate his significance. His life is our substitute, his death is our atonement and his resurrection is our hope. Indeed, he’s the center of history. As H.G. Wells said, “I am a historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.”

Unhurried | Given that he came to announce and secure the kingdom of God, Jesus could have told people, “I’m crazy busy”, but he never did. When he heard that Herod beheaded John the Baptist, for example, he wanted to be alone, but the crowds followed him [2]. Yet he didn’t rush them away, saying, “Now isn’t a good time.” Instead, “he had compassion on them and healed their sick” [3]. Then he hosted a dinner party for them, feeding more than five thousand people with only five loaves and two fish. Although his calling was the ultimate calling of history, he was never too busy.

Prayer | Lord, We confess that sometimes our schedules are full because we want to hedge against emptiness, wondering whether our lives really matter. Yet we stand in awe of Jesus, who lived a meaningful yet unhurried life. Let us bear his image, stopping to serve others even when we have our own plans. For we know that our lives do matter because our patient living testifies that your kingdom, which is full of compassion for all who seek you, is coming “on earth as it is in heaven.” Amen.

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Footnotes

 [1] Tim Kreider. The “Busy” Trap. The New York Times. Opinion Pages. 30 June 2012.  |   [2] Matthew 14:13 ESV  |   [3] Matthew 14:14 ESV

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