Lenten Devotion for Monday, March 10

By Lydia Jentzen Will

Read John 8:54-59

When I was in high school, I asked for a pair of Silver brand jeans for Christmas. Several of my friends had them and they were so cool! I was really hoping I’d get them. On Christmas morning, I opened a pair of jeans–but they were actually silver. In color.

My poor mom was so confused–she thought she had nailed it! What I thought I had communicated was so different than the end result, it was pretty comical. They were nice jeans, but not at all what I wanted or expected.

In today’s reading, things are really beginning to heat up as Jesus shocks everyone by placing himself over even the authority of Abraham. The Jews had been waiting for a Messiah, but Jesus wasn’t at all what they were expecting. When He starts making these claims, it causes quite a stir!

When Jesus came, His people were expecting a warrior king to come in and take His rightful place. Jesus challenged what everyone thought the Savior would look like, and so they doubted him–even considered him a demon-possessed heretic. When He challenged their deeply held beliefs and proclaimed himself to be “I am,” they were downright furious!

Jesus comes into our lives and turns them a bit upside down. Everything we thought we knew about religion, work, life, and love is challenged in Him. So love is shown to outcasts, the poor are elevated above celebrated leaders, the last is first, and sinners are given grace.

Our ideals about what good Christians look like and do are challenged when Jesus shows us His authority and our desperate need for His love.

When we open ourselves up to an upside-down Christ in our lives, we unwrap more than we could have ever possibly imagined.

We pray: Jesus, help us to open our hearts to the changes and challenges that Your love calls us to.

Family discussion:

Have you ever received a gift that wasn’t what you were expecting? Talk about how you reacted. Sometimes, even when what we receive is not what we expected, or even wanted! It is better than anything we could possibly imagine.

Everyday object:

Consider putting some wrapping supplies near the table for this devotion.  Jesus is the gift we’ve been waiting for–even when He ended up being so different than what we expected!