If Jesus must remain in us as we remain in Him, then it only makes sense that we should be trying to live the most hospitable life that we can - a life that Jesus would want to remain in.
This runs counter to the world's argument about Jesus, which is that if He really does love you, then He doesn't have an opinion on the way that you live. If Jesus really loves you, He loves you just the way you are and there's nothing about you that He doesn't love. If Jesus really loves you, then you're already okay. After all, isn't that what the cross was for?
But this is not a true picture of Jesus. It doesn't line up with what we see of Him in the Gospels. Everywhere He went, He met with sinners, yes - He even ate with them and stayed at their homes - but He never affirmed their sin. He never told a single person that they were fine just the way they were and that He had no higher aspirations for their life than what they were already doing right now. He never said it was okay to live a life stuck in your sin. In fact, what He said repeatedly was, "Go and sin no more." Go and be different. Go and live a freer life. Go and live a life with less sin in it.
So we come back, then, to what it means for Jesus to remain in us as we remain in Him, and the truth about the hospitality of our lives is very clear:
Jesus doesn't want to live in your sin any more than He wants you to.
In fact, we have to be very careful about the inferences we draw from what we see Jesus do, willingly, with sinners.
Yes, He goes to their houses to eat. Yes, He welcomes them around His table. Yes, He stands with them in the public square. Yes, He defends them to their accusers. Yes, He heals them. Yes, He loves them. Yes, He goes to the Cross for them.
But that doesn't mean that Jesus will come hang out and watch pornography with you. It doesn't mean He will come and sit around and shoot up drugs with you. It doesn't mean He wants to sit around on some sofas and gossip about all of the other persons in your life. It doesn't mean He stands over your shoulder nodding, backing you up as you lie to another human being created in His image.
No, He's not going to run out on you, but He's not going to join you. He's not going to just settle in and let you run this show. He's not going to just be okay with whatever it is that you decide to do. If Jesus came to your house and sat in your living room and you lit up a cigarette and starting blowing your smoke straight in His face, then, like anyone else, He's going to get up and move. He might go wait on the porch, hoping you'll join Him out where the air is better. But let's be clear - Jesus isn't going to stay in your house long if you abuse Him. Period. He's not going to hang out in your sinful life and affirm all of your life choices just because He loves you.
Actually, it's because He loves you that He won't do this.
We remain in Him, but He has to remain in us, and if we're not living a life hospitable to Him being here...He won't be. If we're not living a life that makes room for Jesus, He's not going to squeeze Himself in. If we don't make it a priority to make space for Him, He's going onto the porch to wait for us.
So...how hospitable is your life?
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