Did Jesus live a busy or full life?
Reflect on Jesus’ example for a minute. He had at least as many things on His plate as any one of us.
His assignment: show people what God the Father is like, usher in the Kingdom of God, find and develop a core group of leaders to take the gospel to the ends of the earth, redeem all humanity, and prove His identity via the resurrection — all in three years.
He must have felt the temptation to live the busy life. So how did Jesus live?
I think we can agree that Jesus’ life provides a compelling picture of the full life.
Jesus and Efficiency
If you think Jesus was in a hurry, remember the time when Jesus was headed to the synagogue ruler’s house to heal the man’s daughter. A woman who had been sick for twelve years reached out to touch him in hopes that He might heal her. When she covertly touched Jesus, she was instantly healed but the healing did not go unnoticed.
Jesus stopped the throng traveling with him to acknowledge what had happened and why it had happened: “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
Jesus’ highest value in this encounter was not efficiency. If so, He might have pressed on to his next appointment without acknowledging her. Instead, He stopped and recognized this woman, sealing her relationship with Him.
Jesus always seemed right on pace and exactly where He wanted to be.
If you still think Jesus was primarily task-oriented and all about efficiency, consider the way Jesus treated children.
We find that in Mark 10:14 Jesus made time to lift the little children into his arms and bless them. Jesus relished, and did not rush, these encounters.
Jesus and Distractions
If you think Jesus was distracted, recall the night before His crucifixion.
He gathered with His disciples for a lengthy Passover dinner, reclining at the table with them. He took a towel and washbasin and washed each of His followers’ feet while Judas was organizing the betrayal.
Jesus gave them detailed instructions about the coming of the Holy Spirit and encouragement for what they were about to face. He invited the disciples to pray fervently through the night with Him.
In the face of the coming torture and execution, Jesus’ behavior offers no evidence that He was distracted. Instead, we see Him fully present.
This was how He lived His entire life on earth. Jesus illustrated the full life better than anyone else in history.
God Highly Values Relationships
Relationships require time. Notice how Jesus built relationships with His disciples. Relationships He knew would be tested up to the point of death.
He did not ask them to come by to study the Old Testament every Sunday morning for an hour. He told the fishermen,
“Come follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.”
God intends for our relationship with Him to be like He is moving into the house with us. Relationship in His mind equals regular, constant time together.
We have a hard time getting our minds around this when it comes to God. Nonetheless, it is His desire to fellowship with us continually.
The Most Significant Equation
Jesus loved His disciples so He spent time with them. He demonstrated a concept that has become veiled to many parents and children alike. It is summed up in an “equation” that is more significant than anything you ever learned in school.
Here it is:
LOVE = TIME
If you want a deep and meaningful relationship with your spouse, child, sibling, or parent, express your “love” by spending time with them.
If you feel like this equation is a blinding flash of the obvious, you are not alone.
Rocket scientists, Super Bowl MVPs, and Fortune 500 executives can adeptly determine the best course of action in very complex scenarios. Yet, their relationships strongly indicate a rejection or ignorance of this simple equation.
There are many ways you can spend that time and some ways are better than others.
But ultimately, it is critical to acknowledge this:
Loving relationships are fundamentally built on time together.
In the book we offer ideas of valuable ways to spend time together with loved ones.
As Followers of Jesus
If you are a Christ follower, you are invited, even commanded, to live just as He did.
The deepest motivation, greatest license, and most compelling force to live the full life, in the midst of a culture that venerates the busy life, is your love for God and His call on your life to live like Christ.
Jesus’ call to “Follow me” invites us to follow the rhythm and relational ways of our Master.
The world, maybe our friends, and possibly even those in the Church may not reward you for living full instead of busy. You may be ridiculed and deserted by those who do not appreciate and understand.
But those who you will care about most at the end of your life will be forever grateful.