Taking a child, He set him before them, and taking him in His arms, He said to them, “Whoever receives one child like this in My name receives Me; and who ever receives Me does not receive Me but Him who sent Me.” (Mk. 9:36,37)
Do you every visualize Jesus?
I’ve visualized Him since I was a child—perhaps the age of the child Jesus lifted up in this verse—long before I received Him as Savior.
But I always visualized Him outside and, unless the story indicated otherwise, He stood.
In fact, I’d been a Christian a long, long time before I could think of Him as confined by a house. In my mind He always stood on a hill where he breathed air washed by breezes that blew directly from the Sea of Galilee. And when that viewpoint expanded, it didn’t expand enough to place Him within an enclosure.
But a vigorous Jesus who preached from the side of a mountain and who walked for miles to get from one village to another is only part of the story. Sometimes Jesus really did enter into people’s homes.
One day a friend suggested that Jesus had a house of His own in Capernaum. Mk. 9:33 tells us, They came to Capernaum, and when He was in the house…. My friend thought the verse refers to the house He lived in when He was there.
Well, that had never occurred to me. But in light of the text, I had to admit He was in a house at the time. And I supposed He could have had a residence of His own. Really?
The story begins in verse 35 with, Sitting down (in the house), He called the twelve and said…
A discussion with His disciples follows. Then, in the first verse of the next chapter we read, Getting up, He went from there….
The point is so simplistic that many will wonder where my mind had been. Apparently Jesus not only lived as a man who taught outdoors to large and small groups. He also lived with people indoors. He picked up children while sitting in a home.
This when lighting was poor—before electricity.
He visited, He taught, He reasoned, He loved, He laughed. And much of this happened within the confines of a building. The synagogues He visited—as was His custom—were buildings.
This somehow gave Jesus another dimension in my mind.
When we love someone, we want to know all about them. I still enjoy hearing stories of my husband’s childhood. What contributed to his becoming the person he became. I smile and sometimes I hurt when he lets me in on his past.
And that’s the way it is with Jesus. Sometimes I wonder about His days. I wish I knew details that haven’t been recorded. I like to imagine being in the crowd when He taught on the hillside. When He taught from an open boat.
I want to delight in the joy of dreaming about this Savior who loves me. I want to think I could be a child playing while my mother prepared dinner. Then, when I least expected it, my Jesus would reach down, pull me up onto His comfortable lap, embrace me, and use me as an example to illustrate Truth.
Or perhaps, instead of being child, I’d be a mother busy meeting the demands of the moment, wishing I could enjoy visiting with Him while hearing Him says the best part in life is loving Him. Or perhaps I’d be married to a man who would follow Jesus by leaving home for long periods of time. That wouldn’t be so wonderful.
But then I could look ahead to the times when Jesus visited, when He finally came through the door into my daily life.
I believe God uses our imaginations, and it can carry us many places. Good and bad.
Imagining Jesus when He lived on earth is good.
And there is another way to imagine Him. With eyes open or closed I can welcome Him into a building right now. I can imagine Him entering into the building I call home.
Into my kitchen or living room. The den. The office area of our guest bedroom where I’m working on the computer right now.
Lord, You are here.