My daughter is a student of human behavior.
She doesn’t miss a trick.
And so it is that this week I find myself telling her this:
Yes, baby. There are lots of people who say that they love Jesus and don’t live like they do.
She comes with her two boys. (Matthew 20:20-28)
Asking Jesus for a favor.
One on your right, one on your left.
The other disciples are outraged, but Jesus’ response is gentler, more compassionate.
I know the ones who don’t follow scramble and fight for position.
They wield their power harshly.
It is not this way among you.
You—the followers of the Way—are different.
It is not our words that set us apart, I tell my daughter.
It’s our lives.
Not because we are perfect.
Not because we try harder.
Not because we are different in any fundamental way.
But because we—the followers of the Way—know who we are.
We are beloved children.
Sons and daughters of the God of the universe.
One who made it all, who rules it all, who doesn’t need us.
Not even a little bit.
But One who chose to serve, chose to ransom, chose to redeem.
One who chose to draw us close. To speak our names with tenderness.
One who catches our tears and frees us from the need to scramble and fight.
One who frees us to serve, frees us to love.
Because he did it first.