"...If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." ~Luke 9:23
Jesus wants anyone, and that means anyone. If we all waited till we were good enough, cleaned up, and perfect, we will never be able to do anything for God. Jesus didn't go to those who we the smartest, the cleanest, or the richest. When He came to earth he came to some of the lowest people in the world, Shepherds. The rich had to seek Him out... the wise men came from far a land.
Even when Jesus started His ministry as an adult He didn't go to the most educated, wealthy, or the king in His palace. He went to John the Baptist to be baptized, to a bunch of fishermen, a tax-collector, and other unsavory types to be His followers. He wanted the religious leaders to join in with Him, and He tried to seek them out too. They just thought they knew better than this man who liked to hang-out with those they thought were "unholy".
Jesus wanted anyone.... He said anyone one could follow Him, no matter your faults, failures, and insecurities. He just said, desire to follow... forget about yourself and your problems... take up your cross daily... and follow Him... The most interesting part of this call to me is the daily part. Christ was letting us know that we would have to make a conscience decision everyday to follow Him. He knew there would be days we might not want to follow, to carry the burden of the cross with us wherever we went. To be open and compassionate with those we met. I don't believe that Jesus always felt like being the Messiah, I think in the flesh He might have longed for a day off. Yet He continued on to show us that we have it in us to do that also.
He wants us to come as we are even when we don't feel like we should or that He will accept us. Those insecurities and feelings of less than adequate are exactly the kind of attitudes he wants, those that don't think they are worthy are those He can mold into the people He can use. Unlike the religious leaders, the rich, and the smart who thought they knew more than He did. It is the desire that will set us apart.
In opening this post, I almost said wanted not dead but alive.... then I thought, in another passage of the Bible it says, we should be dead to sin, and alive in Christ... (Romans 6) And it also says in Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who lives, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me." So the wanted poster could have read Wanted Anyone DEAD and ALIVE!
Thank you Lord for this truth that you will take anyone in anyway and use them for your glory. I pray that my life I will live for you Dead and Alive, taking up the cross DAILY even when I don't really feel like it. Help me Lord to be who you want me to be use my failures, faults, and insecurities for your Good!