We were made for connection. That is how we are wired. We were made for relationship. We have a God-shaped void that only God can fill, right? We were made for a relationship with God, but we also have a people-shaped void. After God created Adam, He said it wasn’t good for Adam to be alone. Something was missing in His life. He needed a connection with another human-being. We need friendships. We need a sense of family. We need people in our lives. We are better together.
We find and fulfill our purpose in connection with God and others. You cannot find your purpose for life without interacting with other people.
Jesus made an intentional connection.
Jesus didn’t just come to earth hoping to meet people or hoping to make a difference in people’s lives. That is why He got up every morning. Jesus went out of His way to connect with others. Luke 19:10 says, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”
Jesus made an inclusive connection.
It didn’t matter what your age or gender was, your profession or problem was, Jesus came to connect with all people.
Jesus connected with children. In Matthew 19:14, when the disciples saw the children who were being brought to Jesus as a nuisance or distraction, Jesus told them to bring the children to Him. He took them in His arms. He embraced them, and He blessed them.
Jesus connected with commoners. Most of the disciples were ordinary, unschooled, tradesmen. The crowds who followed Him, for the most part, weren’t the elite of society. They were everyday people.
Jesus connected with known sinners. He was labeled a “friend of sinners” in Matthew 11:19. He went to parties to connect with people. He went to weddings to connect with people. He went to people’s houses for dinner to connect with them. He went to the temple day after day to teach people, according to Luke 21:37.
Jesus connected with sick people. He didn’t shy away from people who were diseased or disadvantaged due to a disability. He reached to touch them, to address them, to listen to them, and to heal them.
Jesus connected with people that connected with other people and pointed them to Him.
Allow me to share some ways that Jesus connected with people as He moved about.
Service-In John 13, Jesus washed His disciples feet. He purposely served them. He took on the role of a servant. People sense they matter when we serve them. It connects them to their value as people created in the image of God.
Compassion-So many places in Scripture we see that Jesus was moved with compassion for people. He would stop what He was doing. He would keep going even when He was tired. He would cry with them in their moments of sorrow. Jesus never pretended not to see someone in pain. People sense they matter when they experience our compassion. It connects them to God’s love for them as an individual.
Friendship-Jesus was a friend to the disciples. He took them in as friends. He invited them to share life with Him. He included them in His plans. He didn’t get mad and cut them out of His life when they messed up. He was faithful to them to the end. If Jesus had been on FB He would never have de-friended anyone. 🙂 People need friendship. They sense they matter when someone wants to spend time with them. It connects them to their life’s potential to make an investment in others.
Teaching-Jesus was always teaching because people didn’t know how to follow God. They needed understanding about what the Kingdom of God was all about. It is time-consuming to teach people. Not everyone will listen even when you do, but unless we take the time to teach people, they won’t know what God has to offer or what He expects. They won’t learn it from the world. It has to be our job.
Scripture says that our love for God is tied to our willingness to connect in love with other people. Matthew 22:37-40 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets HANG on these two commandments.” EVERYTHING hinges on our willingness to connect with others in love.
Connection takes intention. Sometimes we feel like it. Sometimes we don’t, but that doesn’t change our mission or our responsibility.
You were made for connection. God wants to connect with you. You were made for connection with others. You can’t live out your life’s purpose without investing in relationships. God has given us so many ways that we can connect. You don’t have to do it like I do. You don’t have to do it like Jewell plans to, but you can’t follow Jesus without doing it. We exist to connect others to Christ.
Go make a connection for Jesus this week!