• Aubrey Shackelford

Can Jesus Relate to Being Wanted? Pt.2

Having the desire to be wanted and accepted by others is something everyone goes through. And as discussed in part 1, Jesus can relate to that as well. But let us continue on the subject by diving into another circumstance in which Jesus had requested silence ... or in this case, demanded.

"Why are you interfering with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are - the Holy One of God!"

- Mark 1:24, NLT

Have you ever had someone close to you, or maybe you currently do, that has a hard time keeping a secret? Well, let's talk hypothetically real quick, just as an example to understand where I'm coming from. Imagine that you told this friend something very personal about yourself, something that you know would influence people's perspective of you if this secret got out without your consent. This secret is close to your heart, only a few people who really know you get the privilege to know this aspect of who you are. Everyone else? Well, that makes you hesitant and anxious ... maybe even makes you have insecurities of being wanted by others ... being accepted by others. So, if this bad secret keeper just starts blurting out your secret for the whole world to hear, how would you feel? Would you start to worry that those who've heard will have preconceived notions about you? I know I would.

Now, this is not hypothetical. Jesus was on His way to Capernaum. On the Sabbath, He was teaching in the Synagogue; the people listening were entranced by the authority of His teaching. "Suddenly, a man in the synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, 'Why are you interfering with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are - the Holy One of God!'" (Mark 1:23-24, NLT). Now let's pause for a second. Demons, and this one in particular, knew who Jesus was. The demons Jesus encountered knew exactly who He was, the Messiah. And that fact about Him was something for people to discover for themselves, through communicating with Jesus and getting to know Him on a more personal level. No preconceived notions involved. So in this particular instance, the demon recognizing who Jesus was and yelling it for everyone in the synagogue to hear ... that's where His response is so important. "But Jesus reprimanded him. 'Be quiet! Come out of the man,' he ordered" (Mark 1:25, NLT). Now, I don't want you to overlook His demand for the demon to be quiet. That is an important instance to recognize because Jesus desired to be heard, wanted, and loved by those He encountered. Sharing a part of Himself the world had yet to learn about on a wide scale.

"They began screaming at him, 'Why are you interfering with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torture us before God's appointed time?'"
- Matthew 8:29, NLT

During another incident, when Jesus had arrived in the region of the Gardarenes, two demon-possessed men met Him. "They began screaming at him, 'Why are you interfering with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torture us before God's appointed time?'" (Matthew 8:29, NLT). An odd quote to favorite I know, but I love this interaction because it showcases just how much the demons knew about Jesus. Not only did they recognize that He is the Son of God, but they also tell us quite plainly that they know their future fate. "God's appointed time" ... that's not a small detail to overlook. Even the demons recognize that Christ has ultimate victory, that's huge! So huge that one can assume that information about the future was, and still is, something that Jesus want's people to learn by getting to know Him personally. Not hearing that truth from someone else, and a demon no less. Now, in this specific situation, Jesus did not demand the demons to be quiet, He cast them into a herd of pigs. But it still doesn't take away the relevance of Jesus having the desire of being wanted.

During Jesus' ministry, He had compassion on those who wanted Him ... and those who didn't. He even felt grief for the corrupt religious leaders trying to kill Him. He wanted everyone to know the truth about who He was if only they took the time to get to know Him and believe in Him. So even though this might be a far fetched example, Jesus did have the desire to be wanted. To have no preconceived notions and share His heart and life with others on His own terms. Just as we do.

So to wrap up this two-part series, these are just a few new perspectives to consider if you're struggling with feeling wanted. And knowing that your heavenly Father can relate to how you're feeling. Jesus wants you, every part of who you are. He wants and craves your attention and affection. He wants to know you - and does know you - more than anyone else. So friend, please take comfort in that. I am learning this as well, but even as I type this, accepting the truth that I am wanted by God and that He fully understands my desire to be wanted, that's comforting. What an amazing truth that is.

What Is Truth?

  • You are wanted and loved by God, more than anyone else.

  • Jesus knows what it's like to not want people having preconceived notions about you. But He knows you fully and is overjoyed that He gets the privilege to know parts of you that others don't.

Today's Scriptures: Matthew 8:28-34, Mark 1:21-26, NLT