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The Comfort Zone
by Katie Borden
Y’all, I confess: I really love that ‘90s television show Friends. I can probably quote every single episode in some way, shape, or form. I work Friends references into everyday conversation. I will challenge just about any person alive to a game of Friends trivia, and I’m not too proud to say that I will probably win.
Thanks in large part to Friends, the term “friend zone” is now in wide usage throughout our society. And while that specific term has nothing to do with our text, I wonder if we might be able to apply an adapted version of that type of thinking to today’s reading as we wrestle with this question: might we be relegating Jesus to the “comfort zone” of our lives? In other words, have we “comfort-zoned” Jesus?
Enter today’s text from Luke 4. Jesus is actively healing and restoring people in miraculous ways—so much so that they come looking for him at practically all hours of the day. And he heals people at all hours of the day. But when they try to keep him from leaving Capernaum, Jesus refuses to stay. He refuses to let their “comfort zone” dictate his work.
I wonder if you’ll wonder with me:
I wonder if the people of Capernaum already have set in their minds how Jesus should act, and if they have already decided how comfortable they should be able to remain? After all, there are real people in need of real healing in Capernaum. It sure would make sense to me that they would want him to stay.
I wonder if we do the same thing that the people of Capernaum did? I wonder if we have already decided in our own minds what Jesus’ mission should be? I wonder if we are begging Jesus to stay right where he is in our lives so that we can keep him in our comfort zone?
I wonder if Jesus refuses to stay in our comfort zones, just like he refused to stay in Capernaum? I wonder if Jesus sees the greater purpose for his mission than first-century people did? I wonder if Jesus sees the greater purpose for his mission than you or I do?
As we begin the season of Lent today, I’m asking Jesus to put to death my “comfortable,” limited ideas of who he is and how he should operate in my life, and I’m asking him to birth within me a fuller vision of his identity and mission (and my identity and mission as a result). I’m pretty sure it’s going to be uncomfortable for me, but I’m absolutely positive that it will be GOOD.
I wonder if you’ll consider doing the same?
Spend some time asking the Lord to show you where in your life he wants to bring you newness of life in Jesus. Consider journaling about it, then thank him that he will work his good work in you this Lenten season.