For the Joy Set Before Him

The Steves have a fragment of my favorite Bible verse stuck on a wall in their bathroom.

Hebrews 12:2.  Let us fix our eyes upon Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…

That’s it.  That’s all there is on their sign.

But it isn’t all.  And, in my opinion, it skips the best part.

The full text is:

Let us fix our eyes upon Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith who, for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning it’s shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  [Emphasis mine.]

For the joy set before him.

That’s us.

That’s me.

I don’t understand this.

Tomorrow, I get to hang out with the Steves.  The strange thing is, they seem to like it.  They actually love me, and I can’t think of one reason why they should.  It shatters me.  It is a defining note of my reality.

I just don’t get how it’s possible to enjoy my presence.

And yet, not only do the Steves prove it is true, this verse says it is true — and says that God was willing to subject himself to the ultimate torture and humiliation because hanging out with me brings him joy.

That’s why the second half of the verse is my favorite.  I can sing “Jesus loves me” all day, and it’s just a religious phrase.  Something I know.  But the truth… that what “Jesus loves me” means is Jesus actually likes having me around — just because I’m me — is mind-boggling for me.

But it’s true.