Making Room for Jesus || Joshua Becker

Posted on December 21st, by Joshua Becker in Heart. 7 comments

Making Room for Jesus || Joshua Becker

“Our inventions are only pretty toys which distract our attention from serious things.” – Henry David Thoreau

I often wonder if we fail to fully appreciate the role and importance of John the Baptist. After all, it was his birth announcement that ended 400 years of prophetic silence. Both John and his mom play a central role in the Christmas story. And his ministry is uniquely intertwined with the ministry of Jesus.

He was anointed specifically to “go before the Messiah… to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” His role was to prepare the hearts of the people for the coming Kingdom. And his words hold direct application for anyone who desires to fully enter it today.

Luke recounts in great detail the story and message of John the Baptist. Again, it was prophesied that he would come to “prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him.” And as he began, those who looked forward to this coming salvation asked him a very specific question:

“What should we do then?” the crowd asked.

John answered, “Anyone who has two tunics should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”

Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?” He told them, “Don’t collect any more than you are required to.”

Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?” He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.” – Luke 3:10-14

I am struck by the exactness of John’s response—there were no vague generalities. When asked how to prepare for the Messiah’s coming, John the Baptist turns specifically (and almost entirely) to physical possessions. He tells the people to give away their excess tunics, the tax collectors to not collect more taxes than necessary, and the soldiers to be content with their pay.

This always seemed oddly specific to me… until I began actually removing the excess possessions from my life on a personal journey towards minimalism.

When I did, I discovered a humbling truth: The things I owned consumed far more of my finite resources (money, time, energy, attention, thoughts) than I ever realized. When they were removed, I immediately discovered more time, money, and energy in my life. As a result, I discovered far more heart capacity to pursue things of lasting and eternal worth.

This, I believe, is the important truth contained in John’s specific exhortation. He called us to remove excess possessions from our life and our affections. But more than that, it was a call to make room for Jesus. It was an exhortation to remove distractions. And it was an invitation to center our heart’s attention on a greater kingdom than can ever be found in this world.


Joshua Becker Joshua writes regularly on his blog, Becoming Minimalist, where he inspires others to find more life by owning fewer possessions. He is also the author of Simplify and Living with Less: An Unexpected Key to Happiness.
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7 Responses to “Making Room for Jesus || Joshua Becker”

  1. Julie Graff says:

    So well said!

  2. Geknn says:

    What a great message. Reminds me of your post titled “An Overdue Plea to Reframe the Conversation”. A minimalist lifestyle is not a sacrifice Jesus asks us to make, but guidance from Him on a better way to live our lives. I guess John the Baptist knew that too.

  3. Kieron from Aus says:

    Thank you Joshua. 2012 has been a big year for me; children getting married, turning the big 50 and finding what I have been searching for… Minimalism. I finally have rid my self and our home of the distractions that left me less time for my Lord. Even working full time ( through necessity not want) I have had the best year of freedom to worship, listen and respond that I have ever had. I also found your website, which has been a constant source of encouragement. thank you and may The Lord bless your family and ministry. Kerin and family Australia

  4. […] holistic, gracious and Jesus-focused. I hope you read them again, or for the first time. 1. Making Room for Jesus by Joshua Becker 2. Lament by Pete Tegeler 3. The Gospel and Election Day by Justin […]

  5. Anonymous says:

    I love this picture. Does it have a copyright or can I use in on my church’s website?

  6. Steffi says:

    If inritmafoon were soccer, this would be a goooooal!

  7. BTW, has Obama ever marched for Blacks? NO, NEVER!!!Incidentally, during the sixties, there were far more Blacks who DIDN'T MARCH than those who did. So, don't try to lay that MLK Civil Rights bs on Cain. You only show your ignorance of those days. Many Blacks were against King, althought today it's surprising that you can't find any today.:))))

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