Let me begin by saying that in almost every imaginable way I could not have been given a more suitable chapter to discuss. My heart has survived this same radical surgery that Mark delineates. In many ways it is a surgery that continues and needs to continue happening as we continue to pursue Jesus. Truly it is the only thing that will radically change a deeply messed up world… a new heart.
Growing up in an ultra-conservative brand of Christianity I quickly learned an us verses them mentality. This extended far beyond theological discussions. It leaked into every part of life. That’s what the heart is meant to do. It is also the beauty of what Batterson challenges us with here. This radical, surgical re-imaging will affect every quadrant of our oft-miserable lives. It will foster in us a deep sense of community as humans even when we likely have little else in common. It will cause us to – I don’t know – feed 5,000+… not to give them a sermon, but to give them what they need ahead of giving them what they don’t even know they need most.
All said, I think Mark again draws our attention away from external behaviors and to (pardon the pun) the heart of the matter.
In that same direction, I think he pulls up a little short in telling us how to get there. I do not think it comes from merely following an emotional moment. Or deciding to make a difference despite the odds… it may include good things like those. But I speak as one with a changing heart, that this type of transplant occurs only One way, and perhaps Mark is assuming this part. The only way to a new heart is that the Savior Surgeon removes your old one – often through great pain – and gives you this new, life-giving organ that you can never fully explain. Praise be to God for His unspeakable gift!
3 thoughts on “The Tribe of the Transplanted”
I find this one hard. Not because I am not compassionate, but because I find it hard to believe that such a small contribution can make a difference. I suppose that that may be the topic of the next chapter: drop in the bucket.
the one other thing that stands out is that sometimes the choice to get a ‘Heart’ transplant is sometimes cold hearted. Or maybe that God puts a seed in that heart that sends a message to brain “wake up”
I loved the metaphor that was laid out in this chapter. The new heart should give us a new outlook on life and others, but most importantly, we should have a new outlook on who God is. All that he has done.
Before we were His, we already knew who He was, but our foolish hearts ignored it. But now that we know who He is and what He did for us, we should be impelled to give all our heart for Him.
I know too many christians though (and I am at times am one of them) that seem to struggle with the old cravings and urges of the flesh. We get back into the rut of the flesh and forget that we should be set apart for Him.
Looking forward to the next few chapters. I expect that is where we’re going. I agree, it felt like it came up short.
The part of this chapter that really spoke to me was the idea of not just acting like a Christian, but reacting like one. While I think that compassion may be one way to react as God would want you to– I think that it is so important to be in the Bible and in relationship with Him on a regular basis (which may be implied in this chapter and I missed it) so that your heart will be completely inline with God’s heart when attacks and insults come your way. When we are in true relationship with Jesus, then all that comes out of us should be of God. If it needs to be compassion, then great, but if it needs to be something else, then that should come as well.
I like to use the visual of a marinating steak for this. If you have a steak that is marinating in something really wonderful then when you finally cook it and sear in the flavor it will be amazing and flow with the best juices when you cut into it, but if a steak is marinating in something rancid then when it’s cut into it’s going to leak out some putrid stuff. We have to be very intentional about what we let our hearts “soak in”.