Jesus, Most Dependent Human Being Ever
As I continue to read through A Praying Life, I find myself pausing, repenting, rejoicing, deepening in prayer. In the chapter “Spending Time with Your Father”, Miller makes the point that Jesus acted like a child. Whenever asked about his Father, his comments were laced with affectionate dependency and admiration. Was this Jesus just “saying the spiritual thing, the right thing”? After all, he is Jesus; isn’t he powerful enough to do all the miracles on his own, to fulfill his calling on his own?
Miller asserts that “Jesus was the most dependent human being who ever lived.” Why? Because his entire sense of self is not self-reliant, self-centered. Rather, Jesus is because the Father and the Spirit are.
Unlike us, “Jesus has no separate sense of self, he has no identity crisis, no angst. Consequently, he doesn’t try to ‘find himself’. He knows himself only in relationship with his Father. He can’t conceive of himself outside of that relationship.
Here we have a very practical unpacking of perichoresis. Prayer was a constant expression of his identity as Jesus-in-relationship-with-the-Father. There is no other Jesus. Our trouble is that we have a self that is created out of relationship with the Father, a sinful, self-reliant not God-reliant self. Prayer returns us to our proper place of self, restores our identity as Jonathan-in-relationship-with-Father-Son-Spirit. Prayer reminds us of who we really are, where we find our identity, where we are most loved and best fathered. We spend time alone with God in prayer, not because it is a Christian duty, but because he is our father, because we love him, and we spend time alone with those we love most. We pray because we live with Him.