Lately I’ve been writing about how we can use the metaphor of the copper pipe to avoid passing judgment on others, as Jesus instructed us in the Gospel of John. Here’s the bottom line. Every human being, in their flesh, is a copper pipe. As such, we cannot change. We can’t change ourselves any more than a copper pipe can be anything but a copper pipe. But we can be changed. We can be changed the same way a copper pipe can be changed. A copper pipe can heat up when hot water flows through it. Hot water can change us. So if you want to change, you need hot water. And the hot water comes from Jesus.
Jesus was God Incarnate, but that doesn’t mean He was just a copper pipe like the rest of us. Jesus was the whole thing. He was the copper pipe and the hot water. In fact, He was instant hot, a hot water pipe that’s hot all the time. He was always perfect.
You know what else? He knew He was going to die. He knew that if we could accept Him for who He is, and let the Spirit of God run through us, then we could change. And that’s why He said, “I am what you need me to be. I am God, I am everything, I am the great I Am.”
That’s why I think sinners followed Jesus. He hung out with sinners everywhere. That’s all He hung out with! He loved them! He loved on them because He saw them as copper pipes. He knew they were in the flesh. He knew they had nothing going for them. But He didn’t say, “You’re a bad person to be around, because you’re angry or you’re jealous or you used a cuss word, so I’ll never hang around you.” No! That is not what He said. Jesus looked at a sinner and said, “I created this copper pipe standing in front of me. I know the issues they’re having. I know their struggles.” And He loved on them.
And I think that as the church, we have to try a lot harder to love like Jesus. We have to get to the point where we can look at outsiders, outside the faith looking in, and love on them. We have to stop looking at them in judgment. We have to stop saying to them, “Well, you don’t go to church, so you must not be a Christian.” We have to stop saying, “You don’t believe in Jesus, so you’re not as good as me.”
Just remember this simple fact: without Christ, without the hot water, you will never change. Anyone you feel like judging is just like you, a copper pipe. The only thing that makes you different is Jesus. Jesus is the one that changes you. Without Him, you’re still just the same copper pipe.
We can look at people and say, “You know what? The reality of it is, if I didn’t have Jesus, I would be exactly like you. I am exactly like you. I still make the same mistakes you make. I just have the ability now to access the hot water.” When we access the hot water, we can say, “I choose not to do those things, because in Christ I can be different. In Christ, I can change.”
If we can remember that, then we can love more like Jesus. More on this next week. See you Monday.