Summary: It is not enough to be curious about Christ, keeping your distance or living in the world unequipped. If you are merely curious, come closer and you will grow and mature.
We have a new puppy at our house. She’s about 11 weeks old. And is she ever curious! She is curious about everything. There is nothing that escapes her attention, and nothing that does not interest her. She has to sniff at the house plants; she pulls at the towels; she tugs at the bedspread corners; she hauls away my shoes. Thanks to this curious puppy, who just has to investigate and play with absolutely everything, the house is strewn with everything from magazines to pantyhose. We have a curious puppy.
Incidentally, our having a new puppy bothers me. It worries me. You see, when I asked my wife and daughter why they went out and bought a new dog, when we have a perfectly comfortable, slow, quiet, non-curious old dog, they said, the old dog is getting older and may not be with us much longer. And so we thought we’d go and get a replacement now, before the inevitable happens. You know, when it’s your wife that says that ... and you’ve had a few birthdays ... you sort of begin to wonder who else is going to be replaced!
But our puppy is curious. She explores everything. Now curiosity may be fine for puppies, but it loses its magic for old dogs. And it’s not enough for people either. Curiosity is not enough because it gives you only the illusion of an experience, but it’s not the real thing. Curiosity is not enough because if you have nothing more than curiosity about something, you never really understand it. You just think you do.
Imagine a little child, all dressed up in a pretty pink bathing suit, teetering on the edge of a swimming pool. She is curious about what it is like to swim. She is curious enough to go to the pool and to walk right up to the edge and stick her big toe in the water. She stands there and watches the other children paddling. She sees how some of them do backstrokes and some do breaststrokes and some no anything-to-keep-afloat strokes. She is curious enough to watch everybody else swimming. But she never gets beyond putting her toe in the water. Now does she really know what swimming is like? No. Curiosity is not enough. It is going to take something more.
You drop in at the automobile showroom. The new models are out, advertised, just as they were last year, as all new from the wheels up. You are curious to see what gadgetry and gimmickry they have loaded on this time around. And so you walk around, you sniff the new car smell, you kick the tires, you lift the hood and look underneath, although you have no idea what you are looking at. You even run your finger down the list on the sticker, pretending you are not suffering from sticker shock. The salesman comes over and smiles and says, "What can I do to get you in this car today? Would you like to test drive one just like it?” And then do you say, "Oh, no. I was just curious. I’ve got the feel of it. I’ve got the idea. I know how it handles." Do you know what it feels like to drive this car? Do you know how it handles? No. Curiosity is not enough. It is going to take something more.
In the Scripture there is a little vignette about a young man who was just curious. Curious about Christ. It’s really a funny story, when you stop to think about it. But it appears at a deadly serious time. This little footnote may have something to teach us about why curiosity is not enough.
Mark 14:43-52 Repeat 51-52
This amusing little word picture teaches us something. It teaches us that curiosity isn’t enough when you really want and need a relationship. Curiosity is no substitute for a real relationship. And curiosity about Christ isn’t enough for your spiritual needs. The only thing that will satisfy is a relationship with Him.
"A certain young man ... “ Who is he? Has he no name? His very anonymity suggests the distance he put between himself and Christ.
And more than that, the text says that in the midst of all this confusion, while Jesus was being arrested, and while great drama was being played out, this certain young man "was following [Christ]." That is, following at a distance. Keeping a safe space. Avoiding involvement, avoiding interaction.
A lot of us are like that. We are curious about Christ. We will follow Him at a distance. We will come to church and worship in the anonymity of the crowd, but we prefer not to get too close. We are curious about Christ, and we think that if we just stay on the edges of the Christian faith, if we stay on the periphery of the life of the church, that’ll be enough. We’ll find out enough to satisfy. But we don’t make a commitment to a relationship. However, curiosity is not enough.