Sunday, October 24, 2010

What Would Jesus Do? Part 2

The obvious response to this question, is “What DID He do?”  The gospels contain many accounts of what he did, how he preached to the masses, healed the sick, raised the dead, and freed demoniacs from oppression.  This is the aspect of the Master which we all cherish in our memories.  These accounts seem to trump all the others and stand out in our recollection.  And yet there are other chronicled, ones less popular, or perhaps harder to receive or understand.

How many times have we heard this old axiom, “Jesus came preaching love and acceptance.”?  It is usually bandied about by someone who is attempting to browbeat others into accepting their own bad behavior…   While true that the Gospel is an open invitation to all, Jesus had much, much more to say about other topics than simply love and acceptance.  If you read through the gospels, you will find that he taught principally on the Kingdom of Heaven;  What it is like unto, how to participate in, how to receive, and presented examples of the types of people who would inherit it.

Conversely, He pointed out the contrasts between what He, versus what the religious/political leadership of the day was teaching.  He was compassionate to the needy, and those seeking Him, while cutting and scornful of the hypocritical cadre of religious rulers.  On many occasions, He was none too gentle with them.  There were also times when his response to His own disciples obtuseness, or lack of faith, seemed a bit terse.  Many Christians become offended by far less spoken by their own pastors, and leave churches, or start church fights.  Someone recently said that Jesus is not seeking converts, But He is seeking disciples.  I believe this is true, followers who don’t quit when the going gets tough, or when they get their iddy biddy feelings ruffled.

I know this presents a view of Him that tends to make some uncomfortable.  Then there is the sermon on the mount!  You can’t read through it without finding some place to squirm…  Yet, He is the very image of the heart of God.  Since we know that God is Love, then we have to accept that any and all of Jesus’ actions and words were spoken and done in love.

Some would tend to view these things as self contradictory.  I prefer to think of them as paradoxes.  Contradictions have no resolution, while paradoxes can usually be resolved.  As we progress through this series of meditations, we will be examining some of these, teasing them apart for further in depth examination, in order to better know our Lord.

Then when asked, ‘What would Jesus do?’, We will know, and we will be able to give a better answer.
Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What Would Jesus Do? Part 1 [Introduction]

It’s a fair question, perhaps the most important question.  If we apply it correctly, of course.  I remember when the fad started.  It was everywhere; T-shirts, bracelets, hats, coffee mugs, you name it.  It was intended to be a poignant reminder of how we as Christians ought to act.  Then some slick marketers caught the wave and no doubt made small fortunes.  Eh, that’s OK I suppose.  I’m not adverse to free enterprise, but the problem I have is with the aftermath.  What happens after all the hype has died?  Are we still seeking to follow in the Master’s footsteps, or has WWJD just become a catch phrase to chide someone who has rubbed us wrong?

It was a valid question a decade or more ago, and is still a valid one today.  What would Jesus do?  I hear that phrase bandied about, but do we really know what He would do?  That will be the topic of this particular series of posts.  I don’t claim to know everything there is to know about Him, but I do know a lot, and am learning more every day.  The ONLY way to be able to answer this persistent question is to go to the leading authority, the Bible. 

In this series we will explore, well- what He did.  But more than that we will take a look at what He did not do.  There are a lot of common misconceptions surrounding what people think He was about.  We will also take a look at what He will do, what the prophets had to say concerning Him.  In order to answer the question, we must accept Him, the whole package, not just the parts that suit our agenda at the time.

I have been confronted with this question several times recently.  In some instances, it was aimed at me sort of like a weapon.  Yet, the more I considered this, the more excited I have become, in my meditations of it.  There are many aspects that must be taken into account.  Many concepts that he either reinforced, or conceived.  So, this series is born.  I don’t know at this time how long it will run.  I will work it until the Holy Spirit says I am done.  In the meantime, explore with me, won’t you?