Friday, November 5, 2010

What Would Jesus Do? Part 3

What DID Jesus do?

Well, there is the thirty-four dollar question.  The Bible has much to say about what He did, what He said, how He acted, who He was.  It’s amazing to me how many different ideas there are out there about who Jesus is and what He did.  Actually the entirety of the Bible is about Him.  The Old Testament foretells of Him, the New Testament gives an account of His life on Earth, as well as expounds His teachings.  It also tells of Jesus in an aspect not seen in His previous advent.  This is a very deep well to plumb and would be well beyond the scope of this blog to simply sum up the life and nature of The Master.

Yet, there are all the things we have come to know and love about Him.  Chief among them was His heroic sacrifice of atonement for our sins.  There are also the accounts of His compassion on the masses, healing, delivering from demonic oppression, even feeding them.  He is our Savior, our elder Brother, our friend, our Kinsman Redeemer, our Avenger of Blood.

The Witnesses

The best way to get to know someone whom you have never met eyeball to eyeball, is to investigate accounts of those who actually did spend time in His company.  In our New Testament, we have four: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  According to Old Testament law, truth is established in at least two witnesses.  We have twice as many as is required.  We might consider a fifth if we include the Apostle Paul, although his witness of Jesus is primarily post-conversion.

Matthew was also known as Levi, a tax collector.  Likely not a very well liked guy, yet the Master chose him as a disciple.  It is thought that his account is more than likely the most verbatim of the Gospels, due to his training in clerical skills.  He knew shorthand and could take dictation very rapidly.  He was very Jewish, and as such his account majored on Jesus’ lineage and His right to rule.  He also majored on the Messianic prophecies that Jesus fulfilled.

Mark, also called John Mark was among the disciples, though he is not recorded until the book of Acts as a travelling companion to Paul and Barnabas.  He is believed to have penned the Apostle Peter’s account of the Gospel.  It is a book that is bold and to the point, much like we see Peter portrayed elsewhere in scripture.

Not much is known of Luke, other than he was among those who traveled with Jesus.  He wrote his own account of the life and times of our Lord, then wrote a history of the early Church, in the Acts Of The Apostles.  He was a physician, and as such had care and compassion for the suffering.  He recorded the kind, compassion aspects of Jesus, portraying Him as the Son of man.

John’s portrait of Christ is bold, declaring Him as the very Word of God.  This vignette shows Jesus in all His glory and power as He ministered on the Earth.  Yet, love is a very strong theme of this writing.  John also wrote three epistles (letters), and the Apocalypse, or Revelation.  We will examine this in more depth in another post.

These all recorded the life and ministry of Jesus, by divine inspiration.  But they also had their own unique perspectives.  Many of the specifics are recorded by at least three of the Gospels.  It would be a good idea to do a comparative study of them.  Alternatively, one could find a good outline harmony of the Gospels and attempt to read them in chronological order.  At any rate, the gospels, along with the book of Acts should be studied as a whole in order to get to the depths we are attempting to plumb.

What He Did

This can be best summed up in the following passage:

How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. (Act 10:38 KJV)

  • He was anointed of the Holy Ghost. (This was before Acts Chapter 2)
  • He was anointed with power
  • He went about (He was pro-active)
  • He did good
  • He healed ALL (Not just those who were ‘deserving’ or who He ‘chose’ to. ALL)
  • He freed the people from demonic possession, oppression, and bondage.

Aside from his mission to redeem mankind from sin, this was His principal mission.  This is a pretty good template to follow for those who would Do What Jesus Did.

The Myths

Time to kick over some sacred cows. 

There are a lot of misconceptions out and about concerning the personage of Jesus.  There is one sect that calls itself Christian, yet relegates Him to the ranks of angels, denying His Godhood.  This very seriously breaches many passages of scripture that clearly place Him in the Godhead.  Don’t be fooled by these pseudo-Christian doctrines.  The Bible calls them doctrines of devils.

Astoundingly, many of the world’s major religions venerate Jesus, but only as a very wise man, or a great prophet.  He was both of these things, yet He was more.  A wise sage, or a great oracle cannot atone for the sins of the world.  He did so, and arose having defeated even death itself.  He ascended into Heaven and is still alive to this day, sitting in the council of God Himself!

There are some who espouse the ideology that Jesus came preaching ‘love and acceptance’.  Generally speaking, it has been my experience that this is the mantra of someone who is trying very hard to rationalize poor and irresponsible (anti-scriptural) behavior.  While Jesus is the embodiment of love, and his invitation to salvation is universal,  The subject of most of His messages were about neither.  Upon closer examination of the Witnesses, you will discover that He preached primarily of the Kingdom Of God.  This is another huge subject to tackle, and may be the subject of another blog series.  But the main point of all this, is that He laid out principles in all of His teachings of how we as disciples are to behave within the Kingdom.  He offered grace, but not the greasy-grace that seems to be associated with the aforementioned statement.

He spoke the truth, in love. (Eph 4:15)  Many received His teachings with gladness of heart.  Others chafed at His words.  Yet the message remained the same.  He was not ‘seeker-sensitive’.  He loved the people far too much to teach them half truths.  Many of the religious ruling class were offended at His words, but some of them, after reconsideration came to Him.  He received them, but His was not a message of compromise.

Our Example

He is the model of what we are to aspire to.  Some might find this a bit too lofty a goal, or may even be a bit put off that we should actually emulate Him.  But this is what He requires of us:

It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord.  (Mat 10:25a KJV)

And this:

Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. (John 20:21 KJV)

In light of this, WWJD takes on a far bigger aspect than the fad that came around in the ‘90’s.  It becomes a golden standard to live by.  It also places the responsibility squarely upon our shoulders to find out what He is all about and behave accordingly.  It’s a sobering thought.  How are we measuring up?  Need some work?  It can seem a daunting task, but He would never require it of us if it were not attainable. 

Let’s all make this our life’s mission, shall we? To be more like Him.

No comments:

Post a Comment