I just read a fun and insightful little post from Pastor Toby Sumpter. He touches on various issues surrounding finitude, sound bites, Jesus, and Twitter. I recommend you give it a read.
As I’ve been preaching through Mark in our services in Scappoose, OR, I’ve been taken aback by how controversial Jesus’ early ministry was. From the stuff that’s fairly obvious to the casual reader (say, casting our screaming demons who know him by name) to a handful of things that don’t quite jump off the page at us. For example, Jesus touched a woman what wasn’t family (Peter’s mother-in-law), who might well have been unclean, he healed on the Sabbath, and he even made physical contact with a leper to heal him. These actions (all of them recorded before we even hit the second chapter!) really are quite scandalous by the standards of Jesus’ day.
While Jesus (like John before him) was anything but a stuffed-shirt preacher, he wasn’t controversial just for the sake of being so. He wasn’t edgy just to be cool. The scandal in Jesus’ ministry was tied in with the fact that he opposed the traditions of men. Not just any traditions, but the ones that needed to be KO’d. Many of these traditions were chewing up and spitting out God’s people, and Jesus came out swingin’. That sort of bold truth-telling will always be controversial. Humans are apt to build traditions; these aren’t necessarily bad. In fact, they can be quite good. But when they run counter to God’s law, but especially when they’re used to strangle God’s people, they need to be exposed and destroyed. That is and always will be controversial work, which work will always be violently opposed by those sons of hell who prefer the traditions of men to the Word of God.