Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

So, there I am, in my office (the Starbucks of St. Helens, OR, USA) minding my own business (by which I mean that of everyone around me), and I end up in a conversation with a cute little girl (probably about 7 years old). She’s all dressed up, lookin’ pretty, and she’s flanked by a small crowd of nicely dressed women (and a similarly dressed little boy of about 8 years of age). Okay, so there I am, talking to this little one. I asked her why she was dressed up so nicely. She said (with some help from the little boy and an older girl, probably 16, behind her) that they were off to share the good news with people. Somewhat surprised, I said, “Oh! Good! I believe the Good News that Jesus died on the cross to save sinners. Is that the Good News you’re telling people?” Then retorts the little sweetie, “Well, Jesus didn’t die on a cross; he died on a wooden stake.” This, of course, zeroed me in on the fact that they were not preaching the Good News, at all. Anyhoo, the boy pipes up and says, “The Bible says that it wasn’t a cross, but a stake.” So, I reply: “I bet you’re reading the New World Translation, aren’t you?” He nods.

Okay, so from there, I ask the threesome in front of me: “So, how is it that one can get to heaven?” Again, the boy pipes up and says, “By serving Jehovah.” I reply, “Isn’t it because Jesus died for your sins?!” “Oh, yeah.” That speaks for itself. But the JWs are not alone in propounding this particular soul-damning error. They are renowned, however, for the following one. (more…)


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So, it turns out that I do have some time to burn today, sitting here in the waiting room. They have free Wi-Fi, so I can go ahead and post a thought or two. Disclaimer: I’m working on about 90 mins of sleep, so the caliber may not be up to my regular 44 mag. BOOM, baby!

A - N - G - R - Y

When I was reading Jesus this morning, I was struck with the notion of how absurd it is that people hate him. I’m aware he taught more than what’s below, and that he taught some very hard things. The passage below, however, is from one of his most renowned teachings, from the Sermon on the Mount in Luke 6:

But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

Now, that teaching can be summarized in saying, “Be like God; Love the un-lovable. Give, serve, and pour yourself out for other people in service to God.” Now THAT is some hateful stuff!

Here’s the rub: People don’t hate Jesus, by and large, because of what he taught. People hate Jesus because he unveils their abject inability to live how they know they’re supposed to live. He does this both through his teaching and through his life. He, after all, was faithful even to death. He was willing to make himself a curse so that we, the cursed of God, should enter into blessing. He DID what he preached. We do not. Thus, we find Jesus hate-worthy not because he is, but because we are.

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