Thursday, January 4, 2018
The past two weeks as I have been reading the gospel of Luke, I am mindful that Jesus never really asked the people to do the “right” thing or what is expected in life, but what is unexpected and above what is simply “right”. For example, He does not tell them to love their friends, but to love their enemies; He does not tell them to give the other guy a second chance, but 70x7 second chances! He taught His listeners that people of His Kingdom would not be vengeful, would not demand their rights, would not look after their own needs first, would not be focused on money or possessions, would consider their “mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters” to be those that did the will of God, etc.
Jesus’ teaching was neither common or self-sustaining! If you live like Jesus taught, people will take advantage of you, you could end up destitute, you will never defend yourself, you will won’t see people as the really are (but rather how God has hoped they would be), and so forth. In short, you will live a life that’s full of scarcity and self-inflicted abuse——or perhaps not. Perhaps, if Jesus is who He says He is, He will become your “all in all”, your defender, your redeemer, your supplier and your focus throughout the day. If you live the life He taught you will come to see that He is in fact quite able to care for all your needs and give you far more than you ever hoped for or imagined.
Yes, what He taught is not common and quite frankly not often followed—even by those of us who profess to be “followers or Jesus Christ”. But like Saint Francis of Assisi, I for one believe that what He taught can be lived, if we but give up our struggle to be noticed, admired, respected, secure and “common”; and instead determine to be surrendered, forgotten, despised, vulnerable and “uncommon”.
You know a tree by the fruit it bears—-those are Jesus’ word. People should know, by the manner in which I speak, respond, react and order my life that I am His. Is that the case?
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