Sunday, May 26, 2013

Disciples & Servants.12

"You call me master and teacher. If I, then, am willing to be your most humble servant, should not you be willing to serve one another as well? I have lived my life as an example before you. Imitate me, and do the same to others as I have done for you." 


It is truly remarkable how many people think they know What Jesus Would Do.  What car
he'd buy, what cause he'd promote, who he'd vote for.  And to prove it, they'll show you their colorful wrist band...

In fact, the Jesus Seminar, consisting of a group of "theologians" used colored beads to "vote" on biblical passages they thought were most like the true Jesus. Sadly, not only was Jesus not invited, but was reduced to a venerable but harmless "teacher" who did little but advocate for social justice ensuring all people would be treated "fairly".

Consider this statement by MacDonald:

How have we learned Christ? It ought to be a startling thought, that we may have learned him wrong. That must be far worse than not to have learned him at all: his place is occupied by a false Christ, hard to exorcise!
The point is, whether we have learned Christ as he taught himself, or as men have taught him who thought they understood, but did not understand him. Do we think we know him—with notions fleshly, after low, mean human fancies and explanations, or do we indeed know him—after the spirit, in our measure as God knows him?...Is only our brain full of things concerning him, or does he dwell himself in our hearts, a learnt, and ever being learnt lesson, the power of our life?
Whatever be your opinions on the greatest of all subjects,
  • Is it well that the impression made upon your generation with regard to Christianity , should be that of your opinions, and not of something greater than opinion?
  • Is Christianity capable of being represented by opinion, even the best?
  • If it were, how many of us are such as God would choose to represent his thoughts and intents by our opinions concerning them?
  • Who is there of his friends whom any thoughtful man would appoint to represent his thoughts to his fellows? 
 ...To hold a thing with the intellect, is not to believe it. A man's real belief is that which he lives by; and that which the man I mean lives by, is the love of God, and obedience to his law, so far as he has recognized it. ... he acts and lives in a measure like the true God. What a man believes, is the thing he does. This man would shrink with loathing from actions such as he thinks, or has been taught, God justified in doing; but like God, he loves and helps and saves.
What have you done this day because it was the will of Christ?
  • Have you dismissed, once dismissed, an anxious thought for the morrow?
  • Have you ministered to any needy soul or body, and kept your right hand from knowing what your left hand did?
  • Have you begun to leave all and follow him?
  • Did you set yourself to judge righteous judgment?
  • Are you being wary of covetousness?
  • Have you forgiven your enemy?
  • Are you seeking the kingdom of God and his righteousness before all other things?
  • Are you hungering and thirsting after righteousness?
  • Have you given to some one that asked of you?
Tell me something that you have done, are doing, or are trying to do because Jesus told you. If you do nothing that he says, it is no wonder that you cannot trust in him, and are therefore driven to seek refuge in the atonement, as if something he had done, and not he himself in his doing were the atonement.
That is not as you understand it? What does it matter how you understand, or what you understand, so long as you are not of one mind with the Truth, so long as you and God are not at one, do not atone together? How should you understand? Knowing that you do not heed his word, why should I heed your explanation of it?
You do not his will, and so you cannot understand him; you do not know him, that is why you cannot trust in him. You think your common sense enough to let you know what he means? Your common sense ought to be enough to know itself unequal to the task. It is the heart of the child that alone can understand the Father. Would you have me think you guilty of the sin against the Holy Ghost—that you understand Jesus Christ and yet will not obey him? That were too dreadful. I believe you do not understand him. No man can do yet what he tells him aright—but are you trying?
Obedience is not perfection,
but trying. 
(from The Truth In Jesus, Unspoken Sermons II, by George MacDonald)