Monday, August 24, 2009

How shall we live?

How Jesus lived His own life as a human shows how we are to live ours (John 16:25-28). In His own life, Jesus lived simply. He was deeply in love with everything and everyone living, from God down to the simplest creature. He was gentle and compassionate, especially to those who were ostracized by society (Mark 2:17). He never gave an appearance of self-righteousness, but had a genuine humility and meekness and an understanding of others (Girzone 1998).
It is revealing that Jesus chose a wedding party for the launch of His public ministry (John 2:1-11). The news of what he did probably spread like wildfire, alerting everyone in the surrounding area to His kindness and His remarkable gift to the bride and groom. Kindness seems to be the message that Jesus wanted to precede Him, to disarm people so that they would not fear Him. Everything about Jesus spoke of simplicity, being born in a stable, living an unknown existence, showing nothing out of the ordinary except when some need called forth His extraordinary power to heal or to comfort.
It did not take long before this simple preacher aroused the hostility of the religious leaders. It is very strange how they could feel so threatened by a Person who preached only the highest of ideals and spent His days comforting and healing, and His nights in prayer. Jesus, however, did not allow Himself to become obsessed with their criticisms and harassment (Mark 12:13-17). He concerned Himself with relationships, with His Father and with the people. Jesus said to love one another (John 15:9-17). He also said that the kingdom of God is here! We are called to live in God's kingdom now. Why does Christ's teaching seem so confusing? It is confusing because His message was not merely aimed at conveying information. It sought to precipitate something more important: the spiritual transformation of the hearers (Dwyer 1999). Transformation comes about through relationship. God's actions came about due to a desire to be in relationship. God loves us and wants to be in relationship with us. What a blessed thing!

"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

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