- He expects radical commitment and he never will shy away from demanding it from those who say they follow Him.
Here are just 2 examples:
**“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” -Matt 5:11-12
**”I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven” -Matt 5:44-45
- His preaching can be very confusing. Seriously. We have heard so many homilies, try imagining what would you would do if you heard this as a homily:
**”This generation is an evil generation; it asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so the Son of Man will be to this generation. The queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and see, something greater than Solomon is here! The people of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the proclamation of Jonah, and see, something greater than Jonah is here!” -Luke 11:29-32
- He focuses most of his time on a small number of His followers. While He preaches and teaches the crowds, He invests the majority of His time in a small group that is close to Him. He spends years guiding them, teaching them deeply, instructing them in Scriptures, challenging them to live holy lives, etc.
**“On their return the apostles told Jesus all they had done. He took them with him and withdrew privately to a city called Bethsaida” -Luke 9:10
**“Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray.” -Luke 9:28
- Jesus wouldn’t be found at church very often. He would be in the streets, talking to the lost, preaching the Gospel, curing the sick, and helping the poor. He might be seen around church a few times a week.
**“A scribe then approached and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”” -Matt 8:19-20
- He hangs out with rejects, the outcast, the loser, and the untouchable. In fact, He doesn’t just hang out with them, He seeks them out to bring them grace, love, and healing.
**”A leper came to him begging him, and kneeling he said to him, “If you choose, you can make me clean.” 41 Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I do choose. Be made clean!”” -Mark 1:40-41
- Jesus hates status quo. If you want to just maintain ‘the way it has always been done’ or the prevailing church culture, He won’t be happy about it.
**”Then he said to them all, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. “ -Luke 9:23
- He doesn’t care about image, success, money, or trends. He cares about faithfulness, charity, hope, grace, peace, generosity, humility, etc. and He wants you to care about those things too.
**“For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?” -Matt 16:24
- He would focus on holiness, discipleship, preaching the Good News, and evangelizing the lost, not a bunch of distracting churchy activity. My guess is most activities at your average parish would be cancelled and He would focus on truly forming disciples and evangelizing individuals in relational ministry and then training others to do the same.
**“When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” -Matt 28:17-20
- His continued demand that we serve the poor would become a nuisance to many. He valued the poor more than any other group of people. Our attitude, in our culture, is that our money is our own and we can do with it as we please. He reminds us all is from God and we have an obligation to help those in need.
**“”When you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”” -Luke 14:13-14
- Jesus is willing to die for the message He preaches and expects us to do the same. Most of us, of course, won’t have to die for being Christian, but we will have to learn to do the unpopular and difficult for Christ.
**”If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also. But they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.” -John 15:20-21
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