One of the things about Jesus is that he didn’t beat around the bush. He wasn’t afraid to be controversial.
He told people how it was, regardless of whether what he said was hard to accept or not. And he was only too aware that what he said would be hard, and that in the end he would become increasingly unpopular, particularly with those who had much to lose. Indeed, he knew that those in authority would become hostile to him, and they would want him removed, and removed permanently.
But regardless of that, Jesus didn’t waiver in what he had to say; he didn’t make his message more palatable at all. And he continued to press home what it truly meant to have a relationship with God and the cost that someone would have to pay to be a genuine believer.
Now, of course, what Jesus said has been recorded and passed down through the centuries, and we can still read passages like this one from Luke. However, that leaves us with two dilemmas:
And the first is, that if our personal focus is not directed primarily on Jesus, with all other things taking a minor role, then we really haven’t understood what Jesus was about at all.
And the second thing is, that if our churches aren’t focused on Jesus, his kingdom, supporting one another, and being upfront about what Jesus said, then they really haven’t understood what churches are supposed to be about either.
Jesus’s call in his own day was radical and total, and yet nothing over the last two thousand years has done anything to change that. Our focus is still supposed to be directed at Jesus, because without that sort of focus we’re really not Christians at all. And what that gives us are tremendous responsibilities when it comes to our own faith as well as the direction that our churches need to be taking.
Jesus’s no-nonsense attitude should be our no-nonsense attitude. And if it isn’t, then we really need to ask whether we have really understood what Jesus was saying at all.
Posted: 7th June 2020
© 2020, Brian A Curtis