Pastor's Corner - February 24th
Jesus’ plan to “rule the world” began with a rather unusual objective: be a Rabbi and make disciples. "Rabbi" is a Hebrew title reserved for a very special kind of teacher. Rabbis taught people how to live in stride with God's Word. In the first century, Rabbis called their most gifted students into discipleship. The goal of a discipleship was to to live, speak, pray, serve and love like their Rabbi. Disciples endeavored to become living reflections of the one who called them.
But Jesus was rather unconventional in his approach to discipleship. He actually calls fishermen to follow in his footsteps. Most rabbis would have completely overlooked these folks for discipleship. But Jesus bids these blue-collar fishermen with, “Leave your nets, for I will make you fishers of men and women.” Jesus sees more potential in them than they could ever even imagine. NT Wright likens this unexpected exchange to a famous sports coach calling fans from the stands into his starting lineup. Wright says, “This is the strange thing. When God came back at last, coming to establish his rule of heaven here on earth, that seems to be exactly how he went about it. Lots of people thought they were just spectators suddenly found themselves summoned onto the field of play.”
Surprisingly Jesus actually makes this same approach to you and me. He doesn’t want us to be “Christians by name only”. He casts a new vision upon our lives. We aren’t meant to rest on our laurels or watch safely from a distance. Jesus actually wants us on his team! He wants us to be disciples who follow him with every thought, word and deed. This is why I say: Jesus is my rabbi.
Five Lessons I Have Learned About Being a Rebel Pt. 2
Last week I started my first “series” with Pastor’s Corner, where I’m addressing: Five Lessons I Have Learned About Being a Rebel. Last week I addressed my first observation:
Lesson ONE – rebels remembered for goodness sake are not just against things as they are, they are diligently giving themselves to things as they should be.
My second lesson has to do with a rebel’s disposition toward people. Rebels care deeply about causes and often when a cause is being engaged, lots of people end up paying a hefty price – especially those who stand in opposition to the cause.
Changing things and shaking things up is core to a rebel’s strategy. As a result, rebels are not usually very concerned about collateral damage (even if that includes people). It’s just part of the price (in their minds). Some things are too important to let people’s feelings, preferences, and/or opinions get in the way. If the fight requires that a few people get denigrated and demonized, so be it.
This may be standard fare in the world, but for the Christian, this is simply not an option. Addressing any and every cause must include a strategy that continues to value people – even people on the “other side.” People are not the enemy. People may hold ideas that rebels find reprehensible and downright evil, and yet these very people are still loved by God. In fact, they are God’s treasure.
Therefore, every redeemed rebel makes a clear distinction between the cause and the people involved (on both sides). They understand that sincere people can have different ideas about any number of issues and just because someone sees something differently does not make them evil, incompetent, or prejudice – modern political conversations not-withstanding.
Lesson TWO – the best rebels understand that respecting/valuing all people is fundamental in the pursuit of any goal, and under the Christian banner, love might demand that we honor the “opposing” person over and above the cause.
“While we were still sinners, Christ died for us…” (Romans 5:8)