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.
This week we are back to the Five Lessons I Have Learned About Being a Rebel. Let’s do a quick review of the first two lessons:
Lesson ONE – rebels who are remembered (for goodness sake), are not just against things as they are, they are diligently giving themselves to things as they should be.
Lesson TWO – the best rebels understand that respecting all people is fundamental in the pursuit of any goal, and under the Christian banner, love might even demand that we honor the “opposing” person over and above the cause.
Now to lesson three. This lesson is about passion and being patient with those who may not be as passionate as the rebel thinks others should be. Once a rebel embraces a cause, you can rest assured he/she will be doggedly determined to see it through till the end. That persistence is usually driven by a deep-seated passion that something must be done about this. For the rebel it is clear. It is also white hot. In a rebel’s mind it is inconceivable that anyone would be unable to see the importance of this getting fixed/changed. As a result, when they run into others who aren’t as passionate about the issue/cause, they can become indignant and rude.
Why does this matter?
It matters because rebels must understand that lasting change require lots of people getting on-board and doing their part – and the harsh reality is that not everyone will feel as deeply about the issue as the rebel does. That doesn’t make these people wrong. That doesn’t make them uncaring. It’s just that the rebel has been given their deep passion (perhaps even by God), because what burns inside gives the rebel perseverance in leading the initiative.
Lesson THREE – a passionate rebel must be persistent in the cause and patient with the people who don’t feel it as deeply as the rebel does. The rebel still needs them. If you’re the rebel - don’t alienate people. Lead them.