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.
We Are on Week Four...
We are on week four of my series on: The Five Lessons I Have Learned About Being a Rebel. I'll review my previous points first:
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.
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.
Lesson four is about raising the rebel’s awareness of how they come across to other people. The rebel thinks to themselves, “I have good intentions. I am just trying to change things for the better. Why are people so resistant to my ideas?” They are genuinely surprised when they hear about how they make people uneasy. Rebels tend to forget that we judge ourselves by our intentions, but other people judge us according to our actions (Stephen Covey).
Truth is, rebels really do make other people nervous, because rebels are seen as people who want to change “everything.” That’s not far from the truth. Rebels are regularly talking about the things that need to be changed – with passion. That is what gets the rebel excited. That is what they feel called to do. Therefore, people can come to believe that “change” is the rebel’s entire agenda.
It’s therefore incumbent upon the rebel to regularly affirm the things that are good that already exist, if they want to be heard on the things that need to be adjusted.
Lesson FOUR – strategically, it is essential for rebels to authentically affirm what does not need changing before advocating for the things that do need changing.