A key question we all ask, is why is there so much turmoil? Why do we have to fight about everything?
Many of us mourn the recent passing of Ravi Zacharias, Christian theologian, apologist, and founder of RZim Ministries. I have no way of measuring Ravi’s influence on the world with his kind and patient yet incisive analysis of Christian issues. I only hope that I can someday approach being as patient yet solid in my defense of the faith.
Ravi wrote and taught brilliantly but was always willing to commend other excellent writers as well. One such recommendation is Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes, by Kenneth E. Bailey.
In his chapter, “Who did Jesus Come to Save?” Bailey reminds us of Matthew 1:20-21 when the Holy Spirit told Joseph, “… He sill save His people from their sins.” That is what got Jesus crucified. People didn’t want to be saved from their sins, they wanted to be saved from the oppression of the Romans. When Jesus repeatedly reminded them of their sins, rather than repent, they killed Him.
Humble, NOT Humiliate
On more than just a minute’s reflection, I realize I am the same. I would rather try to force my neighbor to live by my rules than to humble myself (NOT humiliate) and clean up my own act. It is less painful to fight than to face my own “sins.”
I read a lot of history, and a recurring theme is the infighting of senior officers with their peers. Rather than humble themselves and cooperate with each other, they would simply go their own way. I read of battles, campaigns, and entire wars that were lost through this bickering. It is impossible to number the, perhaps, millions of casualties, both military and civilian, that came from such foolishness.
Lion of Judah
I am certainly NOT advocating passively letting others roll over us. Jesus always confronted corrupt and immoral leaders. One of His names is “Lion of Judah.” Hence His crucifixion.
And please don’t try to counter with the “Lamb of God” stuff. Jesus never acted like a lamb except once. The “lamb” metaphor is accurate ONLY because He was perfect and unblemished and pure, allowing Him to be the perfect sacrificial “Lamb of God.”
Jesus was humble, kind, patient, and loving toward people came to him in like manner, but He was fierce and immovable when challenged by anyone who attempted to dilute His message or His mission. He allowed His earthly body to be destroyed rather than back off.
Logs and Specks
Rather, let’s look again at Matthew 7:4-5 when Jesus talks about removing the “log” in our own eye before trying to remove the “speck” from someone else’s eye. It is hypocritical to spend more time trying to “fix” others than facing our own short comings.
I suspect responses to this blog will illustrate my point as some of you will prefer the “I’m right, you’re wrong!” mantra complete with name calling, rather than consider the possibilities.
So, who did Jesus come to save? He came to save the humble and repentant, not the proud and arrogant.
Why? He came to save us from our sins.
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Fred Parker is the Director of Course Design and Development at https://www.PathfinderCoaches.com. Fred has half a century as a Performance Management Consultant designing, developing, and delivering performance-based training including all manner of technical training, individual development soft skills, and basic leadership. Clients include all sizes from a local sandwich shop to the military to fortune 500 multinationals. Now Fred is converting previous ILT courses to remote delivery courses available on our web site. Fred has also taught Sunday school classes, and Teacher Training for Sunday School teachers.