Saturday, September 6, 2008

What DID Jesus do?

Some people spend a great deal of time trying to figure out what Jesus would do, today, if found in the same predicament. But I think it's pretty important to focus more on what He actually did do.

He died.

If I really want to be like Jesus, I will, too.

  1. I will die to self, like He did. Not lead, not defend, not judge, not strive to be the best, not impress others - but serve.
  2. I will obey God to the point of dying, not because I want glory but because I trust even my very life to the Father.
God sat at the tables of men and women who not only disagreed with His doctrine, but those He knew plotted His demise. He spoke truths that might later change and save their souls after they had succeeded in slaying Him. I cannot think of one instance when Jesus "withdrew fellowship" or ever spoke up to even defend Himself. Knowing what these men would do, knowing they not only disagreed, but despised Him - Jesus continue to accept their invitations, answer their questions, share insight and parables. He only spoke of the "Pharisaical Heart" to the Pharisees themselves. To the crowds, He taught what it was to be loving, merciful and generous to one another - and of a kingdom to come - not preaching of the dark hearts and heresy of the pharisees.

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things." Philippians 4:4-8
I'm going to try to follow that advice! Fancy that - the peace of GOD will guard my heart and mind, and I can keep my mind on doing good.


Paul G said...

I’m sorry Missy;
Jesus did not only spoke of loving things, actually many times He spoke horrible things, even to those who believed in Him.

Kansas Bob said...

Denying or dying to self is the first step.. picking up your cross and following Jesus have to follow or denying yourself is just and exercise in narcissism.

I have heard "your cross" described as God's will.. not sure that I agree 100% but do think that picking up a cross is often painful. I think the heart of the passage is following Jesus when things are hard.. when your flesh hurts so much.

Another Voice said...

Paul, first, thanks for returning after my ling leave of absence! I agree, Jesus did have harsh words. My point is those words were spoken in audience of those He spoke them about. For example, His critical words about the Pharisees were spoken TO or in the audience of the Pharisees. He did not spend His time with the multitudes preaching how wrong the Pharisees were - he taught the multitude their own lessons. Does that make more sense?

My secondary point is that Jesus did not practice defending HIMSELF, and He continued fellowship not only with believers and non-believers, but even with those who hated Him. Most Christians won't waste a minute on someone who despises Christ. I just found the paradox very interesting.

Another Voice said...

KB, I'm not sure I understand what you mean by your first sentence. If you mean dying to self (which is my understanding of "repent" and believe), yes, I agree it is the first step. In the next thought are you saying that to think I HAVE to follow or pick up my cross like Jesus is narcissistic? I might agree with that. Let me know what you meant.

What I am talking about is after belief, IF you want to follow Jesus' example, it's fairly simple: serve. Many people think you have to be a minister, an author, a great thinker to be like Jesus. I don't think you do. Even though I often get caught up in over-analyzing it - hence the post. :)

I have always thought that picking up your cross is to simply do the good that comes in your path to do - like Jesus did. I guess, in a way, that would be considered doing God's will. I agree with what you say about the heart of that passage. It's why I found it encouraging this weekend.

Kansas Bob said...

Sorry for the confusion. I guess I was just trying to communicate the idea that "dying to self" should lead to taking up of our cross and following Jesus.

If we "die to self" but never end up following Jesus then I wonder what we really died to.. if taking up our cross doesn't resemble the cross of Christ then I wonder what kind of cross we are talking about.. if we can do it all in the flesh then why do we need the Spirit to follow Jesus?

Here is how Barnes speks of carrying our cross:

When persons were condemned to be crucified, a part of the sentence was that they should carry the cross on which they were to die to the place of execution. Thus, Christ carried his, until he fainted from fatigue and exhaustion. The cross was usually composed of two rough beams of wood, united in the form of this figure of a cross. It was an instrument of death. To carry it was burdensome, was disgraceful, was trying to the feelings, was an addition to the punishment. So “to carry the cross” is a figurative expression, denoting that we must endure whatever is burdensome, or is trying, or is considered disgraceful, in following Christ. It consists simply in doing our duty, let the people of the world think of it or speak of it as they may. It does not consist in making trouble for ourselves, or doing things merely “to be opposed;” it is doing just what is required of us in the Scriptures, let it produce whatever shame, disgrace, or pain it may. This every follower of Jesus is required to do.

mibman said...

I have this to say about that ...


... & on on this point ... I shall not be moved.

You rock! - glad to see you driving, again. - tim

Another Voice said...

I agree, Bob. I am not sure that you have to start out that way, but I am fairly certain a true believer will get there. Sometimes it seems the death to self is a quick stab in the heart - other times it seems a slow, painful demise (like with me!).

I say "IF" to be open to the idea that there are those believers who are not understanding that call.

Another Voice said...

Thanks, Tim. Yeah, I am driving - but along with my seatbelt I've added airbags, additional crumple zones, a helmet and a NASCAR approved 5-point harness safety seat. :D