Hearing Jesus: my manifesto
The most profound thing Jesus ever taught wasn’t something he said. It is something he did.
He split his time with his followers and took on a different posture for each group. And of course, there are three groups:
Jesus gave his greatest gifts to those most in need of it: his time, his love, and his respect. He gave it to prostitutes and traitors, the poor and the sick, the disabled and lonely by eating with them and treating them as equals.
Jesus taught the people who were productive members of society how to be, how to pray, and how to love the needy. He did so with stories, teachings, and actions that all expressed a love and compassion that he felt for them and expected them to share.
Jesus turned the mirror on the educated and powerful. He made them see their own hubris and evil and demanded so much more of them because they had all of the resources and all of the opportunity. At the same time, he showed them how to get it right and what the Kingdom is supposed to look like. Even when he calls them a brood of vipers.
Most of the time, we think we’re the needy; or at least the real needy; because we can feel so lost sometimes or left out, like we don’t belong. Or sometimes we feel confused or unloved.
But the truth is that most of us aren’t the needy. We’re the elite. We’re the ones Jesus is turning the mirror on and demanding more.
And yet Jesus tries, even with us. He tries to get us oriented. He tries to get us to see the Kingdom. Here are some of the parts of the vision that seem the most relevant:
- Worship GOD always and all-ways.
- Help the haters to learn about love and how to love.
- Reconcile with everybody—don’t just love from afar.
- Be a source for peace.
- Change the culture.
- Admit that we have been bad communicators of the gospel.
- End clericalism and empower the grassroots.
- Help worship communities take charge of themselves.
- Worship in ways that feed us second—
- and feed newcomers first.
- Live differently.