Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What if Jesus came to my town today?

In reading through the Gospels I am hit hard by the fact that though Jesus came doing incredible miracles and taught with power and a clarity that had people amazed, the nations spiritual leaders rejected him.  Here was a man clearly exceptional, and at the least a prophet.

He came to a nation, at a time when they claimed to be looking for the coming Messiah to deliver them.  And at a time time when they were an occupied nation by a "gentile" power.  But the Jewish leaders of the day, the Rabbi's and priests wanted no part of Christ.  They didn't follow him themselves, and sought to make a fool out of him or trip him up by asking hard questions to discredit him.  They didn't want him to be the Messiah. 

It is easy, 2,000 years down the road with the Bible filled with the history of his life, death and resurrection as our guide, to condemn those leaders but I began to ponder. 

If Jesus came to my town, say driving an old bus, with some  men and women who didn't look like they had a college degree.  People who could be seen to be menial laborers, and who maybe looked a bit scruffy in the bargain.  And say I knew this man Jesus was born in one of the poorer towns in the state how would I react. 

Moreover, I had heard he did miracles, and had even raised  a child from the dead, and feed a huge crowd who came out to where he was staying and it was said he did it with a few buns and some fish fingers a kid had brought for his day out what would my reaction be. 

And what if I heard he was down at the corner where the street bums, and some of the rougher town men and women were hanging out.  Moreover, he was sitting with them, eating, drinking and horror, laughing heartily with them.  Would I run down to the corner to join them eager to be with Jesus, or would I spread the word about that he was a libertine?

How would I treat Jesus.  Would I wonder aloud to my 'christian' ( for the sake of the analogy) friends that I could see he was a charlatan; speculated that he  had set some people up to come and say they were healed to make him look good.    Would I say all the people in the crowd had food and just brought it out when it was clear a few loaves and fish fingers wouldn't do the trick?  Would  I say he was too familiar with the street people and those society drop outs - people I avoided?

Would I close my heart to His words and denigrate his  power as just being a big act?  Would I get so put out with the stir he was making in my "safe" world even to want him dead? 

I know many believed and honored Jesus in his life but they were mostly not the right kind of people if you wanted to be a success in life.  He clearly didn't seem to want to get ahead.  And remember, the Jewish nation had looked for a Messiah to set up an earthly kingdom and "sort out all the gentiles".

Who do I resemble in my Christian walk today- the religious leaders, or the men and women who flocked to Jesus in faith.

Do I deny the Lord of Lords, and King of kings today in my own life. 

These are for me hard questions.  Because Jesus does come that way  just as much today as he did 2,000 years ago.  Only today he says "If you do it to the least of these, you do it unto me"

Lord Jesus Christ awaken my heart to your paths, your plans and ways. 
Morning has broken, like the first dawning

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