26 August 2011
Jesus Values Faith Over Peace 2
The goal of the Christian is not to please everyone. The goal of the Christian is to follow Christ.
In fact, Jesus makes it quite clear through his teaching and through those who reacted to his ministry that when we choose to follow him, we won't please everyone. Even worse, some, even those who were close friends and family, will react violently to us. They will ridicule, seek to wreck our business and reputation, tell us to shut up, avoid us, stop eating with us, etc...
If our goal is to have all the people hold hands singing, "Give peace a chance", we are following the wrong lord.
One of the absolute amazing things about Jesus that I have discovered is that he never forced himself on anyone. He has THE message. His teachings make it clear that he really is the way, the truth and the life. Yet, he never begged, pleaded, dragged or forced anyone to believe in Him. He simply stated who he is, what his Father wants, and what people should do. But once the person gave their answer, he would simply move on.
An even more amazing thing about Jesus was his courage in the face of growing conflict. And, the more he taught, the more he healed, the more people who would repent and give themselves to Jesus as Lord of the Kingdom of Heaven, the higher the danger, the more heat from the conflict. If Jesus was just some nutter spouting things from a cave with just a couple of people listening to him, no one would care. But, Jesus spoke and acted with an authority they had not experienced before.
For some, Jesus is good news. For others, Jesus is bad news. For some, Jesus liberates. For others, Jesus threatens.
And yet, in the face of such hatred, Jesus never seeks to appease. He is not skillful in diplomacy. He doesn't give clever solutions about how the religious leaders could still see God the way they saw Him and believe that He was Messiah as well. He simply continues to teach in many different ways, "Repent. For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand."
Why? Because Jesus values faith over peace. The Prince of Peace knows that without faith in Him, there is no peace. Even worse, the Prince of Peace knows that the insistance on faith in Him will bring more conflict against those who would follow the Prince of Peace.
And yet, in the face of such hatred, Jesus never retaliates. Jesus never strikes anyone. Jesus never lost control. Jesus simply trusts his Father. He avoids and escapes until it is time for the lamb to be led to the slaughter. And his Father vindicates His obedience by raising Him from the dead as the firstborn of many sons and daughters.
This is the path Jesus walked. To follow Jesus is to walk the same path. The goal of the Christian is not to please everyone. The goal of the Christian is to follow Christ.