Everyone has a voice, and a choice to use it well, use it poorly, or not to use it at all.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Spartan Jesus

I'll bet almost all of you have heard a sermon, or gone to Sunday school, at some point in your lives. If so, you probably heard a fair bit about Jesus. If you've never heard a sermon, gone to Sunday School, or even had someone tell you about Jesus, I guess now is a good time to find out what all the ruckus is about.

Lets start with that word: ruckus. If we had to describe Jesus in exactly eight words, most of us wouldn't pick : "the kind of guy that starts a ruckus". Exactly how most of us would describe him, I'm not sure, but I imagine the words teacher, loving, savior, Lord, maybe even God might be mentioned. Rightly so; He is presented as all of those things in the Bible. But that is not the end of the story. There is a lot more to Jesus than teaching, loving, and saving. I'll lay out just one Bible passage to illustrate the point. If you don't believe the Bible, just focus on Jesus for now. I believe the Bible is absolutely true, but just reading the Bible doesn't get you anywhere - I believe Jesus does. Words on a page have no power - in my experience, Jesus has a great deal of power.**
Revelation 19:11-21. Click on the passage, read it, it'll blow your mind. Fiery eyes, Jesus on a war horse, a sword coming out of His mouth...but my favorite detail is the title Jesus is tattooed with: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. Doesn't leave much room for anyone else does it? I venture to say, you might not be able to pull off that tattoo. It is just too hard to live up to. Jesus, as we see, lives up to it: a few verses down He is putting all his enemies to death.

I think it is time for you, and me, and all those who mistakenly equate Jesus with religion, to take a fresh look at the Jesus of the Bible. Clearly, the "Jesus sitting on a hill, rocking little kids to sleep" version is incomplete, because it doesn't say anything about Jesus going all Spartan warrior on his enemies like we see in Revelation.

Maybe we won't like what our fresh look turns up. But oh, I hope we do not reject it only because we don't like it. The world is full of things that I don't like that are true. Denying them would only cause my life to become a shell of wishful thinking and destructive delusions. Accepting the living, active, warrior side of Jesus certainly disrupts my life (principally by causing me to accept the fact that my life is not mine). Jesus started a ruckus a long time ago, and He is still doing it in my life, and He will do it in yours. He is coming for you, demanding your life, your devotion, your worship. It won't always make sense, it will be painful and require sacrifice. When its done, we'll stand above it all and it'll seem like nothing because of the awesome reward.

**This is not to say the Bible is not important. The Bible is the inspired word of God - the Bible must be treated as the very words of God. However, you can read the Bible until you're blue in the face, but unless you have a relationship with Jesus, it won't do any lasting good. So, do read the Bible, with the intent of getting to know Jesus.

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