The gentle way Jesus approached our deepest ambivalences shows not so much approval, but an understanding of the frailty of human nature. And this is what enabled Jesus to be so unwaveringly committed to His own perfect standards, and yet be so natural and at ease with the lowest of the low.

*

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+jesus+as+common+man&qpvt=images+jesus+as+common+man&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=B5FDEF45702002FAC0716D2ADB0EB6DA9616BCB5&selectedIndex=16

*

http://www.realchrist.info/2-16.html

*

The Radical Acceptance Of Jesus

His demands upon those who would follow Him were radical- to take up                 a cross and follow Him, to hate father and mother, to sacrifice                 all worldly ambition for Him. Jesus often spoke of breaking with                 ones natural family; and His own example showed as ever what He                 meant. Yet the family was the primary social unit in 1st                 century Palestine, the basis of identity and security. The man who                 wanted to first bury his father before following the Lord was rejected                 by the demanding Jesus- when to properly bury one’s dead was among                 the most sacred obligations of Judaism. His standards were sometimes                 unbelievably high. Whoever called his brother a fool (Gk. more-a                 moron, but implying a rebel, an apostate- Ps. 78:8; Jer. 5:23 LXX)                 was liable to eternal condemnation by Him. When struck on the right                 cheek- which was a Semitic insult to a heretic(1)–                 they were to not respond and open themselves up for further insult                 [surely a lesson for those brethren who are falsely accused of wrong                 beliefs]. And yet the compassion of Jesus shines through both His                 parables and the records of His words; as does His acceptance of                 people for who they were. People were relaxed with Him because they                 could see He had no hidden agenda. He wasn’t going to use them for                 His own power trip. He kept saying, His concrete Kingdom was yet                 to come. He wasn’t going to heap criticism and guilt upon them.                 And so people came to Him. Today people are wary of joining a religious                 group because they feel they cannot be themselves, that they will                 be forced into positions that do violence to their integrity. But                 Jesus didn’t treat people like this; and that’s just why they came                 to Him. And this surely must be a lesson for us, never to institutionalize                 the body of Christ so that we turn people away from Him rather than                 bring them to Him. His sensitivity to people was and is simply stunning.                 Sensitive people today, living as we do in this hard world, can                 find life unbearably difficult. Every encounter with others can                 become excruciating. Yet Jesus, the most sensitive man who ever                 lived, went through all this. Victoriously. The way He forgave the                 thief on the cross, who had just ” cast the same [abuse] in                 His teeth”   as had the unrepentant thief, is an essay                 in this. Jesus was sensitive enough to understand the tortured spirit                 and pain which gave rise to peoples’ unkind behaviour. Jesus saw                 the man’s anguish, and had pity rather than anger with Him. And                 somehow, in perhaps only His body language in response to the abuse                 from the two thieves, the one thief was motivated to repent and                 dare to ask for salvation.  

Consider how He asks Zacchaeus to eat with Him- a public sign of religious           fellowship in first century Palestine. This acceptance of the man for           who and where he was, inspired Zacchaeus to then start changing his life           in practice- he then offered to give back what he had stolen. When quizzed           as to why He ate / fellowshipped with sinners, the Lord replied that He           had come to call sinners to repentance (Lk. 5:32). Think through the implications           of this. He fellowshipped with those who were so weak within the ecclesia           of Israel so as to bring them to repentance; His eating with them was           like a doctor making a home visit. The religious attitude of the Pharisees           was that one only fellowshipped someone who was repentant; whereas the           Lord said that He fellowshipped with people to bring them to repentance.           Note how in Lk. 19:1-10, the Lord offered salvation to sinners before they had repented. It’s the same idea.

Time and again His parables sought to justify His association with outcasts           (Lk. 14:15-24; 15:1-32; Mt. 18:23-25; 20:1-15; 21:28-32). When the nobleman           came to ask Jesus to cure his son, Jesus agreed; and the man went home.           But it was only on the way home that he really believed. He came to faith           spontaneously, and not because Jesus insisted on it. Or remember the woman           who had had five men in her life, and presumably a number of children           to go with each of them. Her face and body would have reflected the story           of her life. She was living with someone not her husband. Jesus didn’t           tell her to break up with the guy. He knew full well that if a woman left           her man, she had nowhere to go. Here was a woman who had been ‘married’           five times. Who would want her? There were children involved. Probably           even her family had rejected her. Jesus accepted the real life situation,           and human failure to rise up to higher standards. One wonders whether           the very lack of specific demand from Jesus maybe motivated her to somehow           normalize her life. The gentle way Jesus treated these cases shows not           so much approval, but an understanding of the frailty of human nature.           And this is what enabled Jesus to be so unwaveringly committed to His           own perfect standards, and yet be so natural and at ease with the lowest           of the low.


Notes

(1) Joachim Jeremias, The                 Sermon On The Mount (London: Athlone Press, 1961) pp. 27,28.

*

*

*

*

*

http://www.jesuscentral.com/ji/jesus-parables-teachings/jesus-example/jesus-befriending.php

*

Jesus Befriending and Promoting the Lowly

*

Now all the tax-gatherers and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him.  And both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” ( Luke 15:1-2)

Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them.  But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” ( Matthew 19:13-14)

He called the twelve and said to them, “If any one wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”  And taking a child , He stood him in the midst of them; and taking him in His arms, He said to them, “Whoever receives one child like this in My name is receiving Me; and whoever receives Me is not receiving Me, but Him who sent Me.”  ( Mark 9:35-37)

And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the multitude were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums.  And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent.  And calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.” ( Mark 12:41-44)

There came a woman of Samaria to draw water.  Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.”  For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.  The Samaritan woman therefore said to Him, ‘How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?”  (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) ( John 4:7-9)

And it came about when He went into the house of one of the leaders of the Pharisees on the Sabbath to eat bread, that they were watching Him closely…And he went on to say to the one who had invited Him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and repayment come to you.  But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”  ( Luke :-1-:1)

*

*

*

*

http://www.kingofkings.org.za/sermon400.pdf

 

*

Jesus made himself nothing and became a servant

Philippians 2:7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

When He came as a human, he humbly stooped down to the very lowest place on this earth. He was born of poor parents. He was laid in a manger because there was no room for them at the inn. He did not display his glories as he went around Galilee and Judea. He became, instead, a common servant.

Jesus made Himself a nothing, sort of in the class of the Indian Daleat and gave Himself to serving people. But not only was he among the lowest of the low, he suffered the death of a despised criminal.

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Rhema (inner voice) & life application  —

*

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/thriving-learning-having-wisdom-are-about-getting-up-each-morning-with-intention-clarity-commitment-to-seek-nurture-connection-along-lifes-healthy-healing-path-of-inner-nouris/

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

http://blog.chron.com/lutherant/2012/11/global-child-poverty-changing-the-story/

*

When it comes to helping people in need, one of the stories that should spark our imagination remains Jesus’ parable of the good Samaritan.  The aspect of the parable I would point out here is its personal nature.  To demonstrate how (and to whom) we ought to show compassion Jesus does not speak in generalities.  He gives a specific situation, where one individual (the Samaritan) must make a decision about how to treat another, specific individual (the Jew set upon by robbers).  Christian mercy is not about generalized theories, but about specifics.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s