Sunday, September 14, 2008

four ways of relating to Jesus/God

Reading in Mark 3 this week, I saw familiar themes in a new way. Not that this is brain surgery, but...

First, I read one of many times where the Pharisees disapproved of Jesus healing on the Sabbath. (Sometimes, it reads like He "happened" to choose the Sabbath; other times, it reads like He chose the Sabbath to make the point.) Then, I read about the disciples who were following Jesus and seeking to learn from His life and teachings. Then, I read one of many passages about people coming to Jesus for healing. This time, it struck me that the people were coming for healing, not for Jesus per se-- or perhaps at all.

So, that led me to think of four ways in which can relate to Jesus/God:

1.) Pharisees: those who see religion as duty, rules, rituals, a list of things to do and not to do. They miss the larger point about the spirit of the Law, who Jesus is, what God wants from us, etc. These are today's legalists.

2.) Health/wealth: here represented by those who came to Jesus like a Santa Claus, seeming to seek His blessings more than Him.

3.) Sadducees: not mentioned here, but those who respect Jesus as a moral man and a good teacher. (They might call Him "great", but they dismiss too many of those teachings to really believe He's great!) They reject the supernatural-- from miracles to the Resurrection. These are today's "liberals".

4.) Disciples: those who believe God/Jesus want the best for them (motives) and can advise them on what's best (knowledge). If you believe the smartest Person in the world is also fully benevolent, then it should be easy to put yourself under Him as a disciple is to a mentor.

May all of us enter into the graciously-offered, abundant and eternal life offered to us by a Loving God-- and then follow Him in discipleship...


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