Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Jesus: His Commands (6 of 14)

This is part 6 of a 14 part piece. Start here to read it through:

Let Dead Bury Their DeadMatthew 8:20-22, Luke 9:57-61 — Leave all other allegiances behind. The Kingdom of God is not a kingdom of comfortable homes, lavish funerals, and the comforts of this kingdom. Jesus reminds his followers that everything given by the hand of the powerful of this kingdom, will be taken away in their effort to break the will of those pursuing the selflessness of participation in God's reconciliation love

Go and Learn MercyMatthew 9:13 – The religious leaders of Jesus' day had boiled the law and prophets down to a system of piety and ceremony. Jesus rejects any notion that there is a system of behavior or a liturgy of ceremony that brings one into favor with God. Instead Jesus urges us not to attempt to 'win God's favor' but instead to synch our hearts in line with God's heart, which is practiced through mercy.

Pray For LaborersMatthew 9:38, Luke 10:2— Like Jesus' instructions on prayer in Matthew 6, this command reminds us once again that our prayers are to make God's will a reality that permeates the entirety of the cosmos.

Fear God, Not ManMatthew 10:26, Luke 10:10-11, Luke 12:4-5 — The systems of powers of this kingdom are tangible, and therefore easily manipulated to instill fear in those that challenge the systems and institutions of oppression that are the engines of this kingdom. Jesus reminds his followers that they are free to work against that machine, since all it's exploitation will be revealed.

Take Up Your CrossMatthew 10:34-39, Matthew 16:24-26, Mark 8:34-36, Luke 9:23-24, Luke 14:27 — Continuing on the previous thought Jesus gives a command that seems most harsh to our conventional wisdom. It was customary for Roman soldiers to make the condemned carry their own cross. Allegiance to the Kingdom of God will get you charged with insurrection by the powerful of the kingdom of this world. There is no way to remain at peace with those who prosper by exploitation, whether physically, fiscally, or spiritually.

Continue Reading Part 7 of 14

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