Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them,… Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Matthew 5:1-2 (NIV)
When he came down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. Â Â Â Â Matthew 8:1 (WEB)
At that time, Jesus went on the Sabbath day through the grain fields.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Matthew 12:1 (WEB)
Crowds followed Jesus. Most of us attend churches who barely have enough people to fill half the chairs. Why?
Jesus spoke as one who had authority. He brought the Good News. Jesusâ€™ authority came from the Father. It did not come from a Board of men. It did not come from the hierarchy of the established church. He wanted to magnify and glorify the Father. His messages were also relevant to the people who were listening. His parables brought the people to a point of reference they understood and then blazed a path to where God wanted them to be. What are you being taught?
Jesus taught in the synagogues. Sometimes. Most of the time He was not in a church building. He met with the people wherever they were! On mountains. At the seashore. Where they work. In their homes. Jesus did not expect the people to wait on Him. Jesus came as servant and friend. He was approachable. He was touchable. Where do you minister? Who do you serve?
Jesus hung out with sinners. Jesus spent most of His time and invested Himself in 12 men who were â€“ sinners! The men and women who spread the Good News of Jesus were not perfect! Jesus touched lepers. He comforted widows and orphans. He spoke and did not judge prostitutes! Is everyone welcome in your church? And if welcome initially are they encouraged and discipleâ€™d â€“ or just judged?
Jesus said He did not come to â€œabolish the law â€“ but to fulfill itâ€. Jesus did not come to throw out traditions but to clarify (?) what they were really all about. An author in our publishing company, Bob Makar, wrote a book this year, The Messiah and His Kingdom to Come: A Biblical Road Map, that is based on the principle that everything from the beginning has pointed to Jesus and the Cross. Traditions in and of themselves are nothing but dogma if they are not a Living and Active testimony to Godâ€™s unending Love. Are your traditions inflexible and stale or flexible and fresh, meeting the needs of the people you serve?
The questions I have raised today are not easy but I hope I allow God to be God and that I have no other god before Him. I pray that if I am calling myself His ambassador â€“ I am not misrepresenting Him!