To be a follower of Jesus Christ requires that we receive the whole gospel of Jesus Christ. If each word of Jesus were a single piece to a puzzle, then it would be impossible to have a complete picture of Jesus if we only chose the puzzle pieces that formed the outer edge of the image. Likewise, for us to recognize our Savior and be equipped to tell His good news to others, we need to know all the pieces; we need a complete picture of our Lord Jesus Christ.
When we consider all the words of Jesus, we see Jesus accurately, and perhaps, differently than who we expect. So, let’s looks at three attributes of Jesus that are rarely found in His puzzle picture.
Jesus the Messiah came to the Jews in a way they did not expect. Jesus fulfilled every aspect of the Messianic prophecies. But He came so differently than their traditions taught that the leaders rejected Him.
His ministry disrupted the Jews and set the Jewish leaders against their people.
Then the leading priests and the older Jewish leaders had a meeting at the palace where the high priest lived. The high priest’s name was Caiaphas. In the meeting they tried to find a way to arrest and kill Jesus without anyone knowing what they were doing. They planned to arrest Jesus and kill him. They said, “We cannot arrest Jesus during Passover. We don’t want the people to become angry and cause a riot.” – Matthew 26:3-5
And this disruptive attribute of the Gospel is carried on in Christ’s Apostles and on down through us. For example, when Paul was in Ephesus:
About that time there arose no little disturbance concerning the Way [the Gospel of Jesus]. (Acts 19:23) … So the city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed together into the theater, dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul’s companions in travel. (Acts 19:29)
Everywhere the Gospel of Jesus Christ is preached, His Gospel overthrows false religions. Jupiter, Juno, Mars, Mercury, Neptune, Venus, Apollo, Diana, Minerva, Ceres, Vulcan, and Vesta were the Roman gods worshipped throughout the Roman empire. But, after three-hundred years of Rome’s torture of Christians, the empire changed to a “Christian” empire.
The gospel of Jesus destroyed Roman gods, making them nothing more than myths and characters in old movies.
However, the destructiveness of the gospel of Jesus Christ is not limited to false deities. His gospel is destructive to families. This aspect of the gospel has always been the case, but only recently have we seen this in America.
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me…” Matthew 10:34-37
Being a follower of Jesus is dangerous. God freely gives salvation, but to receive, we must give Him our all – Jesus must be Lord of our lives. Living in Jesus doesn’t deliver us from problems. He calls us to travel paths that may result in the loss of all our possessions, the loss of our freedom, and even the loss of our lives.
Strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. – Acts 14:22
Disruptive, Destructive, and Dangerous
The message of Jesus is good news. He came from heaven, wrapped Himself in the flesh of man, and proclaimed the Word of God from Isaiah 61:1-2:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
However, these words are just the border of the picture of Jesus which God gave us in the New Testament. We need to know and communicate Jesus accurately and completely, “rightly handling the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)“
Photo by Ben Hershey on Unsplash
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