Tag Archive: disciples


love1

As a follower of Jesus, this really is my mantra. Love one another. This is how you will be known to be My [Jesus] disciples, if you have love one for another.

When i spend a decent amount of time online challenging people about their beliefs and actions, this often comes to mind. After all the church has a pretty bad history of typically being known more for what we are against than what we are for and so i don’t want to add to that. Especially when we are for such great stuff. Loving God, loving people, looking after the least of these, caring for widows and orphans, welcoming the marginalised, being pro all aspects of life, sharing what we have with the stranger, forgiving our enemies and showering them with love.

So when i find myself writing a post that is a little more tongue in cheek and contains the phrase ‘stupid people’ a whole lot, i think about it a lot. When i engage in yet another online dispute about racism or privilege or why it is never cool to make jokes using the word ‘rape’ or reducing it to something describing a much lesser thing that went wrong in your day, i check myself. Am i spending as much time and more championing things which bring people together, which build community, which encourage people to get involved with the poor and marginalised. Don’t get caught up in the mud flinging.

i saw this cartoon today and i really liked it:

Jesus

i think it is the patience of Jesus here that i love the most. No matter how many times i don’t ‘get’ it, Jesus takes time with me helping me to see the error of my ways, bringing me lovingly back to ‘You will be known by the love you have…’

But then i am also reminded of the time Jesus goes completely off at the Pharisees in Matthew 23.

i love the trailer to His rant, found in verse 3:

So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.

That seems to say it all, right. “Jesus, i think you covered it all right there. Let’s go get lunch.” But He doesn’t.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.

“Blind Fools”… “Blind Guides”… “Hypocrites”… “Whitewashed tombs”… “Snakes. Brood of vipers.”

If this was a modern day setting you can imagine Jesus dropping the mic and walking off stage. Oh, and just a reminder that these are the religious leaders of the day – so the pastors and reverends and very reverends and bishops etc.

And this is not an isolated event. When a woman is brought in front of Him to be stoned, Jesus tosses it back at them – “Go for it. Whichever of you has not sinned, you throw the first rock.” Everyone leaves.

When His disciples are fighting amongst themselves about who is greatest or who will rule alongside Him on His throne one day He calls them out in front of the group and embarrasses them.

At one point He gives a teaching so controversial or difficult to obey that everyone except for the close disciples leaves and stops following Him.

FIND THE BALANCE

Jesus saved His strongest words for those who followed Him, and while i am clearly not Jesus, i feel like i do that pretty well too. It is typically the christians getting pissed off with me on Facebook [which feels great when it’s issues of poverty and race and injustice, but less great when it’s about football salaries and movie pirating and content of tv shows although i tend to stay more out of most of those these days] and getting defensive and more.

And i’m okay with that. i hope people that don’t follow Jesus feel loved by me. i hope they feel safe. i hope i am someone they will call when their faeces has been furiously flung into a nearby fan. Oh, i also admire alliteration, apparently. i hope they expect that i will answer and come rushing.

i don’t see myself as ‘The Internet Police’ just as Jesus probably didn’t see Himself as ‘The Temple Police’… but when He saw people abusing their authority He went off… when He saw people practising extortion in a place meant for prayer He went a little ballistic… when He saw someone responding to a serious challenge and call to self-reflection on Facebook with a cheap and trite metaphorical saying that even the guy who came up with it probably didn’t understand then He went off… oh wait, that one was not Him, that was me. But i like to think He would have smiled and possibly even liked my comeback that involved the phrase “Christmas cracker inserts”.

Or not. He may not have. That might have been one time when i got it wrong. i will keep reflecting on where, what and how i engage. But i won’t keep quiet when it feels like words are needed. And in the background, all the time, i will be repeating my mantra over and over to myself.

love2

[For Ten Different Ways of Loving Well, click here]

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As we continue on with Mark, we have this very interesting passage that might leave us wondering why Jesus kept the disciples around.

But then if you’re anything like me, you’ll probably be super glad that He did. [and does!]

Join me as we look at Mark 14. 27-42 and maybe take a moment to thank God that He uses the foolish of the world to confound the wise…

 

 

[For the next part of the story where Jesus heads to the garden and is arrested, click here]

two by two to find a man of peace

there is a great principle of ministry that you can see glimpses of in the life of Jesus:

Teacher does, pupils watch.

Teacher does, pupils are involved and do it with Him.

Pupils do and teacher watches.

Pupils do by themselves and report back to teacher.

Then later the pupils find their own pupils and the whole scenario begins again.

In this passage in Mark 6.6-13 we see Jesus sending the disciples out to try some kingdom stuff for themselves…

[to move on to the next story where John loses his head, click here]

12 apostles

next up, we see Jesus select the 12 who He designates as apostles and makes some very interesting choices…

so take a look at Mark 3 verse 13 to 19

to see the next post on unity, not denominationalism go here.

continuing my walk through the Gospel of Mark, in this clip i chat briefly about calling and the deeper significance of the act of Jesus calling the four fishermen to be His disciples…

to continue on to the Good News of the message, click here

what came to mind and this is really just to get people thinking more than making any point cos i think i naturally would have gone with the ‘gently pull aside’ approach is a bunch of incidents when that didn’t seem to happen:

in matthew 16.23 Peter starts to rebuke Jesus for speaking about His death and Jesus responds by saying, “Get behind me, satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of man.”

in matthew 23 Jesus goes off at the pharisees and sadducees (the religious leaders) and publically tells them off including such lines as “woe to you blind guides”, “you make him twice the son of hell as you are”, “you blind fools”, “you are like whitewashed tombs which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead man’s bones and everything unclean”, “you hypocrites” and “you snakes! you brood of vipers!”

in mark 11 Jesus publically drives the people out of the temple grounds who are buying and selling there in quite an aggressive show of force and then teaches them that “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations?’ But you have made it ‘a den of robbers’.”

and other times when His disciples are bickering about who is going to be the most important in the kingdom of heaven, He addresses them publically in the group and corrects them

then there is the time in paul’s blog to the galatians when he speaks about confronting peter for his hypocracy in separating himself from hanging out with the gentiles when certain jews were in town – a public sin which receives a public challenge…

continue to part iii here

so my arisefest blog got quite a few people heated in terms of the manner in which i dealt with some of the frustrations i had concerning my arisefest experience (which for the most part was a completely incredible experience – the people who missed the point certainly didn’t spoil it for me or anyone else i doubt) and some of the behaviours i witnessed…

[what was an interesting phenomenon was how quickly the issues were dropped/ignored in the interest of arguing about how they were dealt with – a less interesting phenomenon was how significant my spelling of the word ‘thought’ as ‘thort’ became in people’s judgement of me… hm?]

anyways, all that aside, it got me thinking a lot about how we should challenge people and hold them accountable when they appearingly step out of line and the common thort is that we should gently pull them aside and caution/rebuke them. correct?

you know, like Jesus taught in matthew 19.15-17 which starts off, “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ and so on.

that does feel like the correct response, but is it the same thing we’re talking about?

it talks about ‘your brother sins against you’ whereas what i was speaking into was a situation with various people/groups sinning publically as opposed to just against me – how did Jesus respond to that?


continue to part ii here

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