Jesus expressed symbolically what he saw and how he understood the tender mercy and creative and all-embracing Divine-Unfolding that could not otherwise be expressed in finite words. Language and symbols as Jesus used them were meant not for the intellect and mind, but, primarily to transform our hearts and to deepen our relation with one another. Jesus was a man of vision concerned primarily for the ‘reign of God”, not as a concept but as a living, ever-transforming reality that would bring justice to an oppressive world order, change the way we related with each other, and guide us all. He spoke his vision with conviction, and he lived it—healing the sick, the downtrodden, and the ostracized of his day. With integrity (not violence) he challenged the dominating system of his time. He pointed to the profound Mystery of Love that calls us to move ever more deeply into the reality of the Divine.
Adapted from Barbara Fiand, On Becoming Who We Are
Create in us new hearts.
What is your image of Jesus and of being his follower? How does that stand against the dominating systems of our time? Does your adherence to Jesus “transform hearts and deepen our relation with one another” for you?
Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
He did not speak to them without a parable; but He was explaining everything privately to His own disciples.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
The trouble with deep belief is that it costs something And there is something inside me, some selfish beast of a subtle thing that doesn’t like the truth at all because it carries responsibility, and if I actually believe these things I have to do something about them. It is so, so cumbersome to believe anything. And it isn’t cool.
Jesus of Nazareth always comes asking disciples to follow him–not merely “accept him,” not merely “believe in him,” not merely “worship him,” but to follow him: one either follows Christ, or one does not. There is no compartmentalization of the faith, no realm, no sphere, no business, no politic in which the lordship of Christ will be excluded. We either make him Lord of all lords, or we deny him as Lord of any.
Followers follow, and those who don’t follow aren’t followers. To follow Jesus means to follow Jesus into a society where justice rules, where love shapes everything. To follow Jesus means to take up his dream and work for it.
If following Jesus Christ doesn’t cost you anything, it’s because you’ve bought into ‘American Christianity.’
We must show our Christian colors if we are to be true to Jesus Christ.
C. S. Lewis
We should live our lives as though Christ were coming this afternoon.
Jesus is God spelling Himself out in language that men can understand.
Christianity is not a doctrine, not truth as truth, but the knowledge of a Person; it is knowing the Lord Jesus. You cannot be educated into being a Christian.