Have you ever thought about the many ideas that Jesus brought into human history? I was thinking about this, and it is clear that Jesus brought ideas that are upside down from the world’s way of thinking. We could call Jesus a revolutionary!
One of the major ideas Jesus brought into human history is that the one who serves others is the greater versus the greatest is one served by others. And, how about the idea that everyone is equal in the Kingdom of God regardless of race, gender, or social standing. That was a revolutionary idea that many did not like. In the US today we see this idea played out for the most part, but in some areas of the world you still see women, children, and slaves horrifically abused. There is no equality. We should ask ourselves, how we perceive others. Do we look at people through a lens of inequality in various situations? Do we treat everyone as true equals? Still, another idea Jesus brought to the world is that those who give away, receive more. How many people actually live by that principle? I would guess, few. I looked at my life and asked myself, am I living as though this idea is truth to me? How about you? Do you believe this idea to be true? Are you living it out in your life? Really, all of the Beatitudes are ideas that are contrary to much of the world then, and now.Just take a look at them.
For instance, Jesus said those who are gentle and lowly are blessed and that the whole earth would belong to them. In the world then, and today we see all kinds of striving between people and nations. People fight to gain more power and position. This is seen in the workplace and even in the church. People strive for control over more people and to gain land. We see governments and men in powerful positions and groups such as the Palestinians who desire to obtain land that belongs to another. Jesus characterized the lowly with humility, self discipline, and submission; whereas, the world’s attitude is one of self-exaltation and lust for control and position. Jesus said those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled (satisfied). In the world all around us we see people thirsting for self gratification and yet they are left unsatisfied. We should ask ourselves, what are we looking to for fulfillment. Is it Jesus’ life being lived through ours or are we trying to find satisfaction in people, position, things, honor, etc.?
Jesus said the one who cares for others (charity) will be cared for. Most of the world is concerned to seek justice only for themselves, with no concern about justice for the weak and broken who cannot help themselves. Again, we can ask ourselves if we are more “me” focused or are we “other” focused. If we are not other focused, is it because we don’t believe in Jesus’ idea?
Jesus said that those who are peacemakers will receive the Father’s blessing and will be called a child of God. We see, even inside of the church, many who pursue peacekeeping instead of peacemaking. They do what they need to do in order to avoid rejection and to keep the peace. They fail to be transparent in relationships and sometimes fail to offer forgiveness although on the outside they wear a smile. This is the same idea promoted in the world – keep the peace at any cost. They pretend that there is no break in the relationship when there really is and they move on without the other person, who may even be unaware of what caused the break. This leaves that person in a hurting condition. But the one moves on unconcerned with how their actions affect them. They are just happy to look like they are keeping peace and happy that they themselves are protected from rejection. The peacemaker Jesus spoke of pursues peace at risk of rejection and is open and transparent, desiring a true unity in the spirit. They are quick to forgive others as they see themselves as ministers of reconciliation.
Jesus said that those who are persecuted for His name would receive the Kingdom of Heaven. We see believers in countries such as Iran and Afghanistan persecuted for their faith in Christ. There is a pastor who is imprisoned in Iran right now because he will not deny Christ. The world doesn’t understand why he and others like him would go through such suffering when they could be freed of it by renouncing Christ. These Christians choose to entrust themselves and their life circumstances to God knowing that as they share in Christ’s sufferings, they will also share in His glory. They are committed and faithful to God and empowered by His Spirit to stand. All of us who call ourselves Christian should ask ourselves would we follow the world if we were in this situation or would we stand. The key to standing is developing an attitude of commitment and faithfulness now in the small things concerning the Christian life. This will prepare us to stand committed should this type of persecution be in our future.
Jesus Christ was definitely a revolutionary! Please feel free to comment on the few ideas I have shared that Christ brought to us. Or, share another idea that He brought into human history that is upside down from the world’s way of thinking.