I came that you might have life and have it to the full.
Beware of practicing your righteousness before men, their praise is all you will get…no reward later for that.
If you are perfect, go ahead throw your stones…
Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing.
Love one another as I have loved you.
You brood of vipers! White-washed sepulchars (whatever that is)
Consider the birds…
Consider the flowers…
If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out – ya, he said that. I’m not going to do it. Pretty sure it was a metaphor.
Love your enemies, do good to them….
If they don’t like what you’re saying, shake the dust off your feet and move on.
Give without expecting anything in return
He told one man, sell all you have and give it to the poor…in fact a lot of things he said were directed at the person he was talking to along his way in the present moment. He addressed the one thing that kept that person from experiencing the deepest kind of life.
“Zacheus (that nasty little tax collector up in the tree watching him) come down from that tree…I’m going to feast at your house tonight.”
Get the picture? Jesus, said a whole lot of things according to the gospel writers. At least that’s how they remembered what he said.
Jesus words, encased in a book called the Bible, also known as the constitution of the Evangelical world. A literal, inerrant document that must be followed or doom awaits.
One day after being asked to consider how I approached the Bible, my brain engaged in the art of asking questions of my most sacred of books. The first thing I did the next morning, something I’d learned to do every morning, was to sit in my favorite chair and begin to read my Bible, journal and pray…an Evangelical Quiet Time – otherwise known as my time with God. This day it was with the question of my approach spinning around in my head. I read the the title of one of the sub-books in the Bible and noticed that it was written in 60 AD. I sat there and went a bit numb. In an instant I realized that I’d been approaching my Bible as if it was an exact eye-witness account written as things happened, certainly not several decades later. It also hit me like a brick that the words were written by men…otherwise known as male human beigns. I had been taught that from the “In the beginning…” in Genesis to the final “Amen” in the book of Revelation, each word was God-breathed. Paul’s disciple Timothy told us that all scripture was God-breathed…literally God’s words. Suddenly, I just knew something was amiss and life has never been the same.
This little experience took place when I was teaching in an Evangelical Christian school where I had signed papers indicating that I believed the Bible to be inerrant and God’s literal word to mankind. It created no small disturbance in my deepest heart. I’ve since moved on and away from that life – I miss it often but I can never go back.
Yesterday, one of our brother’s families gave us subscription to a magazine that’s sole purpose is to convice one that the Bible’s account of creation can be proven by correct seeing. I was mad all day. How is one to continue to have relationship with people you genuinely love who find the need to subversively tell you how misguided you are. Tell it to me straight. Face to face. Let’s have an honest dialog and accept one another’s freedom to disagree. As my friend Mary Ellen would say, “Subtlety is lost on me”.
I’m trying to be focused on what Jesus said.