Friday, June 17, 2011

Who Is Jesus?

Who is Jesus? (Thanks to Neil Cole for asking the question at a time I was listening a little more attentively than usual.)

Is Jesus Savior, Redeemer, Lord of Lords and Creator?

The world was created perfect by the Creator. He put his mark on the world. He designed it to fulfill all the needs of its inhabitants. We don’t know how long they lived in the garden, in harmony, in beauty and in balance.

But someone made a decision, and evil entered the world. The world was corrupted. Harmony, beauty and balance were destroyed.

The creator had two responses. (1) To punish those who brought evil into the world. (2) To execute a plan to save them and to restore harmony, beauty and balance.

Jesus entered the world and executed God’s plan. Both of God’s responses were perfectly fulfilled.

Now Jesus does not exist in the world any longer physically. But he is immanent with those who choose to follow him. He is in the world, through those followers, continuing to execute God’s plan of rescue, healing and redemption.

If you follow Jesus, you believe that in some way, shape or form, he is the answer for the problems of the world. Some people chart the tendencies of the world and they do not like the slope of the graph. They are afraid of the world, its polluting powers, its ability to bring pain and death, and the realization time after time that people do not have the power to live in integrity. So, they hide inside the fortress of worship meetings, Sunday schools and committees. And the world lays siege to our fortresses, slowly strangling the life from them.

Does this sound like followers of the Lord of All? Does this sound like those of whom Jesus said had power to assail the kingdom of Satan, and bring his gates crashing down?

We are truly in a war. And we are not fighting well. We are not fighting well because we are not using a weapons skillfully. What are these weapons? They are: love, mercy, kindness, prayer, listening and asking questions, giving answers in creative ways and transformed community.

There are some people who believe that worship meetings, mid-week prayer times and small groups are community. I am sorry to say they are not. They are parts of community. Important parts. But the community is more.

There are some people who believe that if we practice our weapons within the community, we will learn them skillfully and we will win the war. We do need to practice our weapons within the community. And some of them are effective from long range. But we will not defeat the enemy unless we all see the whites of their eyes, and all engage them in battle. (And if our chief weapon is love, the battle will be very different from anything we currently imagine.)

If you believe Jesus is the solution to the world’s problems, if you believe he is Lord of All, then you are already in his army, you are already in a war, and you need to engage the enemy with the powerful weapons he has given you.

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