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Jesus' mission was not education. He was not here to bring motivation or inspiration. His mission was always unwaveringly liberation. To His core, He knew exactly what this meant. As a result, He was calculating and relentless in His pursuit. Every word, every move, every step was an intentional move to free men from the prison of their minds and untangle the knots of the knowledge of good and evil.

Clearly Jesus defined freedom in a particular way, and watching what He did can help us understand how the Author of freedom thinks about freedom.

He took a group of men and traveled across the countryside teaching them how to change everything they encountered and touched. Think of it this way: He was showing twelve guys and a crew of persistent women what it looked like and how to practice dominion over the creation.

“Fever go away,” He would say, and then he would make sure that His followers caught what had happened.

“Peace, be still,” He would say to a storm, and then he would turn and be sure their eyes had been on Him.

Encountering a crowd of religious know-it-alls? He peered inside their hearts and told stories. “Once upon a time there was a man who owed a little bit of money…” and then He would steal a glance at His disciples. “Get it?” the gleam in His eye would say.

A scared insecure tax collector? A shame-filled near-death prostitute? A self-confident Pharisee? All of these fell under the sway of Jesus restoring God’s blueprint to the cosmos.

Two things stand out to me about Jesus' strategy.  First, He spent the bulk of His time teaching them how to be and what to do, not on rules and restrictions. Second, He taught them on the move, not in a classroom.

Jesus was restoring God’s intended design. He was showing men and women how Adam and Eve might have taken dominion over the creation. Contrary to our religious mindset, He was not spending His time trying to get them to behave well.

Jesus was showing them how to step into the role for which they were created.  We were created to take dominion over the planet. Over the kingdom of darkness. Over sickness. Over hopelessness. Over fear and insecurity. All of these things and more were designed to be subject to us. Jesus took His team on the road and showed them how to do this.

Any prohibitions He may have handed out were all in the context of teaching them how to be who they were made to be and do what they were made to do.  He was not showing them what not to do. He was showing them who to be.

Secondly, His approach to this was to go and do, and teach on the way. People who are learning about something they are already doing have an entirely different learning process than those who are learning about something they may do someday.

You teach athletes their game out on the field, not in a classroom. Wilderness education takes place with hungry people in cold forests. They are very motivated to learn about how to eat and how to stay warm.

Classrooms minus experience teach information, and implicitly they teach passivity.  If you want someone to grow and learn, take them right out in the middle of reality and then begin to show them how to be.

Jesus did not come to educate men about how to avoid bad behavior or better strategies for better Bible scholarship.

Jesus did not come to motivate people to get up off their chairs and try harder.

Jesus came to liberate people from the prison of the world that has been wrapped around our minds.



Bob Hamp works at a large non-denominational charismatic church in Southlake, Texas, where he oversees their Freedom Ministry. A private practice counselor for sixteen years, Hamp also has a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. His new book is titled, Think Differently, Live Differently. Read more from Bob Hamp at BobHamp.com.

 

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Tony Russo

commented on May 12, 2012

It is good to stay with the "how" of the gospel. When the Spirit touched my heart with how the gospel works, He changed me forever. As a professed Christian (before the Spirit revealed the gospel to me) I had the language of the gospel down pat. I knew how to speak on justification, sanctification and glorification. I could preach sermons on what this article says. in my own mind I believed I was in a saving relationship through Christ. Not until the truth was divinely applied could I see that one of the main reasons Jesus came to live as a Man was to show us what a true human looked like when God was in control of the life.

Joel Rutherford

commented on May 12, 2012

Your Comments

Robert Sickler

commented on May 12, 2012

You almost sound like your preaching Emergent doctrine. Yes Jesus did challenge the religious establishment but He never went beyond scripture. Jesus did use the classroom both indoors and out doors. The synagogue was a classroom and many teachers assembled their students out doors. There is some merit to what you say and I would like to think that your intentions are good, but you come close to sounding Emergent.

John E Miller

commented on May 13, 2012

I see no virtue in this article. It reduces the purpose of the incarnation of the Son of God to a the level of some kind of motivational mission. Jesus came to die on the cross to take away the sin of the world. He came to die as my substitute. He came to give His life a ransom for many. Actually this article is dangerously misleading to put it mildly. It makes Jesus sound like Joyce Meyer.

Tesfom Melake Araya

commented on May 13, 2012

The article is good but it is not to the utmost purpose of Jesus' incarnation. For Jesus came to show us the way this is the truth displayed in the article above and but the way Jesus came to show is that we should die to our wills and live to the will of God in this planet. So it is not a matter of changing the style of teaching indoors or outdoors, even so, Jesus used both indoor and outdoor teachings, but the thing we need to stress is whether indoor or outdoor our prime objective should be to do God's will so that God will be pleased in our lives.

Michael Durst

commented on May 15, 2012

The readers of this site are a tough crowd to please! Without trying to over analyze the author, I clearly heard his point. For true Christ following and the creation of true disciples, learning happens best through modeling and doing, not hypothesizing about how to love our neighbor, going and doing it, and bringing along someone newer to the faith.

Abraham Barberi

commented on May 19, 2012

Brother Hamp, with all respect, but I see certain fallacies in your article. Let me illustrate it this way. Have you ever seen the bracelets that say "WWJD"? Just in case you haven't seen them, let me explain what they are. You are supposed to wear them, and every time you have to make a decision in life (school, work, church, family, etc.), you have to stop and try to think What Would Jesus Do in your place. I think that people who made or makes those bracelets have good intentions (like yourself), but have also bad theology, why? Well, There are may things that Jesus did that Im not supposed to do (be born of a Virgin, walk on water, fulfill prophecies, change old covenant laws into New covenant laws, talk face to face with the Father, clean the temple, prophesy, teach, etc.); Jesus lived when the Old Covenant was still "active;" Jesus had a unique task (die on a cross, fulfill the law, heal people, disciple 12 guys to be His apostles, etc.). I could go on and on, but I will stop here hoping you see my point. Thus, it is not very wise to wear bracelets that say "WWJD"? Instead, we should wear a bracelet that says, "WWJWMTD" which means, What Would Jesus Want Me To Do? (Obviously, my point is not about bracelets). How do we know what Jesus wants us to do? By reading the whole Bible, and not just passages on what Jesus did or said. In the epistles we read that the apostles used many different approaches to teach. In addition, we live now 2000 years apart from the 1st century, and the world has changed drastically, and very hard to do exactly what the 1st century church did. Per example, they never used the internet to teach or even had a computer to write articles about teaching. Do you see my point? God bless!

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