Summary: Jesus heals on the Sabbath
32. Who is Jesus?
April 10th, 2010
Jesus is not looking for fans, He is looking for followers. It is very difficult to follow someone if you don’t pay attention to where they are going. Jesus shares His life with us, living among us so that we can learn how to live by following His example. Jesus comes to earth ultimately to suffer and die on the cross for our sins so that we can be brought back to a right relationship with God. Jesus dies so we can have life. Jesus focuses His life on doing the work of the kingdom of God. We all have misconceptions about Jesus. No matter how smart or how well studied we are following Jesus will require us to step out of our comfort zones. Jesus spends a lot of His ministry in conflict with people who are opposing the kingdom of God.
There is this growing trend of people who try to be non-confrontational. This is a fancy way of saying we are cowards. I’m not talking people being non-aggressive but about people who avoid conflict. Some of us are compulsive about this. We just run away and refuse to directly deal with confrontation which is not a good thing. That doesn’t mean you have to pick fights or battle every problem in your life, there are issues you shouldn’t get involved in but there are things you need to fight for. There are areas where we should not back down. Being non-confrontational is a nice way of saying: you don’t care. Our relationship with God will cause conflict. Either you care enough to fight for Jesus and to take a stand for Him, or you don’t care about Him at all.
When Jesus faces a problem He doesn’t hide. He doesn’t shy away from it. He doesn’t try to dance around it like a politician. He faces it head on. Jesus deals directly with the conflict in His ministry. Following Jesus means that we are going to have to deal with conflict directly. To do that you cannot be afraid to stand up for what you believe. You cannot be afraid to hurt people’s feelings if what you have to say is right, and loving. I wrestled with this for years. I would do counseling and I would negotiate with people. I would try to reason with them to lead them to the conclusion they should make. It was a huge waste of time and it rarely worked.
Then I tried something new: I still remember having a conversation and telling the person: “I don’t care how you feel. This is what is right, this is what Jesus wants you to do and either you are going to follow Jesus or you are going to do what you want. That is the choice you are making.” So many people are afraid to actually say something that is true, to take a stand for what is right so when it happens people find it refreshing. Sooner or later we are going to have to stop telling people what they want to hear and start telling them the truth.
Here is the issue: conflict happens. Some people man up and face it. Some people hide from it. They still deal with the conflict, they just do it indirectly. They passive-aggressively go around behind people’s back’s bad mouthing, gossiping and complaining. Instead of dealing with and resolving the issue they find cheerleaders in their lives who they can vent their frustrations too. The issue doesn’t get resolved, just swept under the rug to cause problems later. We are not actually avoiding controversy, we are too scared to face it directly.