Being Offensive Like Jesus

The last few months I’ve been preaching through Luke. I’m amazed at how offensive Jesus is. By offensive I mean, “not defensive.” He takes it right to people.

Luke 14 is a classic example. He is invited into someone’s house for a meal. He confronts religious types trying to trick Him, nails all the guests for fighting over the best seats, upbraids His host for inviting the wrong crowd and then takes an innocent comment (seemingly) from a guy sitting next to Him to launch yet again.

It’s really amazing. Over and over people sayJesus is all love and grace, yet you don’t get this sense observing His interactions with people. The case can be made that He is indeed showing love and grace by confronting lies, yet this is not what people mean by “Jesus is all love and grace!”

Jesus does not like sin. He abhors self-righteousness and arrogance. He never skips an opportunity to level people who are guilty of these things. After Jesus leaves the dinner, He walks away with a large multitude of people following Him.

Does Jesus try to pump them up, or preach a nice simple message that will make the crowd bigger? Nope, He attacks them, says they need to hate their mom and dad and take up a cross. He’s relentless in His desire to offend the sensibilities of self-righteous people.

He did a fantastic job and it led to His crucifixion. If we have the mind of Christ and are to walk in His steps, how ought we to deal with others? Or was this just a role for a Messiah with a death wish?

Not only did Jesus’ crowds get smaller, any crowd hearing this stuff today will get smaller too.

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Friend of Publicans and Sinners

Frequently we are told that Jesus was a “friend of publicans and sinners.” Generally we are told this while being told either

1) don’t judge
2) sin doesn’t matter
3) God is love not judgy.

Let’s look at the context of the phrase:

Matthew 9 says that publicans and sinners came and ate with him. This phrase also comes up in Matthew 11 where Jesus quotes the Pharisees charging Him, “The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners.”

The only time the Bible says Jesus was a “friend of publicans and sinners” is when Jesus is quoting their lies about Him, including that He was a drunk and a partier. Yes, He did eat a meal where they came and sat by Him, but He does not see Himself as a friend to them.

Being a friend of publicans and sinners was a way for Pharisees to ridicule His character. Jesus never claims that publicans and sinners are His friend.

In fact, if one wants to talk about whom Jesus was a friend of, we need not look much further than John 15:14, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.”

I wonder why we hear about the friend of publicans and sinners verse more than this one? Hmmm, wondering. Let me know if you come up with any ideas.

Thoughts on Intercession

Random thoughts on intercession:

Hebrews 9 tells us that Christ ascended to heaven to be our High Priest, to intercede on our behalf. His intercession is better because His sacrifice is better and He is a better priest. Also, the earthly temple was a picture of the heavenly reality.

Because of all this we can have assurance that Christ intercedes on our behalf and His intercession goes on as long as He does, which is, like, forever.

–Question is: who interceded on behalf of believers before Christ ascended?

In the OT we see intercession take place all over. We see sacrifices almost immediately (cain and Abel), showing they knew they needed to shed blood to take care of sin.

Moses and Aaron intercede pretty much every day to stop plagues from wiping out whiny wilderness Israel.

Perhaps the most fascinating example is Phinehas stabbing the adulterating couple through with a spear to stop a plague! This act was counted unto him for righteousness even! Not only did it benefit him, it stopped yet another plague on Israel.

–OT intercession, whether by sacrifices, priests, people in general, etc were all types of Christ. Ultimately everything pointed forward to Him.

One would then assume that NT intercession (make intercession for all men) is not quite the same. Our intercession does not avail for sin. Burning candles, being baptized for the dead, or any other human work, does not bring righteousness to another.

Origin of “Hocus Pocus”

Just read from a biased source that “hocus pocus” was a mockery of the Latin mass that turned the bread and wine into the actual body and blood of Christ. I was skeptical of this origin, so looked it up.

“Many people today believe it originated in a corrupted form of the words of the consecration of the host in the old Latin mass: hoc est (enim) corpus (meum), “this is my body”, an idea first aired by John Tillotson, Archbishop of Canterbury between 1691 and 1694. But as this was part of an anti-Catholic sermon, it may be taken with a fair-sized pinch of salt.”

No one really know where it came from, but it was in use before this anti-Catholic sermon.

Wal-Mart, Farming and Sin

“If there were no sin in the world, would there be Wal-Mart?” I was asked.

Obviously, the snide answer is “Nope.” Wal-Mart is all sin all the time on many levels, no?

But seriously, what would life be like with no sin? Man still worked. Potentially, if human-life lasted long enough without sin, there could be stores and fair pricing. Or would we all be tilling the ground?

If there were no sin in the world would we have career paths beside farming? Would teenagers be asked incessantly, “So, what’s your plan for after high school?” Would we “follow our dreams” or resign to the dream of gardening?

I suppose there’s no way to answer these questions since life didn’t work out that way. But it makes a guy wonder when he can’t think of anything else to write about.