Sunday, May 26, 2013

Jesus: Our Example, Sent from God

Jesus went out preaching as a prophet and as a perfect example in life and death of what God wishes us to be, and called on us to follow him in all things. That is it. That is the Gospel (“Beneficial Message.”) Period. No further mysteries, no complicated Greek philosophies, no man-made, Lawyerly speculations or endless debates about others’ interpretations of Jesus' words or imagined interpretations about him. It's AMAZINGLY simple.

And yet, there are those who wish to complicate this simple message, to make it into a vast, philosophical tangle that only THEY can explain to the rest of us. But there’s a problem with their plan. Jesus spoke simply and powerfully about his mission from God and about how we were to respond to it.

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt. 4:17)

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel." (Mark 1:15)

“For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. ... If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” (John 13:15, 17)

Jesus spoke to challenge us and calls us today to be examples in his name. And he, himself, was a moral exemplar that we are to follow.

“He who has seen me has seen the Father,” isn't a call to put Jesus on an equal plane with God – as if we could never do what he did. It was Jesus telling us that when we see him, we see through a glass CLEARLY, right through to God, whom Jesus said was his God as well as ours.

This Father, our God, chose and sent Jesus to be His Anointed Prophet and to proclaim a Good and Beneficial Message (Gospel) to us (Luke 4:18) that we would know through his teachings, life and death, we should know it can be done by a human being.

By becoming Jesus Followers, we accept the challenge Jesus gives to us to take up our cross and follow him in pursuit of God’s righteousness.

As God’s chosen Spokesman, Jesus authoritatively calls us to take up his challenge and to follow his example.

Jesus lived, taught and died as a pure moral example for us, so that we should follow him and be made perfect in Righteousness though observance of the Commandments. We do this with God’s help and a reliance on God’s holy Spirit. And we are required, on this journey of Faith, to always seek God's forgiveness for our faults and failures as we strive towards this perfect expression of Righteousness God's Anointed Son, Jesus, has modeled for us.

Let no one say this is too difficult of a task, that we are not equipped to do it. God granted us Reason, a free will and great moral abilities, and is with us always to strengthen and encourage and equip us. Jesus himself prayed to God to renew his strength and face the persecution he faced because he dared to confront the religious leaders of his day.

Let us go and do likewise.

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