Sunday, April 1, 2018

No, Jesus Doesn’t Want Us to Be Fools #JesusFollowers

This Easter Sunday has the odd distinction of sharing the date with April Fool's Day.

Jesus never told us to be fools on his behalf, or to believe things that are hard to grasp, irrational, or impossible to believe. Instead, God chose for us a Master and Teacher who teaches us to love God with our minds as well as with our hearts.

The teachings of Jesus can be understood by a child and are MEANT to be this easily understood.

From his first teaching to his last, he displays a deep knowledge of human character, and an adaptation of his lessons to our needs when speaking about God, His worship, His will for our lives.

There is no foolishness, and no confusion to be found in his words, only clarity.

We are called to simply follow the teachings of Jesus, the one whom God chose to be our example in all things. Jesus taught us the way to enter God's Kingdom, God's ideal way for us to live together, and the way we can live with God forever after our earthly lives end, if God judges us worthy of entry.

We need never apologize for seeking to honor and follow the “simple” teachings of Jesus, because the simplicity of the teachings testifies to the great wisdom of the Teacher.

By comparison, all of the complicated teachings of men seem to be mere corruptions of God's simple plan, and Jesus' simple, childlike teachings. In other words, truly foolish.

When theologians tell us that we must believe their dogmas, just BECAUSE they are absurd and impossible to believe, we know these doctrines cannot represent the spirit of God.

Theologians and pastors seek to make complicated and "mysterious" those teachings that God's chosen one, Jesus, made simple and plain to understand. For example,

Our minds have little trouble grasping that God is One, and that He is all-wise, and all-loving, and all-Merciful, and is an eternal spirit, not a man, like us.

And we should never see ourselves as foolish when we proclaim that Jesus was a full and proper human being, like us, chosen by God to be our example and moral guide, adopted as God's Spokesman and Son at his baptism.

We aren't the foolish ones for thinking that we were born equipped to begin the task of obeying God, seeking to do what is Righteous, good, and holy, because Jesus calls his disciples to do just that.

We aren't the fools for trusting Jesus when he tells us that we may do just as he has done.

We're not fools for celebrating knowledge, using our minds, and honoring wisdom and Reason, because these are God’s gifts, celebrated by His Prophets and by Jesus, our teacher.

We aren't foolish for believing Jesus' simple teachings about the Kingdom of God, which we are challenged to help build by serving one another, living in peace together, and thinking of others’ needs before our own.

And we are never to think we're foolish for thinking that doing Good Works pleases God, and that our works alone are the basis for our judgment by our merciful Creator, because we are repeatedly told this by our Teacher, and by the Hebrew Scriptures that he honored.

Jesus tells us that neither God nor his teachings were ever meant to be seen "through a glass, darkly." Jesus is a window we can look through to see how God wishes us to live.

Nor can we believe for one moment that we are called to be fools – not for Christ Jesus or for those today or in the past who claim to preach and teach in his name.

We seek to follow Jesus, who points us always in the direction of greater knowledge and understanding of God, our Creator.

Yes, Jesus says we will be called "fools" by many in this world for seeking to live Righteously, for putting others' needs ahead of our own; for going the extra mile, and for serving the weak and suffering when it would be easier to just serve ourselves.

But that isn't truly foolish at all. Instead, we may understand it as the kind of rational, natural and Godly behavior that is the wisest and most fulfilling path for human beings to tread.

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