Sunday, July 31, 2022

Jesus: A Teacher Unlike Any Other! #JesusFollowers

Jesus stands as a unique figure in world religions. To follow Jesus' teachings is to accept a challenge that is unlike any other religious teacher, because he is unlike any other teacher. 

No other teacher has called us to live lives of radical love - a love that dares equate what we give to our neighbors, to strangers, and even to our enemies, to what we give our SELVES. (Mark 12:31)

No other teacher has called us to live lives of radical service - a service that leads us to think of Others first, to deny our own needs, to care for all who are suffering and in need, and to always do more than is required. (Mark 8:34; 9:35; 10:43-45)

And no other teacher has called us to live lives of radical obedience - serving God completely, repenting of our past sins, seeking Heavenly, rather than Earthly treasure, and striving to live in complete and perfect obedience to God's will. (Matt 4:17; 6:19-20; 28:20)

No other teacher has set himself up as a perfect example for us to follow. Jesus says he always did what was pleasing to God, and he calls us to follow him in all things. (John 8:29; 14:24)

Jesus is a God-anointed teacher, and not "merely" a teacher, though merely a man, like us. Jesus, unlike any other religious figure, calls us to imitate him. He says we can do all that he has done, and calls us to a challenging, active religious life. (Acts 2:22; 13:23; John 13:15; 14:12)

The words he spoke were grounded in his Father and ours, God. God’s moral teachings were shown in Jesus’ teachings more clearly and purely than in any other human being.

To call ourselves his friends and followers, then, is the most important thing we can say, because these teachings of his are the most pure, most Godly and therefore most important teachings ever shared amongst the human race.

Jesus said he shared all things with us, saying, "I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you." (Matt. 15:15)

And Jesus taught that to preach God's good and beneficial message (Gospel) was the reason he went out to the villages of Judea. It consisted of his entire mission, and that was the only thing he came to do. (Mark 1:38; Luke 4:18-19)

To speak of Jesus' blood saving us in some way apart from obedience to his teachings is meaningless. Unless we honor both the life that his blood sustained, as well as his teachings that revealed God's will for our lives, we are not changed by Jesus and our hearts are not turned back to obeying God's moral Law.

His life and his death serve equally as examples of supreme love and self-sacrifice, because Jesus said, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends," and also, "You are my friends, IF you do as I command you." (John 15:13-14)

Everyone who hears his precious teachings, says Jesus, but does not act on them, "will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand."

The Gospel IS Jesus' teachings. It can be based on nothing else, and no other man's Gospel than the one Jesus preached can be put in its place. We, therefore, have one master, one Gospel and we serve one God, the God Jesus himself worshiped and calls us to love with all our heart, mind, soul and strength.

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