“The Jesus Response”

Sermon planning time for me- and I invite you to participate with me by sharing your wisdom and insights.

I am working on a sermon series for later in the spring entitled “The Jesus Response.” The idea behind it is to examine how Jesus responded to his culture and what we can learn and apply from that.

My foundational claim is that his culture and our culture are very similar- pluralism abounded then and does now. The question “What is truth?” alone can describe postmodern thought.

So we start there and closely examine how Jesus engaged and impacted this kind of culture- and through this discern how we might as well. So far here are some of my thoughts:

  • Jesus ministry was grass-roots. He primarily moved and worked among the common folk- the poor and oppressed. His message of relief from that poverty and oppression resonated strongly and gained followers. Maybe this is where we need to go as well- back into the byways and highways- where the needs are. Nothing new about this idea- but are we really doing it?
  • Jesus was the definition of authentic. This is a postmodern buzz word but key to Jesus impact. They recognized he was different- not like the scribes and Pharisee’s in his teaching. They recognized his realness. We must reclaim this kind of authenticity.
  • He presented a counter-ethic that empowered the powerless. Last will be first- lose life to save it- go the extra mile- turn the other cheek, etc. This kind of power through surrender and service scandalized those who possessed power.  Are not more and more feeling powerless now?
  • He refused to get off-message. His detractors could not steer him into debate or away from his mission. He did not waste time engaging their trite theological discussions. He came to seek and save the lost. Often we spend much time focusing on things that sound spiritual and religious but in fact make no difference to the hurting and lost.
  • He chose truth over tradition and people over institutions- similar to previous point but nuanced a little differently. Christ was not about propping up institutional traditions- he was about changing lives through truth. This kind of approach clearly injects Christ into contemporary dialogue in effective ways.

Okay- if you waded thru that- any suggestions  and input  would be appreciated.

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7 Responses to “The Jesus Response”

  1. thesauros says:

    His reality is so overwhelming that fools can only deny His existence.

  2. landsway says:

    If Jesus came back to earth today it would be much the same. The church leaders of today would not accept him just like they did not all those years ago. Jesus would be that same because He is the Word of God made flesh. If we think about that it is amazing. He is the Word of God and because of that He not only knows the truth; but is the truth which is why He did not waste time talking about things that were meant to be devisive. He knew the truth and we hope we are in the truth. There is a difference.

  3. Royce Ogle says:

    We tend to feel inadequate when we don’t have quick answers to all of the questions that come our way. He often only answered with another question.

    He was always going against the religeous culture, not just the popular culture, but the religious culture. I think in this we likely should follow Him. Far too often what is popular and accepted is not best.

    Royce

  4. K. Rex Butts says:

    If Christians today wish for our communities to embrace Jesus as Lord and Savior, I believe there is one critical facter we need to remember about Jesus: Jesus embodied in the way he lived everything he spoke about. What a huge challenge! What are we embodying? Is what we embody consistent with the claims we make about the teachings of Jesus? If the world is going to believe Jesus they need to see a church that lives as Jesus. What a huge challenge!

    Grace and peace,

    Rex

  5. Jim Sexton says:

    We need to embody Him personally, in plural (the called out), and in the full faith that it requires. Christian isn’t a name anymore than plumber or nurse are… if we dare call ourselves by His prophesied calling then we better be doing a much better job of being, not wearing His name.

    Remember, Christ wasn’t His last name… it was who He was in fulfillment of all prophecy, all of God’s planning, and everything we needed Him to be as our Savior. Christianity doesn’t need to be dumbed down, it needs to be honed, applied daily, and shared with all that we encounter.

    When we see a baseball player, we will know who and what he is by seeing him in action. Does anyone in your realm of influence know know what you are by seeing your everyday Christianity, or do you have to continually remind them because the evidence doesn’t add up to the name that we wear?

  6. Danny Holman says:

    I find it interesting that the normal pattern for Jesus was (1)Do something that no one expected that shook their presuppostions, then (2) explain it… usually with a parable. It is amazing to me, and probably an indication of his divinity, that Jesus could be at one time both completely in the culture and also independent of it (incarnate and transcendant).
    This comes across most vividly in the way he treats all the social “pockets” of people in a similar fashion: religous leaders, pagan, moral, immoral, rich, poor, powerful, and oppressed. The only people who seemed to get a “different” response were the biligerent religous leaders who victimized the masses with the religous burdens they enforced in God’s name.

  7. dannydodd says:

    Thanks for all the input- good stuff that will be helpful as I continue to develop these thoughts for my sermon series.

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