What does Jesus Ask?
In Matthew 16, when Jesus took his disciples to the Gentile region of Caesarea of Philippi, surrounded by the idols and influences of the heathen nations, he asked them, “who do men say that I am?” They answered, “some say that you are John the baptist, or Elijah, or Jeremiah returned from the dead. Peter answered, “thou art the Christ, the son of the living God.” Jesus said, “heaven and earth has not revealed this to you, but my Father which is in heaven.”
Jesus asked another question in Luke 6:46, “And why call me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” Jesus said that the one who is greatest among you shall be servant of all. You are slaves to whom you obey. They claimed that they were “all in” but Jesus said that unless you obey, unless you give up all that is in the world to follow me, you are not my disciple. Christians in our culture today like to leave our options open. We often say “no” to his will.
Jesus said but what are men of this generation like? They do not understand the things of the spirit of God. They, like their idols, hear but cannot hear and they see but they cannot see. In other words, they are apathetic… present but not engaged. They have a lust (over desire) for the affairs of this world instead of a passion and compassion for the things of the spirit. God has sanctified us through the power of his holy spirit. Holiness (sanctification) means to set apart… As the master designer he has separated us for the purpose for which he designed us… to be holy and without blame before him in love.
In Mathew 5: 46 and 47 Jesus delivered the “sermon on the mount.” Jesus said many radical things in this message… He challenged those who said they loved and followed God. Jesus said if you love only those who love you… don’t even the pagans do that? Is your success defined by keeping the rules of the world? What does it mean to love unconditionally with the love of God? As believers, he created within us a new spirit, a new man. The spirit of Christ in us is the blessed assurance that we are sons of God… It is the token of our inheritance, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which he’s committed to me against that day of judgement. The message that Jesus delivered is that the problems of this world are opportunities for God to show his power to deliver. There is no justice and fairness in this world… bless them that persecute you and despitefully use you for great is your reward in heaven. The world says for us to build up a resentment bank so that we can get revenge, so that we can exact “just retribution.” However Jesus said that you have the power to be different… to allow God to balance the scales of justice in his own time frame. Jesus implied that compassion for the affairs of this world is opposed to passion for the affairs of heaven. Why does God allow the morals of the world to dominate the culture? Why does he allow the body of Christ to be influenced by the passions of this world? He has called his people to make a choice… to pray for the world, to intervene on their behalf, to love with the unconditional love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation. The love of God loves the unlovable, that’s why it’s unconditional. Forgiveness is to forgive the unforgivable. Any man can claim his rights and any demon will make sure he gets them. Human “rights” are often spiritual wrongs. Jesus said that your enemies in the flesh are not your real enemies. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of darkness, against spiritual wickedness from on high. Often the trials and tribulations of worldly relationships are given to us so that we can repent… so that we can turn our hearts away from the things of this world and toward the things of God. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, for they do gender strife. The bondservant of the Lord must not be quarrelsome. The love of God and the wisdom from above is first peaceable, easy to be entreated, without hypocrisy and without partiality. A bond slave gives up his “right” to seek vengeance. God has called us to be an holy nation, a royal priesthood, a peculiar people. We are outlives from this world of darkness… from the world’s perspective we are “freaks of nature.” From God’s perspective we are an holy nation, separated from this world and separated unto the purpose for which he designed us. To be a bond slave for Christ, we must give up our human rights in order to live righteous in him… in him we live and move and have our being. For I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life that I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. Ye are slaves to whom ye obey. Make me a captive Lord, and then I shall be free…
May God richly bless you.
Your brother in Christ,