Sunday, 1 December 2013

Could I be like Jesus?

Why do I do what I do: is it self aggrandisement, ego-tripping, a refusal to accept the preferences of others?

Normally I keep discussions to the thread in which they started, but this one has affected me very negatively and since this is a personal blog, it seems appropriate to post. I was reminded this morning of this scripture*:

John 15:19-21

New International Version - UK (NIVUK)
19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: “A servant is not greater than his master.” If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.

We live in the west, right? No-one is going to persecute me here, are they? 

Well maybe (and that's a long discussion) but they might also treat me in other ways as Jesus was treated if I do what Jesus did. How so? I've been really focussing into the gospels this year, been reading very little else, and one of the stand-out passages for me has been Jesus' cleansing of the temple:

Matthew 21

12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money-changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 ‘It is written,’ he said to them, ‘“My house will be called a house of prayer,” but you are making it “a den of robbers.

It occurred to me that if this happened in a western context we'd all be horrified. All sorts of people would be up in arms explaining how everyone was trying to come to God in their own way, about how the money changers were providing an invaluable service to the church and that they had amazing testimonies of God touching and changing lives through the way they had provided the right sacrifices for people to buy at just the right time. etc etc. You can make this stuff up for yourself. 

So how might Jesus react when the 'house of God' is full of people making money off the back of His gifting, His inspiration? Worship is a big big business now, and while I'm not suggesting the big names are coining it (at least, not in the UK) when I see smoke, coloured lights, stage moves and the rest I get a real bad feeling about where it's all coming from. Then guys draw in politics and all the rest into what they present. Meh, please don't mix it up with worship in Spirit and in truth.

I wonder if many cases, the artists and their products are the sacrificial animals being sold for use in the 'temple'.

So for me and 'my house' I take the stand where I do: "My selection criteria are sound theology, a focus on God".

There may be a small element of taste involved, but the motivation is primarily righteousness and purity. derby - joe - thank you for helping me think this through.

*All scriptures copied & pasted from

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