Following Jesus with everything we’ve got
Before I can talk about anything else on here I need to talk about the root of everything else that I’ll talk about. And that is seeking to follow Jesus in every part of life. And I mean *every* part of life. Where you live, where you work, how you spend/invest your money, how you spend your time… every part of life. Looking at the earliest accounts of Jesus we can pick out some things that set him apart from the crowd:
Being around a wide variety of people, from tax collectors to zealots
Connecting with the outcast and the sinner
Standing up for the oppressed
Rejecting domination and violence
Living a simple way of life in community
Healing the broken
Touching the untouchable
Caring more about people than about religion
Forgiving and loving even those who would kill you
And his teaching is also powerful as well. I suggest taking some time to read through the Sermon on the Mount, which is considered his most comprehensive teaching:
If we are serious about being followers of Jesus it will require all of us. It will require us taking a good look at our culture and seeing what harmful and oppressive things we are a part of. It will require us to examine our lives, and to make changes. Normally not out of guilt, although we have things that we should feel guilt for.
America, and western culture in general, has been profoundly formed by the empire of consumer capitalism in the last 50 years. We have believed the lie that our identity is found in consuming. Guess what? We were lied to. We’ve all got to come to grips with how that has infected our way of thinking and our living. To truly follow Jesus in this culture will require us to change our way of life. It will be costly. But if we are to be a part of seeing the in-breaking of God’s love into this world there is no other way. We need to follow.