Thursday, February 2, 2017

Jesus & Other Ways

Early Christianity was known as the Way—a clear reference to Jesus’ claim of being “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). To be sure, there were many ways then as there are now, but Jesus eschews them all and invites us to do the same.

However, we sometimes con ourselves into believing that we can somehow hang onto Jesus while following other ways. But how does one simultaneously travel north and south and live to tell about it?

Quite often we are so enculturated by the ways of world that we are oblivious to our wandering. Indoctrination can be imperceptible.

Thus, Jesus warned His earliest disciples: “Watch out! Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod” (Mark 8:15).

Jesus uses leaven as a metaphor of sin’s invisible or unnoticeable, spreading or increasing influence in our lives. We may imagine that we needn’t heed the Lord’s “Watch out!” because—the last time we checked—the Pharisees and Herod are long gone.  

Yes, but their ways are with us still.

The Pharisees walked the way of religion; Herod the path of politics.

Dear reader, please beware of the leaven of politics and religion. These coercive ways are not the Way of Christ and they can never advance the kingdom of God.

Those who dismiss the Lord’s warning against the ungodliness of politics and religion should remember this one important thing: Jesus reads Facebook.

I think He knows what He’s talking about. Don’t you?

Pharisees, Herods, Zealots, Essenes
Caesars, gods, and philosopher kings
So many ways, so many means
Ends never to bring
Apart, above, below and beyond
Power’s thirst allayed
Quenched on a Cross, love displayed
The Way of a crucified God

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