Friday, March 10, 2017

Jesus & Other Emperors

I know men; and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for him. ~attributed to Napoleon 

Jesus is a different sort of king with a different sort of kingdom. Even Napoleon (Bonaparte not Dynamite) could see this.

Not only does he acknowledge that Christ is incomparable to all others, but he readily concedes that all emperors—himself included—and all empires are inferior to Jesus and His Way.

Napoleon can see it. Can we?

David Gornoski thinks we cannot.

We believe in the way Karl Marx and other counterfeit Jesuses in history have offered: violent power is the highest good we should desire. Might makes right. Majority rules. The Public Will can sacrifice a misfit who objects. All those crusty, stinky, stupid barbaric mantras are shortcuts to heaven that lead to hell.

Did you notice how Napoleon and Gornoski speak of force and violent power? These are the ways of the kingdoms of the world. Everyone is striving for power over others.

Our King—King Jesus—shows us the way of power under. His is not the way of coercion but of persuasion; not of sacrificing others but of laying down our own lives for the sake of others.

Jesus invites us to come and die—not go and kill.  

“Take up your cross and follow Me,” He says.

Thus, an early follower of His writes: “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh [i.e. their sinful nature] with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24).

We are called to love. This is the highest ethic of Christ’s kingdom.

Will you join me in taking a quick look inside?

Our motives, desires and aspirations; the way we think about and interact with others: Who do we truly emulate—Jesus or other emperors?

I wonder if the folks who know us best would agree with our assessment. I wonder if Jesus does.  

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