Kiss or Run?

Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews.  John 5:1.

John A sets us up again. I mean it’s almost like he has some point he’s trying to make through all these stories and discussions.

His latest point from the last chapter focuses on craving the miraculous versus good ol’ solid truth.  Jesus did two things in the last chapter: 

1) By simply knowing the woman’s heart and life intimately, He changed a whole town.  There were no fireworks, no alters burned up (unless you consider His almost amused response to her “where to worship” argument a burning down the house statement), no one was healed in the town of Sychar on record.  Well, no one was healed physically. 

2) Jesus basically shows more power by just saying something would be true than all the current healers show by shouting.  With a quiet sentence and a word of rebuke prefacing it, Jesus did the extraordinary without leaving the house.  Healing a boy at a distance may seem like a bigger miracle than actually touching him, but it’s all one and the same to Christ.

In Matthew 8 we see a leper come and kneel for healing. He said, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.  Jesus replied, “I will, be clean.”  In that instance, Jesus reached out and touched the man.  Lepers were a taboo in the physical contact department, for if a Jew touched someone with leperosy, they were quarantined 7 days!  A spiritual teacher would never have touched a leper for fear that they might be unclean and unable to perform their duties in the synagogue.  Jesus healed not only the man’s body but his heart and soul by being the first person in probably years who reached out in gentle, loving contact.  The reality is that Jesus could have stood far away and just thought the man clean–I mean all He had to do was picture it in His mind and it would’ve been so.

Jesus’ power offends those who refuse to live His way (Paul addresses this in 1Corinthians 1 & 2).  That’s why we see so many, even within the church, attempt to downplay Christ’s life, the gospel records and generally cast doubt on what Christians say about Him.  Now while I agree Christianity has muddled the stew a bit too much, the basic message remains intact after 2000 years.  I also believe the conservative agenda argument with the liberal ideal really holds no place in the body of believers.  Why should Jesus be liberal or conservative?  He doesn’t need those labels or agendas because He’s right!  And if He doesn’t, then we don’t.

So those who don’t want to change their lifestyle will always play down the miraculous Jesus because it’s just too convincing an argument to refute.  But is it?  The leaders of Israel still crucified Him after watching Him raise Lazareth to life–in fact, they plotted to kill Lazareth too because how do you argue with a walking miracle?

I don’t object to people who disagree with Jesus finding someone else to believe in or a different practice to follow.  What I do object to is anyone who professes know what our only source book teaches and then doing their best to explain it away to fit their agenda.  To me, SDAs, Baptists, Evangelicals, and Pentacostals have all been verrrrry guilty of this bad habit.  When challenged as to their POV on a topic, they explain away verses that disagree with them as unimportant, misread or unclear in meaning.  Now while I agree some passages are subject to interpretation, the basic message of sin, righteousness and salvation remain intact.  Our view of how Jesus will come–i.e. methodology–really doesn’t matter because humans have a habit of missing the point anyway.  An open mind to truth realizes the myths, legends and doctrines that rise up around a subject, so they study the passages that seem obscure to understand the truth.  What we don’t understand, we store away until more light is shed on the the subject or the prophecy comes true so we can recognize it by the clues we’ve been given.

John A presents two types of people which represent most of humanity.  Those who avoid commitment to Christ by dent of argument and grin when they present a good argument which baffles those who oppose them.  Those who won’t believe unless they see fire come down from the sky.  Both have the same problem here.  Both want to believe in God but they want their acknowledgement to the the end of it, and please could not interfere with their lives that much.  The general person who rejects Jesus usually can point to a bad example or two in the Christian circles who misrepresented Him to them.  Well, so what?  All of us have met so called Christians who give us either a shine on or a black eye.  Where do we think sin is gonna’ raise its ugly head the most to defeat Jesus?  Right in the company of believers in order to discourage them.

I will give you what I believe to be the best argument against all arguments against Jesus:  A changed life and attitude.

No one I have ever seen who truly practices the teachings of Jesus, connects with Him on a daily basis, makes themselves vulnerable to others of like mind, remains unhappy or discontent.  In fact, those who follow Jesus intimately have some of the worst trouble I’ve ever seen but they remain solid and joyous overall.  They never claim to be perfect or faultless but there grows in them a way of thinking and being which cannot be refuted.  Once a person connects with eternity, the temporary holds no real threat or priority which can disturb their peace.  The more people trust what we call “truth” in Christ the more they grow to be peaceful in mind and body.

I’ve never seen healthier minded people nor more simply happy contented humans than those who fall into the arms and protection of Jesus’ word.

The man above realized his mistake, took Jesus at His word and headed home to find his son well again.  This quiet miracle saved his life and the life of his whole family.  It also taught him not to look for the sensational.  The woman at the well learned her bitterness would only be overcome by the Lord who loved her.  She became a woman of standing because of Jesus.  Her status in the community changed, as did her lifestyle too, I dare say.  No one remains the same where Jesus really enters the picture as more than just a historical or religious figure.  When we become intimately acquainted with the Lord of all creation, everything shifts.  Our whole world takes on a whole new meaning and lasting purpose.


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4 Responses to “Kiss or Run?”

  1. tlc4women Says:

    Isn’t it beautiful to watch a person come to Christ and then watch their countenance change as their lives become one of security? It’s why I do what I do. I know that peace.

  2. jonnysoundsketch2 Says:

    Yeah, sometimes I think I’m a little selfish about it because it’s such a pleasure to watch the peace and serenity grow. I love seeing people grow sane…

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Yeah, sometimes I think I’m a little selfish about it because it’s such a pleasure to watch the peace and serenity grow. I love seeing people grow sane…
    Sorry, forgot to add great post! Can’t wait to see your next post!

  4. tlc4women Says:

    If it’s selfish then I’m guilty. It’s one of those simple pleasures in life to be able to really see transformation live and in person. Imagine though, if we feel like that in our human condition then how much more so Jesus? I can only imagine the smile of satisfaction when we figure out that chaos is not healthy living.

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