This is what Jesus looks like.
A group of churches in the New Haven area are collaborating to show Jesus’ love to the people of their city. Recently 1,000 volunteers contributed to 72 different service projects in New Haven. They call their group Bridges of Hope and they collaborate and cooperate with institutions of all faiths, and no faith, for the common good when consistent with Christ’s values. You can check them out over at the Bridges of Hope website.
This is what Jesus looks like–in New Haven, Connecticut.
“…who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10-29-37)
Last post on the gospel of John we saw how John the Baptist declared, “I am not the Christ,” and we discussed the benefits of recognizing that fact in our own lives. This post we’ll see John grilled with more questions and learn what information he withheld from his inquisitors.
And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” (John 1:21-23)
Was John The Baptist Elijah?
They asked John the Baptist if he was Elijah, and he said, “I am not.” Have you ever thought this through? Because Continue reading
My friend George sent me a direct message on Twitter with this question. My answer quickly became too long for that medium so I put it in a blog post. Props to George for asking such a great question.
George wrote: What do you think of this quote, I see a lot of truth to it…. “Isn’t it a remarkable coincidence almost everyone has the same religion as their parents? And it always just happens to be the right religion. Religions run in families. If we’d been brought up in ancient Greece we would all be worshiping Zeus and Apollo. If we had been born Vikings we would be worshiping Wotan and Thor. How does this come about? Through childhood indoctrination.” Richard Dawkins
It’s great to hear from you George! And that’s a really great question too. I’m not a scholar or a genius by any means, I’m just a regular guy who loves Jesus so all I have to offer are my own thoughts based on what I’ve learned over the last few years. The following is just the way I think about this question.
So for me it starts with Continue reading
I think we can all agree that’s true. In this life, we can only do a few things well. With that in mind, why wouldn’t one of those things be what Jesus says is most important? If you’re not a follower of Christ, then it doesn’t matter. But if you are a follower of Christ…
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” –Jesus Christ, Matthew 22:36-39
(From the book The Art of Neighboring, by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon)
Image via Leland Francisco – Creative Commons
And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” John 1:19-20
I have failed as a leader. As a father, most importantly, and also as a leader in the fire department. Many of the scraps of wisdom you read on this blog come from my failures. I offer what I offer so you don’t have to fail where I did. You can learn from experience but it doesn’t have to be your own. I invite you to learn from mine. And this idea that I am not the Christ, that was one of my greatest failures of all.
Maybe you’re saying to yourself right now, “That’s not a problem for me. Of course I know I’m not the Christ.” If that’s you then let me just say, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m not talking about intellectual understanding. I’m talking about behavior. In my case, I was one of those people: a type A personality. I tried–to the point of exhaustion–to be the rising sun of my organization and my family: simultaneously.
It doesn’t work.
I can tell you (because I’ve lived it) that when you forget you’re not the Christ you’ll fail. More specifically, you’ll tend to experience the following 5 problems: Continue reading
Speaking of the early church in the Roman Empire, Kevin Palau writes:
“All they had was the real, living presence of Jesus Christ himself–living in them through the Holy Spirit, giving them what they needed to bear witness and radically love in ways the world could not explain.” From Palau’s book Unlikely)
Unlikely is one of the most important books I’ve read in years. It’s just what I needed to hear. You might have the same reaction: Unlikely: Setting Aside Our Differences to Live Out the Gospel
“He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:11-13
Women Are More Amazing Than Men
Women are amazing, aren’t they? I mean, they have an ability no man has. They have the ability to Continue reading
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. John 1:6-8
The Most Inclusive Of All Religions
John the Apostle wrote those words about John the Baptist. God sent John the Baptist so all might believe through him. All–everyone–every single human being. That’s what God wants. And He went to extreme lengths to make that possible. He sent the Light, His own Son, to die on your behalf. Unlike other religions, it doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done. It’s not dependent on the works you do or the depth of your meditative state. Christianity is the most inclusive of all religions. Anyone, anyone at all, can receive the Light who is Jesus Christ. “This is the work of God,” Jesus said, “that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
“…that all might believe,” that is God’s heart.
But as you read the scripture at the top of this post you might be saying to yourself, Continue reading
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. John 1:1-3
The Exact Representation of God’s Nature
In the beginning was the Word. The Word with a capital W. The Word is logos in the Greek and it means a thought. The capital W means the Word is divine. The Word is what John calls Jesus in the first verse of the gospel of John. In other words, Jesus The Word is the expression of God’s thoughts. Jesus is a living expression of God’s mind. Or as the writer of Hebrews tells us, Jesus is the exact representation of His nature. (Hebrews 1:3)
When Philip said to Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus answered,“Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:8-21)
The God We Can’t Understand
And we’re so immensely blessed by Jesus’ incarnation. Think this through with me: If you believe Continue reading