Moving towards the Simplicity
As Christians in America, we have our work cut out for us. Not because the state of our modern world is at the tip of moral decay like news headlines would like us to think (if you need confirmation that our society could be much worse, take a look back at the history of the Roman Empire), but because we’re all maxed out. We’re the age of information, presenting itself as both an advancement and a challenge. Every day thousands of podcasts, sermons, books, articles, and songs are launched into our spiritual stratosphere, vying for our attention. We suffer under the need to keep up with what’s what and who’s who even in the Christian world. Our lives are saturated with the voices and influence of the world around us, spiritual and secular alike. Amidst the chaos, it can be confusing and difficult to know who Jesus is and even, to borrow a slogan, “what would Jesus do.” We get lost or distracted in all the noise (albeit Christian noise) as we navigate what to take as truth. And I think some of us are probably pretty tired of keeping up with all the voices and the noise.
The good news is that somewhere in our efforts to be more spiritual is Jesus; His life, His ministry, and His words all laid bare before us to follow. When I look at the life of Jesus I don’t have to worry about His doctrine or what seminary He graduated from, because He’s Jesus--His words are true and His motives pure. We see this in verses like John 14:6, “...I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”I can look at Jesus’ life and replicate what He does without concern, because He lived the perfect life.
Jesus came to love the lost. He saw people as significant and worthwhile, especially those who society ignored and mistreated. The “untouchables”: a bleeding woman; the lepers; the prostitutes; the tax collectors; the disabled were the predominant recipients of direct healing from Jesus. He was unafraid to reach out and actually make physical contact with the exiles of His day. He was unafraid of their disease that drove so many others away from them. Have you ever thought about the fact that Jesus could have healed any of those people without touching them? He had the power to cast out sickness with a word. Instead, He met each person in their need, as if to take on their burden with them and to feel the pain Himself.
Jesus’ ministry wasn’t glamorous or even well respected by the spiritual leaders of the day. Jesus is relational and careful to see the individual. We like to complicate what it is Jesus calls us to do, but as we look to the day to day life of Jesus, we start to distinguish commonalities in the way He loved and cared for others.