The Jesus Disconnect

jesusThis blog has two stated purposes, clearly displayed in the headline banner: to be God honoring and Christ centered.  Those words are written there to both advertise what this blog is about, but also to remind the author what this blog is supposed to be about.  We must keep our eyes on the prize; so said the Apostle Paul, in a manner of speaking.  For the Christian – take note of the first five letters of that word – Christ must be the central theme running through everything we do, from studying the Bible to blogging on the internet. 

I’ve written on this several times before (read the About page) and have to fight the temptation to repeat everything.  InternetMonk has posted on nothing but the Jesus Disconnect  for the past couple of days.  He notes that many professing Christians show interest in the death and resurrection of Jesus, but are less focused on his actual ministry.  Some do not see his ministry as having any relevance to “our ministry” at all.  There are currently 5 posts in this series, but he seems to be on a tare, so who knows? 

Reading the Jesus Disconnect reminds me somewhat of The Jesus I Never Knew by Phillip Yancy.  His book talks about growing up with a 2-D felt Jesus who moved around on the felt board and was generally nice to people.  It was an eye-opening experience to find out later in life there seemed to be a whole Jesus he didn’t know anything about.  We’ve dealt with following different Jesuses before, from hippie Jesus to Yuppie Jesus, and visited an I-Monk post about “Bargain Jesus.”  The call is for Christians to become Christ-like, which means (duh!) we have to know what Christ is like.  We must study his ministry, teachings, sermons, miracles and the events of his life to develop a character profile.  We must get inside of his head, so that in the words of Paul, we can have within us the mind of Christ.  He must be our center, our focus and our goal.  Only then can we share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and not some other gospel we made up along the way.

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2 thoughts on “The Jesus Disconnect

  1. Yancey’s study of Jesus was not the first Christian book that met me at a pivotal point in life, but it was the first Christian book that I truly feel I took ownership of. I wish Phillip blogged! It’s a wonderful back-to-basics refresher course for all of us.

    I hope you don’t mind me pasting something from that book I blogged just over a year ago, so people can catch the flavor of it…

    “The more I studied Jesus, the more difficult it became to pigeonhole him. He said little about the Roman occupation, the main topic of conversation among his countrymen; and yet he took up a whip to drive petty profiteers from the Jewish temple. He urged obedience to the Mosaic law while acquiring the reputation of a lawbreaker. He could be stabbed by sympathy for a stranger, yet turn on his best friend with the flinty rebuke, “Get behind me, Satan!” He had compromising views on rich men and loose women, yet both types enjoyed his company.

    “One day miracles seem to flow out of Jesus the next day his power was blocked by people’s lack of faith. One day he talked in detail of the Second Coming; another, he knew neither the day nor hour. He fled from arrest at one point and marched inexorably toward it at another. He spoke eloquently about peacemaking, then told his disciples to procure swords. His extravagant claims about himself kept him at the center of controversy, but when he he did something truly miraculous he tended to hush it up. As Walter Wink has said, if Jesus had never lived, we would not have been able to invent him.”

    ~~ Philip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew (Zondervan 1995) p.23 I

  2. I actually became fed up with church after years of hearing about the 2D Jesus (great term). I knew deep down that there was much more to him than is commonly preached, and after much searching it became clear that we just need to take Christ seriously and realize that he meant the things he said.

    Above all we need to care for the poor, love our neighbor, and reflect Christ’s love in all that we do.

    We need to have the guts to live the way he lived.

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