Jesus was here for a purpose – to be a visible presence of God. Everything He said and did was directly from the Father’s heart. In this scripture, Jesus said that “anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” When people see you, do they see God? What is your purpose? Is it personal? Or is it God’s purpose? Pastor Adam offers perspective on bringing our life into alignment with God.
When Jesus proclaimed “I am the way…to the Father…” He was stating that there is only one ultimate destination – knowing God as Father. For Jesus, relationship is the destination for our life. Pastor Adam asks, “where are you going? And will you be happy when you get there?” If your life pursuit is about getting that shiny thing – career, house, whatever, consider if you are on the right path according to Jesus.
Prayer is eternal and the Our Father prayer that Jesus taught us to pray is a spiritual transaction and private conversation with God, our Father. Prayer cements your temporal life into reality to make earth more like heaven. Jesus says that when we pray we get rewarded, but that doesn’t mean we should pray to get a reward. We should pray to build relationship with our Father.
When Jesus begins with “Our Father…” in teaching us how to pray, it was intended to change our perspective of God. Jesus used the word “Father” six times in this scripture to help us dismantle the far away, angry God framework. God as Father is one of the most radical religious concepts known to mankind. When you understand and digest God as your Father, it changes everything. We can then pray to an approachable loving Father and walk in the assurance of faith.
Jesus said some things that might be considered provocative or out of context. When He talked about orphans, He was not speaking to orphans but rather to adults. The mission of Jesus was to restore God’s children back to Him as our Father. Discover what it means to be a son or daughter of the King and experience His love in your life.
What are politics doing to your soul? Politics are ultimately about three things: governance, law and power. And history has taught us that power unchecked corrupts in both governments and the church. Pastor Adam explores how believers can filter our politics through scripture and how your prayer is even more important than your vote.
The politics of Jesus are meant to satisfy God rather than man. God’s politics are other worldly…not of this world. Political change is always accomplished first in human hearts. Pastor Adam explores God’s vision for his followers regarding kingdom politics and how to find peace in the midst of the world’s politics.
REST: Episode 2 – He Makes Me Lie Down. Psalm 23 The 23rd Psalm is immersed in peace and rest. You rarely see a shepherd running with his sheep. In scripture God is portrayed as the Great Shepherd. Who or what is shepherding your life? What voices and crazy makers do you follow? Following the Good Shepherd leads us to peace and restoration and into the house of the Lord.
We love to imagine Jesus on the stump and us as his stump speech writer, sitting somewhere joyfully behind the scenes as Christ blast away at political opponents. Few people though, when thinking about how Christ would weigh in on a certain political hot-button topic stop to think about the actual politics of the place and time Jesus existed. Instead, we extricate Jesus from any historical context, put him in a blue blazer with a copy of the Federalist papers in his hand and espouse what his views on a host of political topics would be based on our own highly biased and tightly corralled modern opinions.
The context of Jesus’ social and political world must be considered if one views context of value. And we must. Jesus a first century Jew, was from a failed theocracy, a political system meant to have God as its sovereign and its priest and judges acting as mediators of that supreme hierarchy. Instead, Israel demanded a king and got one. Check that, they got many and most all gave them the same results, oppression and more loss of inherited territory. By the time Jesus hits the scene, Kings David, Solomon and Joash are long gone and the nation had been upended and conquered by one of the most dominant societies of all time, the Romans. (Say it again, and this time with the Monty Python accent “The Romans”.)
At the same time, as you will see throughout the book of Acts, a secondary shadow government, run by the Jewish ruling elite and council were also trying to carry on with a government within a government and implementing Jewish laws under the very watchful eyes of the Romans. This is something that Rome allowed as they had become masters of the art of conquering and knew that some form of self-rule must be allowed to stem revolt.
Like the church today, Jesus found himself on the razor’s edge of being part of two political systems, both vying for hearts, minds and territory.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember when trying to descend into the wormhole and assume the understanding of Jesus politics is to remember that Jesus was not running for office.
The temptation to make Christ a political figure for one’s purposes is a strong potion. It is as true today as it was back in Jesus day. In trying to damn Jesus to the cross, the Jewish leaders protested to Pilate that Jesus was declaring himself a king trying to overthrow Roman rule. On another occasion, the Jewish people, so enamored by Christ’ power tried to make him king by force. Many believe that Judas, Peter and the other disciples followed Jesus at first not for the kingdom he was offering, but for the earthly one that they imagined. This illusion would be dismantled on the night Jesus allowed himself to be led away for conviction.
Thus, before we get into messianic policy making, we must come to a reckoning with the fact that while Jesus actions and words cataclysmically rocked the political world of its day, Jesus himself was not political, at least not in the way that we understand politics. Here again we come to another question. If Jesus was not intentionally political, than what would the politics of Jesus be?