If Jesus Told The Truth

I am thinking about my teaching/preaching.  I am thinking my words, my sermons, and the over all message these people hear. 


I am thinking even more about my own life.  At times, I feel like I have gotten lost in a system that has eaten me alive.  At other times, I think that I am simply coming back to what really matters most to me.  This is why I am thinking about the following two questions:


What if Jesus were the guest speaker/preacher at our church this Sunday?  What would he say?


Oh I would like to say that it would be a wonderful day.  I suspect our numbers would go up.  Adult children would call their parents to come visit.  Children of our members would drive in from the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex to hear Jesus speak and then have lunch together afterward.  I suspect our members would be a bit more eager to invite friends in our community. 


The question is:  "What kind of day would this be?"  You say, "Why Jim, it would be a great day!  Jesus love us.  Why wouldn’t it be a wonderful day to hear him speak?" OK, you’ve got a point.  Yes, I do know he loves us.  I have no doubt that Jesus would be tender with the broken, the poor in spirit, and those who are genuinely seeking him.


Let me be real honest.  I am afraid of the remarks that he might direct toward me.  You’ve read the Gospels.  You know how he could be very candid with religious leaders. 


In fact, anyone who is a church leader of any kind might want to think about this.  What will he say to those of us who have been a part of the church for a long time and who see ourselves as "mature?"  Let me be even more specific.  What if he preaches the material in the Gospels?


What would he say?  I wonder if he would evaluate things differently than we do?  He might say something like the following:


You do not evaluate your lives the way I do.  I am more concerned about whether or not these people love God and people than anything else.

You do not evaluate your church the way I do.  I am more concerned about you being my presence in this community rather than whether or not you may be happy with the way things are going.

You do not evaluate spiritual maturity the way I do.  Some of you have been Christians for a very long time.  You need to be more mindful of the younger and less mature.  Some of you have been Christians for a lesser amount of time.  You need to be grateful that your forefathers pointed you to me.  All of you need to remember that the bottom line is loving God and loving the people who you interact with.

You do not evaluate truth the way I do.  Sermon messages are not good if they seem to pass the popularity contest.  There were times when I spoke and people walked away, wanting nothing more to do with me. 

You do not ask the right questions.  You need to be asking in your families, in your church meetings, and among your leadership these questions:  "What does Jesus want us to do?  What would he do?  What do we know about him that might help us know what to do?"

Maybe you too, need to think about this in light of your own life.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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17 thoughts on “If Jesus Told The Truth

  1. I remember when Joan Osborne’s song ‘What if God was one of us?’ was in the charts, and a non-christian friend of mine asked me how i would respond to the lines in the song that go…

    If you were faced with him, In all his glory
    What would you ask if you had just one question?

    i said it was a very good question, and that i’d give it some thought… which i did… in the end i decided my question would be

    ‘am i even close?’

    by which i mean, am i even close to understanding who you are? is my form of religion in step with what you want?

    years have passed since then, and i still think it would be my question

  2. I think about it everyday…that is, everyday I’m willing to take up my cross and follow him. On the days I refuse to suffer these thoughts, I feel good, but without God.

    As a pastor, I am living with these thoughts night (long nights) and day. It hurts and it is right.

    Kierkegaard asked, “If we are Christians, then who is God”.
    Who indeed. God, have mercy on us.

  3. So, Jesus’ message would be, “You do not.”

    I’m not so sure that would be His message. I think human beings, especially in post-modern America, fully realize that “we do not.”

    His message is still the same today as it was when He walked the earth. “Come, follow Me. Welcome to your table those who others will not–the poor, the outcast, the sinners, and tax gathers and I will welcome you with your failings and short comings.”

  4. These are great questions. I have often wondered if Jesus and his band of 12 actually walked up to a church today and asked if He may address the congregation, how far would He get? Would we ever recognize Him in our presence or would we be the ones shouting blasphemy? Just the thought of how I would react, changes my perspective on how not so far a part I may be from those we consider so blind.

  5. Good thoughts Jim. Reminds me of Jesus’ letters to the seven churches in the Revelation. Often not comfortable, but what we need.

    At least some gentle words of correction would surely be given to most of us.

  6. Re: Jack Holt’s comment.

    Jesus is inclusive and exclusive. What he offered he offered to all, but he offered it in different ways. To those humbled with a conscousiness of sin, he spoke tender words. To Judas he was often silent. To Peter, words of reprimand. And to the Pharisee, when called for, a scathing yet tearful rebuke.

    I’m not speaking of a situational ethic, but spiritual tact.

    Jesus is a master of the wound that heals. Isn’t this his cross and ours?

  7. Jack,
    Good point. Of course you are correct in saying that many people certainly realize that “we do not.” I suppose I was thinking in particular about self-satisfied Christians or self-satisfied churches.


  8. “What do we know about him (Jesus) that might help us know what to do?”

    This is truly a great question because it begins with our eyes on the Savior. It’s a question that encourages faith and dependance on God and one another.