Note: I talk in extremes to make points. I don’t necessarily think the church should be perfect or is filled with all hypocrites. I don’t think one must debase themselves and live in poverty and grief to be a follower of Christ. My objective is to show how churches do tend to overly focus and emphasize the wrong things(study, attendance, behavior modification) while the essentials (people and genuine transformation) are put on back burners.
In Western Christianity, you do not find too many servants.
Jesus’ teaching about Himself, being almost entirely that: servanthood. A life giving, dying for another, healer, forgiver, defender of the least…servant.
He said, a disciple should not expect anything less than His master.
But here, here in the West, very few believers personify this Jesus.
You find students of Jesus yes; but not little Christ’s. Many sayers, but not too many doers.
We have turned Jesus into a lesson to comprehend. A thing to know intellectually. Not to become like.
We have people seeking to be saints: moral adherents. Practicing outward behavioral modification. Checking the box: Church service, Bible study, Sunday dinner…
Yet where are the servants?
The turners of other cheeks?
The, if anyone asks of you, give? And give your cloak too?
The first, thinking of the last?
Touching the leper?
Defender of the weak?
We have “worshipers” on Sunday mornings. Yet no followers. He never said worship Him; yet we spend more time doing so, than following any servant like examples, He primarily taught.
We worship almost like we would want to be worshiped. Jesus never insisted on any of this…only servanthood.
Washing feet(servant/dirty/humble work if viewed symbolically); not singing the same songs over and over, until they just might not really mean very much to us anymore.
Scripture and doctrines, dogma and rhetoric, study, tradition and institution.. are our real lords. For we serve them often more than Him..who exemplified to the upmost, being a servant to humanity. A suffering one at that.
Laying down His life(all that was meaningful) for the other. What is life to you? Could you lay it down?
And we can also contend that we do this thing called church, for our own conscience sake. Our own comfort and hoping to “make heaven.”
We may not see it, but we in many senses, still follow the law and the prophets; do we not? If we were to look at the time, energy, and investments spent…on
Heads in Books, butts on seats. Week after week, year after year.
Law and prophets: knowing our religions ends and outs..much more than the heart of Christ.
How can people so serious about church service and Bible study, miss the whole point? All the while saying they know that Jesus is the whole point? Skimming over almost all things taught by Jesus concerning servanthood, giving and not accumulating, and dying to self?
Make it make sense.
How can we preach a hell for “sinners” and not even see that when Jesus Himself talked about “hell”: that it was never about saints and sinners, belief, study and religious attendance; but how people treated each other?
Rather it was the rich man who went to hell due to ignoring Lazarus in need. Or it was Jesus judging the Nations (notice not believers and unbelievers, but the Nations), and they were either set on His right hand or left because…?
Because they seen someone in need, and either chose to meet that need, or ignore it.
Please go back and look into this!! It’s there plain as day!!
Why is this not preached? But instead study, adherence, attendance, singing, tithing, alter calls and weekly services are what we do! Jesus never once emphasized any of these things!! Look again and see!!
We do all these things Jesus did not once mention or deem essential; and somehow completely ignore most everything He actually taught and practiced.
I repeat, go back and study HIM!! If He is ones Lord, why do we ignore almost all He represented?
I mean really consider this and re-read Jesus’ words and look at His actions.
Not Pauls, not Moses’, not Noahs’, Peters, or John’s..you get it… I mean you do see we follow these peoples ways, traditions, words and examples more than we do Jesus’ right?
We study and attend, and try to analyze and comprehend..just like a religious scribe, or law interpreter did within First Century Judaism..I dare not say Pharisee or Sadducee due to people taking offense; but this is what they did, besides judge others and Jesus. They studied and interpreted the “Law”, and spent vast amounts of their lives in The Temple. This consumed them, and can be comparable to what we consume and call our present duties as believers…..
Yes, we rarely see too many people acting like Jesus. Yes, maybe attitudes are modified. People smile, are polite, and kind. They donate and volunteer from time to time…but is THIS what Jesus really exemplified? Is this what He meant when He told His followers to….follow Him?
Church, where do you look like Jesus? In what way are you being a suffering, self denying, cross bearing servant? Where are you on the bi-ways and highways, inviting all to the table? Getting to know the outcasts from society? Becoming quite intimate with the “sinner.”
This IS what Jesus did you know? This IS what He preached more than any of the many things we actually find our church adherents doing.
We take pride in “discernment”, our knowledge, and all the things that boost our individual egos…
We are much more conformists to our Nation, culture, and society; then to a suffering servant Savior. We are much more blind and deaf than we think ourselves to be.
Are we really following this Master Servant?
Do we really know Him?
Or are we more prone to know and do, just enough to keep us content and comfortable?
And what kind of suffering, self-denying, all consuming love for the other, servant of man…was ever quite regularly comfortable and cozy?
Do you serve the seat you sit on? The Book you’ve fed yourself beyond overload…Or the Christ who said follow Him?
Do you serve… mankind? Or are you quite Ok with “being served”?