I love the New Testament. I particularly love the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. However when recently reading through the Gospels I noticed something quite disturbing.
I didn't recognize Jesus.
Jesus in the New Testament walked with sinners. He hung out with them at weddings and other celebrations. He ate with them. He even talked alone to a woman in what, for the times, would have been seen as scandalous because she was not a "good" woman or the right type! Jesus was not a conformist. He didn't hang out with the rich and powerful. He didn't embrace the wealthy and neglect the poor. He did not court the politicians.
Jesus did not chase after the latest fad. He acted in ways considered "Unbecoming" by the church of the day. He did things on the Sabbath....which was a Saturday by the way....He broke the rules. He stirred things up to the point that people sought His death.
After He rose from the dead, His disciples followed His lead. They went to the unloved, unwanted and uncared for. They stirred the pot. They spoke out, not so much against sin, but for Jesus Christ. They followed His example and pointed people to the Father. They focused on relationship.
Now lets look at we in the church, today. We have it easy. We sit in our pews and watch the world pass by out of our stained-glass windows. Oh, many will reach out to the hurting, but too many will not. Christianity has embraced politics and Christians try to legislate morality. We spend more time talking about what we are against than Who we are for. We seek the latest "Christian fad" rather than the heart of the Father. If we are honest, truly honest....we would rather sit and watch TV than sit among the dirty, the drunks, the sinners. I personally would rather be entertained than entertain someone when it would inconvenience me. We would rather protest outside of an event we disagree with morally than to go out for coffee with the "sinner".
I want to see the Jesus of the Bible reflected in my life! I want to see the Living God living in me. I want to see we in the church get off our backside and into the streets, reflecting the heart of Jesus. It'll mean sacrifice. It'll mean we might be spit on, persecuted and ignored. However once the church does that to us, then whatever the world throws at us will be easy!
Let's take it to the streets. Let's truly follow Jesus.