In consideration of current culture juxtaposed with the words of Jesus, it is evident that our understanding of the Lord is far from the scripture. Jesus spoke terms difficult for the American church to accept. Jesus said, Mat 19:30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first. This doesn’t sound very inviting, especially for an ever advancing American society built on gain and ambition. There are no corporate ladders in God’s Kingdom.
When Jesus called for a man to follow Him, the man replied, Mat 8:21 “Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.” Jesus said, “Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.” Jesus was declaring Himself as a higher priority over the burial of family members. This is a hard pill for many to swallow. Instead of receiving the Word, people adjust it to fit into their modern thought. Even Pentecostals strain to adapt to the Word.
At one point the Lord was teaching and someone interrupted Him by saying that His family was waiting outside. Jesus answered: Mat 12:48 “Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?” Pointing to his disciples, He answered His own question: Mat 12:49-50 “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
We cannot and must not alter the words of this Jesus of Nazareth. He is the incarnate God and His Word is forever settled in Heaven. So how can we reconcile our cultural preferences of money, family, funerals, and religious pursuits with the Bible? If we read about Him, it is impossible to fit Him into our culture. Jesus just doesn’t fit. He’s encompassing. If He is to be in our lives, everything else must conform to Him.
He did not tell us to seek out a good job or a notable career. He did not offer space for us to gather a retirement and then give him the few remaining days of our life. He called for our entire lives, not the end of our days. Jesus said, Mat 6:33-34 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
The Bible is challenging and Jesus is calling. True Christianity never adjusts the Word to the culture. Followers of Jesus Christ are always adjusting themselves to His command. The Cross looks out of focus to a nation of “believers” who consider church attendance a duty rather than a privilege; serving as a struggle rather than an opportunity; and giving as an obligation rather than an honor.
The mission of this house is to reunite us with the Real Jesus. This is our life; To Know Him and to Make Him Known!
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole