Jesus was and is the most unpopular popular kid on the block. Everyone has always loved to talk about him. Whether to find hope or fault in him, everyone followed his ministry. The Bible, the story of Jesus, is the best-selling book of all time. People write songs, books, and blogs that all the more echo his fame. Let’s face it, Jesus always has been and will be a hot topic; a rock star, if you will.
With that, let’s model our circles after his.
Take a look at this:
The Few – Peter, James, & John
– The three men always singled out by Jesus.
The Faithful – The Apostles
– See Matthew 10:2-4 for a list of the first 12
– Including but not limited to Jesus’ brothers, Mary (his mother), the women listed at the tomb, and Lazarus.
– The unsaved and the unworthy.
– Pharisees and Sadducees
Why does Jesus’ circle have the unbelievers above the religious? What does this mean for us?
Before we go about creating our community, we must remember to let the unbelievers in our lives see the love of the Father in the way we live and let go of the filth of religion.
What does that mean for us?
Let the unbelievers see the love of the Father.
Jesus was intentional about placing the unbeliever close enough to him that they could see his character, know his heart, and feel his love. He notoriously gathered his few, faithful, and devout in homes of unbelievers to eat and talk. His sole purpose was souls. He desired nothing more than to bring the unbeliever into the knowledge of the Father’s unending love for them.
The Bible warns about being unequally yoked ( 2 Cor 6:14). This verse is often limited to dating and marriage applications, but I plead with you to look deeper and realize that this scripture applies to any relationship. We are all a part of creation, however, we are not of this world (Jn 15:19) and are called to be separate from it (2 Cor 6:17 & Eph 5:7-8), but we must allow the unbelievers in our lives to see Jesus in the way we live. We must share the gospel message with those who have yet to encounter his fantastic love, as it is the Father’s desire for all to come to him and know him (1 Tim 2:3-6). We must find the delicate balance of letting the lost see our lives and becoming tethered to them.
Let go of the filth of religion.
Jesus often referred to the religious in a less than favorable light. To be honest, Jesus blatantly called them out on their pompous religion void of any relationship with the Father (Matt 15) and warned his few, faithful, and devout about their arrogance; going as far as saying that they would not enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt 23).
We must separate ourselves from religion. Following Jesus, as made evident in the above example passages, isn’t about religious laws and duties. Following Jesus always has been and will always be about having a relationship with the Father made available to us because of the sacrifice of the Son.
Being a follower of Jesus isn’t about religion, it is about a relationship.
We have established the bounds in which we are called to create community. Could I have said more? Could I have gone more in-depth? Yes, I could have done both of those things, but I wanted to save some meat for the rest of these posts.
What are the blogger’s orders?
Take these last two posts and chew. Next dose will be next Monday.