"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor."
- Luke 4:18-19 (NIV)
Jesus had a mission: to proclaim freedom to the prisoners, recover sight for the bling, release the oppressed, and proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. Wow, what a huge mission! Jesus could do this. I mean, Jesus was divine, right? He could do anything.
Somehow, the Church of the Brethren instilled in me that we are to follow Jesus, to be his hands an feet, to continue his work - simply, peacefully, together. Wait a minute... do I actually have a responsibility here? To continue the work of Jesus? What did Jesus actually do while he was alive? What IS my faithful responsibility? Let's look at that. What comes to your mind?
The first thing that came to me was that he brought wholeness to people - healing them both physically and mentally. Even miraculously! I can help with that. He really looked at people and saw their need, loving them like God loves us. I can help with that. I visit friends when they are sick, I send cards to those who have lost loved ones, I have been on workcamps, I have sent money to support missions.
What else did Jesus do?
He was committed to doing God's will. I like that. I pray for God's will to be done. Well, if I am truthful I have to admit that I don't like the end result of the submission to God's will being death on a cross. Violence doesn't sit well with me.
Jesus also got angry. This is the part I struggle with. Is my own anger ever justified? John reports in his gospel (John 2:13-16 NIV):
"When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market.”
So Jesus got angry and upset and took some serious action. Why was Jesus so angry? This prophet of peace. This radiance of God's love. Isn't love gentle, kind, caring?Read more