Advancing the Conversation of Jesus
GOT A MINUTE?
In my first message to a large group of pastors in rural Rwanda, Tamrat encouraged me to “go for it!”, so I did by sharing what Jesus said to his early disciples. These are radical thoughts for everyone in any culture! Jesus was careful to share three vital relationships that each contained a fiery, controversial nugget, that when embraced, can transform a person into a radical follower of Jesus.
The first relationship is most important-our relationship with Jesus, where you as a branch are vitally connected to Jesus as the vine. The purpose is to bear fruit-fruit that looks like and feels like the person of Jesus. God’s role as the vinedresser may require Him to do anything He has to do to help you become most fruitful. He lifts you up, when you’re dragging on the ground and prunes away any deadness in you in order to become more fruitful. This relationship is characterized by abiding as a branch in the vine. God is on the side of the branch.
The 2nd most vital relationship is your relationship with one another characterized by loving. The radical thought Jesus introduced. You are no longer to be considered slaves or bond-servants to Jesus, as is popularly taught. Jesus says: “From now on, I want you to consider yourselves as my friends.” Jesus is committed to be your BFF-your Best Friend Forever!
The 3rd radical thought Jesus introduced to his early disciples is to be found in the 3rd relationship-our relationship with the world. Jesus says, “If the world hates you,you know that it has hated Me beforeit hatedyou.If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, butI chose you out of the world,because of this the world hates you… Our relationship with the world is characterized by testifying about Jesus. He says, “When theHelper comes,whom I will send to you from the Father,that isthe Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father,He will testify about Me,andyouwilltestify also, because you have been with Mefrom the beginning.THEN, John goes on in chapter 16 to describe who the world actually is that hates Jesus and his followers. He says, “They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God.” NOTE, they will throw Jesus’ disciples out of their Synagogues and Churches.
The enemies of Jesus and to those who follow in his steps were and are the super-religious leadership. Their religious standing and positions are threatened by the simplicity of Jesus plus nothing.
NOTICE all three relationships Jesus highly values over all others are counter to most biblical teaching today. This is why we wanted to leave these rural pastors in Rwanda with these revolutionary concepts. These are the thoughts that hold the potential of turning the world upside down and inside out! This is spiritual revolution at its basic and its best!