Advancing the Conversation of Jesus
Jesus is all about action, especially the action-steps that are in response to what he taught. There are three illustrations of Jesus’ propensity for action-steps that come up for me most frequently. The 1st is when his mother and brothers came to see him, but were unable to get into the house where he was teaching. It’s recorded in Luke: And His mother and brothers came to Him, and they were unable to get to Him because of the crowd. And it was reported to Him, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, wishing to see You.” But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.” (Luke 8:19-21)
This is a most incredible statement from the lips of Jesus. Do you understand what’s going on here? Jesus makes it crystal clear that he views his family differently than one might think. He says, “My mother and my brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.” The people of the Kingdom-Jesus’ followers-are not blood related. They are related to Jesus due to their actions in response to his teachings. This is a high regard for action-steps!
The 2nd illustration that comes up for me is when Jesus says that only those who do the will of the Father will enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Matthew records this: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:21-14)
What does Jesus mean by ‘doing the will of my Father’? I believe he answers this clearly in what he says next:“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell-and great was its fall.” (Matthew 7:21-27) Both of them hear the words of Jesus, however the wise man acts upon the words of Jesus; the foolish man does not act on those same words.
The 3rd illustration of Jesus’ emphasis upon action-steps that comes to my mind is the passage I write about more than any other. Jesus: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20) NOTE Jesus urges us to teach disciples to do what he says! Action-steps!