Advancing the Conversation of Jesus
The professor asked, “Did God create evil?” The student said, “Actually, sir, evil does not exist. Evil is simply the absence of God. Evil is a term man developed to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. It isn’t like truth, or love, which exist as virtues like heat or light. Evil is simply the state where God is not present, like cold without heat or darkness without light.”
The Kingdom of God is primarily invisible, like the wind, but with some visible results. The Kingdom principles will move you to emphasize the internals over the externals.
There are two realities about Jesus that set him apart from all other teachers in his Kingdom. FIRST: Jesus doesn’t only teach great principles and truth; Jesus embodies the truths he teaches. This is why Jesus can say with full confidence and persuasiveness, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” This is why those who heard Jesus teach were continually amazed at his teaching. He didn’t quote any authorities as the teachers of his day; he presented himself as the authority! It was this inner confidence, this great meekness, that made Jesus the most unique person in any room and in any conversation.
This is why Gandhi was captivated with Jesus and his teachings. This is why Gandhi’s attempt to practice the teachings of Jesus set him apart from most everyone else. And, it’s the reason why he was able to significantly change the course of his nation.
This is why Martin Luther King spoke so powerfully. It wasn’t so much the cadence of his black culture; it was the inner confidence he possessed in following Jesus. King was so motivated to stand apart from all of the others in his world, because he had embraced the person of Jesus for himself. He didn’t give-in to the temptation to politicize it or cash in on it as so many of his followers do today. There was something invisibly powerful about King. It was the invisible presence of King Jesus within.
SECOND: The second reality about Jesus that set him apart from all others in his mission is that his message of love was not only persuasive; it was pervasive! As we’ve seen, Jesus taught the greatest commandment was to love God with all your heart, soul, and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself.
This is the most effective mission you can ever embrace-the message of love. BUT Jesus set himself apart even further by saying it’s vital that you learn to love everyone, even those with whom you disagree, even to love your enemies! How far does your love go? How far does your life reach? How important is Jesus’ message of love, being a part of your mission?