Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Jesus Is... (part 1) {Thinking Theology}

I thought about posting my response to the Strange Fire conference... But then, after reflection and prayer, I thought it would be more beneficial to call us to something rather than discourage us from something.

As Christians, what are we most concerned with? Being like Christ, or being like...something else? Maybe a favorite theologian or a well-formed ideal? In this short mini-series I just wanted to focus on who Jesus is.

He's loving. He's just. He's Lord

I know these things are really simple, but sometimes it's the simple things we forget. Of course, there is so much more to Christ than just these three things, but I just wanted to pick three to focus on.

Jesus Is...Loving
13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. 15 Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” 17 They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” 18 And he said, “Bring them here to me.” 19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. 21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Matthew 14:13-21
13 And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” 16 And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.
Mark 10:13-16

35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
Matthew 9:35-38

These are just a few examples but wow...the compassion and love of Christ is amazing! I love this description of His compassion by Spurgeon

 
Jesus' reaction to his compassion:
  • He spent time with the people (even when he didn't feel like it)
  • He fed the hungry
  • He healed the sick
  • He gave comfort 
  • He was gentle
  • He told them the gospel 
  • He prayed for them 
This isn't all-inclusive, but what a list.

Can we say that we respond to others like Christ did while He was here on earth?  

And then He encouraged us with these things:
30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 
 Mark 10:30-31
 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13

I hope that tonight, we can think through the love and compassion of Jesus and ask the Lord to help us to be marked by these things as well. I know that's my prayer.

>>Do you have other examples from the Bible about how Jesus is loving? What about things in your life that show His compassion? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!