Here is a series of examinations of some of the Words of our Lord and Savior. There were many “listeners” who heard Jesus speak, but Jesus Himself makes it quite clear that not everyone “hears” or understands. Scripture teaches of spiritual deafness and blindness; of conflicting natures of carnality and spirituality; of hardness of heart and “stiffness of neck”; of worldly entanglement; of discernment of spirit and of the quenching of Spirit- all things that impact or impair hearing and understanding.
Let me set this up with an example of something I experienced recently.
I walked through the door of the kitchen as a Mom and her son were chopping vegetables just in time to hear the teenager’s outburst at his mother: “I don’t give a crap about those people and if they don’t like the way I do it, then they can go…” and the rest of the sentence I cannot complete.
Now, here is the context. This occurred in a soup kitchen where volunteers often serve alongside folks serving community service sentences; the young teenager was serving a sentence to community service; since he was a minor his Mom’s presence was required; and I’d previously observed outbursts of inappropriate “attitude” by this young man. The soup kitchen serves the homeless, and I chose this moment to defend the homeless against this teenager’s attitude. In so many words, self-righteously and somewhat harshly, I rebuked the young man with the suggestion that if he maintained this attitude towards the homeless, he stood a very good chance of one day being one. Well, I immediately sensed something wrong as both Mom and son stared at me a bit stunned and a lot blankly. Mom mumbled something about them talking about something that made my stomach twist with the realization that I’d walked through the door into a conversation between Mom and son that was completely disconnected to anything related to the kitchen, the homeless shelter, the homeless people, or the task at hand. I had taken the words that I heard out of their context, drawn my conclusion, made my judgment, and then acted in accordance with my own understanding. I sheepishly apologized…we who follow Jesus intimately know the characterization of sheep isn’t always complimentary…
That said, I find myself frequently astonished and astounded at the regularity by which Bible verses and the words of Jesus are lifted out of context to prove points, create false teaching, and set inappropriate and unmet expectations resulting in the weakening of faith.
“Jesus Said…” represents to me God’s response by His Holy Spirit to my hunger and thirst for righteousness and my search for truth.
Jesus Said…: Do Not Tempt The Lord God What does “tempt the Lord” mean? This requires some Scripture with context to understand, but there is a connection with being contentious towards
Jesus said…: Follow Me… Have you ever heard this said: “Look at that! These men dropped everything and followed the Lord For some, however, the cost of following the Lord is simply too much…” Is that what following Jesus demands…walking off the job?
Jesus said…: Repent- the Kingdom of God is at Hand… the Savior Jesus proclaimed in that instant the fulfillment of (Genesis 49:10) that continues to unfold today and, soon it seems, will be completed with the sound of the trumpet and Second Coming…Check it out!