When I look at the Christianity of today I tend to notice that we often forget Jesus.
I feel obligated to talk about this because when I read the scriptures, I sense a different spirit other than the spirit I see in most churches today. I see a deviation from character of Jesus.
For starters, as Christians we are called to follow Jesus. That to put it simply means to walk just like Jesus did. Being fallen, we cannot manage to do exactly what Jesus did, but we are supposed to use Jesus as our model—trying to emulate his attitude, his behaviour; his treatment of people. Let me just talk about two of the things Jesus did, and you will see that sometimes, we forget him in certain areas.
Jesus on Sharing
Jesus genuinely cared for people. One particular occasion that we are all sure about is when Jesus shared five loaves and three fishes among a large number of people, about five thousand (Mathew 14:13-21). Jesus was particularly concerned because these people had come to listen to him and had come from far away and had nothing to eat.
Note that when it grew dark, Jesus’ disciples came to him and told him to dismiss the people so that they could go and find something to eat. However, Jesus did something contrary. He decided that they were going to feed them. And this they did. We are told that at the end of it all, all were filled. There was not a hungry one among them.
Most of us today tend to behave like the disciples did and quickly disperse after church services. We may not manage to feed everyone who come for a service, but I think we should take the time to worry and care about the less privileged among us. Jesus showed that when we take the time to share the little we have, it goes a long, long way.
I remember back in secondary school, most of us used to miss supper to attend a meeting at the kingdom hall. When we got back to school, most of us would go to bed hungry because we had no means of sustenance. It was a really difficult when I recall, and some fell out of regular attendance because of such.
It is interesting that the spirit of sharing continued among the disciples of Jesus Christ, who cared for their brothers who were starved and donated to them so that there was an equalizing; so that no one had more than the other (2 Corinthians 8:14).
We tend to assume that everyone who shows up at church is ok. That is not always the case. That should prompt us to take the time to find out more about the welfare of our fellow brothers, instead of just sending them off with a greeting. Helping one brother out, even a single out, by sharing what we have with them, may go a long long way and we will be definitely emulating Jesus.
Jesus on forgiveness
Jesus was not quick to condemn. He reportedly ate with tax collectors and sinners. He humbled himself to the extent of spending time with such people with the view to helping them. Jesus explained saying ‘It’s the sick people who need a doctor’ (Mark 2:17).
Most of us tend to adopt the attitude of the Pharisees by distancing ourselves from people who may really need to hear the word of God because of their reputation. We would rather just talk to good looking or decent people. Jesus was not like that. We tend to condemn people quickly.
There is a vivid example of what Jesus did which was rather unconventional. He pardoned a woman who was clearly caught committing adultery and needed to be punished according to the law. Jesus mentioned something really important when the men who brought her to him pushed him to have her stoned. He said: “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (John 8:1-11)
This brings attention to a rather sober truth. We have all fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). Therefore, as humans, none of us is less sinful that the other. We are all sinners and deserve to die. We have only been saved by the grace of God.
However, most times, we forget that and fail to forgive our fellow human beings and pass harsh judgments upon them. We brand them fornicators and adulterers and adulteresses. We brand them thieves and liars. And most times, unfortunately, we do not have all the facts.
Yes, fornication and adultery and what not are all serious sins; but we should not be quick to write off our brothers and condemn them to death. Sometimes, we do condemn them when Jesus has actually forgiven them. We forget Jesus and become heartless judges and executors of punishment, even when we ourselves deserve the same judgment for our sins.
There are a lot of areas I would talk about; but I would rather just talk about these two, because these are the ones that have really touched me, and I find myself often falling short.
For us to be better Christians, we need to think of Jesus very carefully. And try to remember him all the time. To use the old but true adage, we ought to ask ourselves: “What would Jesus do?” Photo courtesy of http://free-christian-wallpapers.blogspot.com/search/label/Jesus%20Christ