THE TRUE STEPS OF JESUS
BY: DALE THOMPSON
Throughout the life of Jesus, from his infancy through his boyhood, up until He became a man He was exposed to organized religion. As He came into his adult years Jesus was ready to endorse a ministry. He was the Son of God so this endorsement would be a grand one. Would He endorse the ministries and religious practices most popular in his day? Which sect would get His stamp of approval?
It came one day out of town. Off in the countryside, there was a preacher/prophet out there named John. (Matthew 3:1) We know him as John the Baptist. John’s message was clear “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand!” (Matthew 3:2) When people would ask John what church did he belong to John had a great answer. His was the “voice of one crying in the wilderness.”
Jesus made His way out to where John was baptizing in the river Jordan. There in this river, John baptized Christ. Not only was this the start of the ministry of Christ Jesus it also said a great deal about ministry in general. Jesus could have joined the local church, studied to be a religious mind and possibly be a great teacher in the temple. Instead, He went out to the most unlikely of religious people. Matter of fact by today’s standards John would be considered a cult leader for he was denounced by the religious traditionalist and out in the desert place is where he was forced to preach his off brand gospel. Matter of fact John had been accused of being demon-possessed. (Luke 7:33)
Today, are things that much different than in Jesus day when He walked as a man? Would Jesus endorse the most popular brand of “Christianity” today or would He have something contrary to say against the establishment of modern church? In His lifetime, Jesus never joined a religious organization. He never attended a Bible College. Matter of fact Jesus put down practically everything that fashionable religion taught. He never accepted the practices of ritualistic worship. There is a reason for this, and the wisdom behind His belief and attitude was that all of it is idol worship and takes away from the true worship of God in Spirit and in truth.
Jesus was not looking for social status and He never cared about being in vogue. An odd thing about His social behavior was, He did not hang out with the church crowd. He did not belong to a clique. The friends of Jesus were the undesirable, misfits, outcast of society, which the church had dismissed as the off–scouring of society. Jesus was not interested in fame, making a reputation or gaining notoriety. Of the truth, Jesus not only associated with people of reputation He ate with them, went to their homes, and allowed them into very close relationships with Him. The self-righteous faction people esteemed Him not the Bible tells us.
Jesus did not vote, He never held a protest sign, He never wrote a book, but what He did do is He spoke what He heard His Father say. Moreover, in these great speeches, He reshaped the world.
I do not believe that if Christ Jesus were walking here as He did 2000 years ago in flesh and blood that He would be interested in entering the sanctuary of most churches. I do not believe that you would find Him down at the local Christian Bookstore buying a self-help Spiritual improvement book by the latest great well-known theologian.
Jesus would be found just where He could be found when He walked this earth as a man. He would be with those who were hurting, cast out, the hopeless, the needy, the lost, the sick, and the weak. His covering would not be a church, a denomination, or a ministry. His covering would be of the Spirit. His confidence would not rest in doctrine but in revelation. He would not require the red carpet treatment. Most of the time He would have blended in with the crowd and most would not even know He was there. He would be one of us. The greatest characteristic that would make Him stand out at all would not be the clothes He wore, the hairstyle, the jewelry, or any other materialistic item. It would be His nature. It was NATURAL for Jesus to love. Jesus would be known for His compassion.
The Lord inspired me to write this letter to you this morning. I pray that you will consider it. Ask yourself if you are like Jesus or are you more like the religious people of Jesus day? Maybe your middle of the road? In addition, that makes you the worse off because you do not even know. I would like to challenge ALL of you to turn your ear to the Father and invite Him to express Himself to you and in you and through you. You might be surprised how drastically your life will change. All of the things that you have been taught and that you have learned may need to be reconsidered. Remember this…All of the knowledge you gain outside of the knowledge of God is absolute of little or no consequence when working to please God and enter into His rest.
I have deliberately kept this word simple and to the point so as not to confuse the issue. Consider your walk with Christ, your life in general and ask yourself “how do you fit in to God’s plan to save the world?” If you don’t know, the answer then maybe in the position where you are at now in your life, you are in no position at all. Could it be time to let go of the idols, tradition, ritual, and hear the voice of father speaking to your heart?
2 Chr. 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
In Christ Jesus the Savior of the world,
THE TRUE STEPS OF JESUS [Dale Thompson] 1