Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Christ’s Modus Operandi

Jesus is here: New Management, at last! That Old Testament God was a disaster, what with all of His gloom, doom, and moral prudery. But now Christ has arrived and he will put everything right with his love and might.

Do you ever notice how people cherry pick through the words and works of Christ, so as to create a narrative that supports the idea that he is the opposite of the Old Testament Ogre God? To do this, of course, they have to ignore so many of his sayings, such as, “When you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.” It would be entertaining if the intellectual dishonesty of it all didn’t have such tragic consequences.

Let’s take a look at Jesus’ management style. 

He walks over to the pool of Bethesda, heals a man, and walks out, leaving everyone else in misery.

He miraculously feeds 5,000 people with a few loaves and fishes, while there are thousands more across Israel who will be going to bed hungry.

He raises Lazarus from the dead, but leaves all the other corpses in their graves.

He announces that with his coming comes the very Kingdom of God yet refuses to use his power to overthrow the tyrannical rule of Rome or to unseat the corrupt priests of Israel.  

Yes, there were flashes of power here and there – certainly enough to say, I am who I say I am. However, like his Father, he seems to have gone out of his way to not appear as Mr. Fixit.

Christ’s Modus Operandi
This is how our brains work: “If you really are God then this is what you should do.” And “this” is usually some sort of show of force so as to make things “right,” either in the world or in our individual lives. But “force” and “free will” are mutually exclusive, when it comes to God. He will force no one to love and obey Him. Chains are for slaves, not lovers.

“Wilson. I am not thinking of force per say but rather a show of power for the sake of love.”


We think that if Christ would, say, miraculously feed the world’s starving that people everywhere would flock to his flock. “Wow, He really is a loving God!” You think this would do the trick? You mean like that time God supernaturally fed the Israelites with food from heaven while they were stumbling around in a desert? Tell me, how’d that work out? Did this secure their love and obedience from henceforth? Not hardly.

Christ’s management style is to woo. He stands there in all of His alluring and bloody beauty, never forcing anyone to love and obey him. Once you see him, you are smitten forever and will follow him anywhere.  He doesn’t grab you by the neck and force-feed you with the Ten Commandments. He doesn’t mesmerize with displays of power and, while your system is flooded with endorphins, get you to sign on the dotted line.

“Bloody beauty?” you ask. When Jesus encounters the hateful forces of Israel and Rome, he chooses to yield rather than exert his power, and is hanged on a cross, all for love. If this demonstration of love is not enough to capture our hearts forever, then nothing else will ever be enough: not feeding the world’s starving, not healing all the sick, not making wars to end, not pouring out material wealth on the poor, and not righting all that is wrong. If you aren’t dazzled and smitten by his sacrificial love, then any demonstration of power will ultimately fall under the heading of, “What have you done for me, lately?”

(cont, Presents v Presence)

Copyright, Monte E Wilson, 2014

No comments:

Post a Comment