If I had lived when Jesus lived, there is an incredibly small chance I would have heard him preach - so there is a huge chance I neither would have rejected nor accepted him.
Looking at the accounts in the Bible, my reaction probably would have depended largely on my socioeconomic
status, since his message probably would have appealed to or angered me
To make that applicable to our own church
situation today, there is a real tension between messages that connect
naturally to those in differing economic and social situations.
Preaching a message that connects with multiple situations isn't easy -
and people generally think it's much easier than it actually is. It's
easy to say that "pure truth" should be preached, but even the exact
same words are interpreted differently all the time by people who simply
hear or read them from different perspectives.
What am I like? What do my words mean?
People who know me, even in the same time period and in the same forum,
will and do answer differently. If that is true of me, it was even more true about Jesus of Nazareth in his own lifetime.
So, what's the point? How do I liken this to my own life now?
I need to exclude and dismiss fewer people, even those who believe and/or preach things I naturally wouldn't accept, and include, love and serve more people. After all, everyone who rejected Jesus, of Nazareth, was convinced they were right to do so - and they all believed they had "good reasons" for what they did. In one way or another, they judged him to be of naught, as Isaiah said - which means of no importance.
Jesus spent his ministry serving and preaching to those who were viewed as "of naught". How many people do we see as "of naught"? How can we say we would have accepted and followed Jesus if that number for us is higher than zero?
Edward L. Kimball
13 hours ago