This was posted on Facebook and I thought I’d share it:
Let’s break it down!!
Radical/Revolutionary – Yes, in the time period and culture that Jesus lived, His teaching (God’s teaching) was very different than what the religious leaders (Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes) believed during that time. It’s not because Jesus taught contrary to God, it was because most of God’s people (the Jews) actually rejected God and traded Him for their own self-righteousness and status in society. (Matt 23, Mark 7:7, Luke 18:9-14)
Non-violent – Jesus lived a sinless life because even though He was born of mankind, He was also born of the Holy Spirit of God. He was blameless, and innocent. (Isaiah 53)
Hung around lepers, hookers, and crooks – It is widely known that Jesus opened both His arms and His salvation to anyone who wanted it. He regularly dined with sinners and tax collectors and taught God’s lost people the Way back home. (Matthew 9:10-13, Mark 2:17, Luke 7:22, John 8:1-12)
Wasn’t American, and didn’t speak English – This is pretty easy, He was middle-eastern of Jewish decent from the lineage of King David and spoke Hebrew as His native language (Luke 2:4-5)
Anti- Wealth – This is where the quote trails off. Jesus wasn’t anti-wealth, in fact a wealthy Gentile (non-Jew) named Theophilus paid the apostle/physician Luke to investigate who this Jesus was, and to write a detailed report collaborating with multiple eyewitnesses. Luke wrote two books, the Gospel of Luke and Acts (Luke 1:1-4, Acts 1:1). I believe the quote is referring to the Rich, Young Ruler found in three of the Gospels where he asks Jesus how he can be saved [from sin and be reconciled back to God]. Jesus tells him that keeping God’s commandments was a good thing, but there was one more thing he must do: Sell all of his possessions and follow Jesus. The reason Jesus said this was not because Jesus/God hates money or wealth (God provides everything, including money/wealth to believers and non-believers alike; see James 1:17), but because Jesus could see the ruler’s heart and knew that he loved his money more than he loved God. Jesus basically told him what He said in Matt 6:24 “You cannot serve two masters”. You either serve (worship/believe/trust in/have faith/be most passionate about) God or you serve something else, in this case, money and wealth and probably the power that came with it. That is exactly why it says in Matt 19:22 “But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”
Anti- Death Penalty – I’m not sure where this was gleaned from, but there are times in the Bible where capitol punishment is not only the morally right thing to do, but is also commanded by God. Now, without diving into Levitical Law aka the Law of Moses which was written only to the Jewish people and some to a particular sect of the Jews that served as the priesthood called the Levites (which again, must be reviewed within the correct historical and cultural context and not taken out of context to justify modern issues), I will briefly go over this. Capitol punishment is reserved not for individuals but under the authority of a governing body (government; see Romans 13:1-7). Crimes such as murder (Gen 9:6, Exo 21:12), rape (Deu 22:24), knowingly keeping an animal that has killed people in the past (Exo 21:28-29), false prophets (Deu 13:5), or justified war (see Israel vs. Philistines, Ammorites, Hittites, Babylonians, Moabites, Egyptians — really any battle in the Old Testament). God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow (Heb 13:8). His stance on the death penalty is the same back then as it is now. Additionally, you have more of an indirect acceptance (or lack of rejection) by Jesus when two soldiers ask Him what can they do to follow Him. Jesus simply answers in Luke 3:14: “Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.”. Here is a perfect opportunity for Jesus to teach two Gentile soldiers, but instead of saying “Do not go to war any longer” or “Do not fight and kill”, Jesus instead tells them to not abuse their power (intimidate), to be honest (not accuse falsely), and be content with what they make (wages).
Anti- Public Prayer – Jesus was never against prayer in public, but He was always against self-righteousness. I believe this refers to Matthew 6 where Jesus is contrasting the deeds of the self-righteous with true worship of God. He says instead of doing good deeds and tooting your own horn, do it in secret. Instead of praying and wailing from fasting in the streets (v16-18), go to a private room where you can’t get glory from others. And when you pray, don’t use monotonous chanting to try to “impress” God with your holiness, but speak from the heart and let if flow with your praise or worries, or thanks, or needs. If Jesus was against prayer in public, He wouldn’t have prayed to God in the wilderness (Luke 5:16) or prayed with Peter, James, and John on a mountain (Matt 17:1), or even prayed to God before the multitude to feed the thousands of hungry listeners (Matt 15:36).
Never Anti- Gay – Let me be straight. Everyone is sinful – me, you, my wife, my dead grandma – every human that has ever lived or will ever live is sinful (Romans 3:23, 1 John 1:8). That means that by both human nature and by our own choices, we will never live up to God’s perfect standard of righteousness. Because of that, sin separates us from God. We are unable to be in the presence of a Holy, Just, Perfect, Righteous, Good God. That’s why we need Jesus to save us – to save us from sin, and bring us back to God the Father (John 14:6). Jesus gives the free gift of eternal life to everyone – black, white, straight, gay, male, female, and any other category we can fit ourselves into. God the Father, as well as Jesus, desperately wants us to be back with Him, that is why God’s saving Grace is extended to everyone. The issue that always pops up is sin vs the sinner. God hates sin (Lev 18:22, Deu 12:31), but loves the sinner (John 3:16-17, Romans 5:8, 2 Peter 3:9). Just because Jesus dined and spoke with sinners (some of them thieves, murderers, adulterers) does not mean that Jesus condones sin. The Bible is very clear that we who are in Christ are not to live lives in habitual sin (1 Cor 6:9-11, 1 John 5:18). Continual repentance (admitting/owning your sin, and willingly choosing God over that sin) is something every Christian has in common. There are not two categories of Good vs Bad, there is only repentant and unrepentant because we all are bad (sin) against God.
Never mentioned abortion/birth-control – There are a lot of things that Jesus did not mention, but what we can read from God’s Word will hopefully shed light into pressing issues of today. That being said, Jesus did mention abortion because Jesus is God, and God mentioned “Do not murder [unjustified act of taking a human life]”. There is a complete difference between killing an enemy (foreign or domestic) that willfully pursues injury or death to you or others (justified capitol punishment) vs accidentally or purposefully murdering a person (unjustified murder). Without getting into the rare exceptions that some pursue abortion as an option (mother may die, child from rape, etc…) the general and most sought-after reason for abortion is because some person (male or female) does not want the baby, and that is still unjustified murder. As for birth-control, this post will not cover that topic as it would be too long to discuss.
Never called the poor lazy/justified torture – Jesus spoke what God already taught, “Love/Honor God, and Love/show love to others” (Matt 22:36-40).
…tax cuts…copay – Jesus didn’t get into politics, but did mention a few times about how to not love money/possessions or worry about them (Matt 6:19-34) and also to share (Acts 2:42-47, Acts 4:32-37).
and was a…Jew – Lastly, a summary of some of Jesus, but not who He really was. It is more of a faux-Jesus than the real Jesus. The Jesus being presented here is the same one that many men have tried to portray over the centuries — that Jesus was just a man, some great saint, or philosopher of his time, or another teacher of moral living or religion. Instead of seeing who Jesus really was (the Son of God who takes away the sins of those who believe in Him), this quote only shows its readers the Jesus that he (the speaker) wanted. It is the classic “buffet-style” Jesus where you find the Bible verses you like, disregard the ones you don’t like, and possibly make some of it up for artistic license — in other words, not Jesus at all.
Jesus is fully God. Jesus did live as fully man. Jesus did declare He was equal with God. Jesus did perform many miracles. Jesus does love sinners. Jesus does hate sin. Jesus does forgive any sin you could ever do/repeat/not overcome. Jesus does require daily repentance. Jesus does require wholeheartedness. Jesus knows you will fail – that’s why Jesus chose to die for you. God the Father knows you will fail, that’s why He loved you anyway and sent Jesus to rescue you.
If you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth of Jesus’ life/death/resurrection, you will be saved. – Romans 10:9 [paraphrase]
“For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” – Romans 10:10
“For whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” – Romans 10:13
“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” – Jesus, in John 8:36