A lot of people decry followers of Jesus. It's sad, though, because I don't think it's because of what Jesus said, or what His followers who knew Him have said.
I'm thinking about what Jesus said was most important. Religious leaders of His day tried to trap Him by asking what the most important command was. He answered by quoting the Old Testament book we know as Deuteronomy: "Love God." He quoted the book we know as Leviticus, giving us the second: "Love people." Is it these two things that are pushing people away?
Before He died, Jesus also told his disciples how people would know they were from Him: "Love one another."
Paul, the most prolific of the New Testament writers (in documents, if not in words) and also an apostle, told the church that was at Corinth what he considered to be of greatest importance in our faith: "Jesus died, was buried, and was raised again." I know there are many who have trouble with this, being outside our Western, logical, scientific way of thought, but I don't think it's the greatest thing that pushes people of our culture away.
I wonder, if we raised these things up, once again, as being most important, would we be more successful in sharing our faith?
Quote(s) of the Day
'Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.' This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.'
-Jesus, to hypocritical religious leaders, as quoted by Matthew (The Message)
Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples--when they see the love you have for each other.
-Jesus, to his disciples, as quoted by John (The Message)
The first thing I did was place before you what was placed so emphatically before me: that the Messiah died for our sins, exactly as Scripture tells it; that he was buried; that he was raised from death on the third day.
-Paul, in a letter to Jesus' followers in Corinth (The Message)