For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. —Romans 15:4

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Backbone and Purpose

I've been taking a class in New Testament Literature. So far we've studied the four gospels, spending a large chunk of time in Matthew and Luke. Something that keeps jumping out at me as I read and study is Jesus personality.

I think sometimes I've pictured him as a loving, almost wimpy, person, who wouldn't hurt a fly, let alone a Pharisee. When in reality and in scripture he is strong, with backbone and purpose. He stands for what he believes and speaks the truth without regret. When he ran the money changers out of the temple he didn't say, "um...excuse me but could you guys please leave" while he hung his head from embarrassment. Instead, Matthew 21:12-13 says, "Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. "It is written," he said to them, " 'My house will be called a house of prayer,' but you are making it a 'den of robbers." He spoke with authority.

I find a lack of reality and scriptural backing in the spiritual movements that encourage love no matter what, in a way that excuses and overlooks sin. Jesus didn't overlook sin, he met it face to face. Oh yes, Jesus is loving, but not in a flowery "everything is acceptable" way. Jesus' love stems from his desire to see all of us accept him and follow him.

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