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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Jesus Christ = Great

You know how society says today that those who usually end up making the most difference in the world are the weird ones, those who are viewed as a nutcase or out to lunch, those who don't look like they'll amount to much in the long run, who are the most socially awkward or most clumsy or most heavily physically disabled or something like that?  Those people who have been rejected and called the crazy one, the problem child, the class dunce or similar are, much of the time, those who end up making the biggest difference in the human race.

Yet so often society sees those same types of people today and treats them as though they really are as hopeless as they may appear.  So many in the world today have amazing gifts, uncanny abilities or intelligence or a quality of heart that seems unrealistically Utopian to many.  The problem is that the narrative I outlined in the previous paragraph, that society seems to swear by and preach so adamantly, is simultaneously and sharply contrasted by the way they actually treat those types of people, regretting it later when they see what those people accomplish.  Many of them end up being the great ones of this world!

#4 Jesus Christ = Great

I love John 8 where almost the whole chapter is a conversation between Him and the Pharisees.  He continually bears witness of His unity with the Father, being sent from Him as our example, the embodiment of truth, and His selfless commitment to bring all glory to the Father.  They were so disgruntled and angry with Him because He spoke the truth plainly to them.  They saw Him as such an outcast just because He taught truths with which they were uncomfortable and cut them to the core because, as He said, "my word hath no place in you".  When He said "and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" they responded with "We be Abraham's seed, and we were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou Ye shall be made free?"  When He said "if a man keep my saying, he shall never see death" they replied "Now we know that thou hast a devil.  Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my sayings, he shall never taste of death."  It was when He said "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am" that they got ready to stone Him.

Though there are millions more today who assert their faith in Him and try their best to follow Him, it is still many of those who are the most misunderstood, viewed by the world as the most outdated, overly strict, paranoid, self-centered or delusional who actually understand truth the most purely and precisely.  People who's standards and opinions are in most stark contrast to popular views are those to whom, in most cases, we should be paying closer attention.

So many people misunderstood the Savior because as He said of Himself, He is "not of this world."  He is so committed to the glory of His Father and His Father's plan that much of what He did and taught, based on things not of this world, were naturally not understood by the majority of those in His day.  Honestly, most people on the planet today don't even effectively understand most of what He taught.

John 17 is also a beautiful example of Christ's focus on doing His Father's will by "bring[ing] to pass the immortality and eternal life of man".

I'll mentioned just a few examples that show how committed He was and is to the Father:
"glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee..."
"And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."
"I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world"
"Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee."
"I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me"
"I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine."
"And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are."

There's more but those are a few that stuck out the most to me at the moment.
Truly Jesus' commitment to His Father is why He is so great.  He didn't let anything sway Him, not other's opinions, not His limited influence, geographically, during His mortal life, or any other factor.  He knew full well that He would be seen by the vast majority of those with whom He associated as crazy, blasphemous, possessed, and more, but He didn't let that affect His obedience to and love for His Father.  He didn't let that affect His eternal and everlasting influence, via His life and atonement, on mankind.  He pushed forward anyways and today, no one has ever been as mocked, ridiculed, insulted, or dishonored than He, yet no one has ever had as much spoken, sung, preached or published of them than He either.

Though He is probably the least understood, He is also the most important, humble, powerful, loving man who ever walked the earth and everyone would do well to cling to Him and His word with all the energy of soul they can summon, as if their very eternity hangs in the balance, because it does.

During His mortal ministry He seemed harsh, irrational, awkward, and undesirable, as Isaiah mentioned quite clearly, to many and even appears that way to many today.  Yet He is the source of all that is truly desirable in this life and the next.  It looks to me, from these observations, that it is a good idea to start looking at those who are committed to Christ who, by today's standards, seem irrational, awkward or even undesirable from the world's standpoint and take them a little more seriously than we are.  Why else would the Lord tell His true disciples that they will become a "peculiar" people?

Do be stupid and don't do crazy stupid things, go off the deep end or make any radical changes you are not ready for, but do consider that maybe it's time to start realizing that things are much better, and much worse, today than society, the media, and government want you to believe.  No matter how uncomfortable it makes you to consider the opinions of those who are seen as the "crazies" out there who are making radical claims about the state of the world and such, I strongly encourage you to open your mind and consider that they might just be on to something.  I know their claims seem pretty sensational, but the last time I checked, every single thing Christ ever did or said was pretty sensational.

Christ was seen and that type of person in His day and look where He is now.  He is the Greatest of us all! It's time to wake up!