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1.14.18 Teaching Questions for Blog

If I didn’t get to your question while teaching, I’ll answer it here. Also, the questions that are asked each week have impact on how I prepare for next week. We are teaching together! Thank you!

 

Can you love without being a doormat? 

First, please reach out for help and care if you feel unsafe of discouraged. Are you sensing a loss of individuality and hope? Please connect with me.

Now, on to your excellent question:  In order to answer that question, we need to define what Jesus is talking about when He teaches us to love. Christ-like love is a love that works to see the other person be all they can are called to be in Jesus. When I love my wife, Cathy, I choose to serve her in a manner that advances her calling. I don’t enable her to engage in behaviors that hinder her spiritual growth or encourage her to sin. I will give myself sacrificially to her appointment in the Kingdom.

Also, what is not love? Love is not behaving in a way that encourages or even is complicit in actions that are not Christ-like. We might incur persecution as we love as Jesus did, but we don’t affirm behavior that doesn’t reflect Jesus. You are a child of the King and a Jewel of God’s crown.  Allowing yourself to be treated like a doormat is not a loving action toward another.

How did Jesus love without allowing Himself to be placed in a possession of subjugation? Jesus stayed focused on doing what was needed to give us the opportunity to know the Father,  reach our potential, and embrace our calling. Jesus did all that was needed so that we might succeed at a cosmic level. He was ridiculed, beaten, and killed, but He allowed that to achieve the greater goal of forgiveness for all humanity. It was the realization that His love for us demanded his suffering and He CHOSE that. He was not a victim. He was not a doormat. He made the courageous and audacious decision to do what was needed to be done to rescue humanity.

That’s love! Let’s love like that today!

 

Do you think the crowd followed the official home to see what would happen? 

We don’t see that mentioned in the Text, but I think you and I know how people are. Yes, there had to be at least a group of people who couldn’t help themselves. They followed the royal official at least until the servant met him to give him the great news.

Can you imagine how the news traveled that Jesus healed a child in a Herodian official’s household? That is grace! Jesus heals a boy that belongs to the palace of the one who tried harder than anyone to exterminate Him before His ministry could begin.

Pray with me, “Lord, give me that kind grace and love for my enemies.”

 

What about when you begged Jesus for healing and your loved one dies? 

In 33 years of leading the local church, this is the question I’ve been asked the most often. I do wish I had profound and satisfying answer for you. I could delve into a theologically mood- numbing discourse that would somewhat satisfy the mind but would leave the heart wanting.

The answer? I don’t know. I do know that God’s mind is not ours. I do know God sees time all at once and knows what the future holds. I do know God loves us and will bring about the best for us. I do know we live in a broken world and we exist in broken and breaking bodies. I do know that in this world there will be death and separation that God did not intend in the perfect world He created. I do know He does heal and He does answer prayer. Why not all the time? Why not you? Why not your loved one? I don’t know. But I do know that God has not and will not abandon you. He weeps with us and He carries us.

I rest in not knowing what God knows, knowing He loves me, and that He loves those I love, whether He brings healing or not.

I’m sorry I could not give you a simple answer. Please keep asking God to reveal His plan to you. Let’s all pray that.

 

This is the only miracle I am aware of in the gospels that Jesus performs from a distance, what significance do you feel that has on the meaning? 

Great question. You are getting to the difference God is revealing between Jesus and all the other pagan gods that have gone before Him. Ancient gods and sorcerers had to be with the one being healed in order to do so. Most of the time there is a physical touch needed (see Dionysus). When Jesus heals from a distance, it reveals His dominion of space and distance. It is revealed that He is the Lord of Lords.

 

Jesus teaches unity, obedience, love. Is it wrong to celebrate the way our country was created – the revolution? 

You are thinking very deeply and with great application to the here and now. Way to go. I am teaching on this very issue in a few weeks. I will mention this question so you know it is being answered.

Briefly, Jesus teaches unity, love, and obedience and also teaches that we can’t allow the weak to be exploited by the powerful. He did not allow the woman caught in adultry to be murdered by people of power who were just as guilty. He didn’t allow the poor to be marginalized or exploited as cheap labor to pad the pockets of the wealthy. He didn’t allow political agendas to reign while people went hungry. Yet, He never fired a shot or struck another. Was He able to bring revolution peacefully because He was the Son of God?

Stay tuned!

 

We are to confront injustice but love the unjust? 

We are called to love “our neighbor” – everyone we encounter, as Jesus loves us. Everyone we lock eyes with is loved as much by God as we are. We reflect that love, as God’s ambassadors, to all of humanity.

We also fight every injustice with that same love. The word justice means,“rightness.” Followers of Jesus receive our definition of “rightness” from His teachings. To bring justice or to correct injustice is to make things right according to the teaching of Jesus.

The simple answer to your question is, “yes.” The more complex and, perhaps, the more right answer is, “we are to bring justice to all things as we love, and act lovingly toward, everyone.” Let’s do this together!

 

Why is it that the Christ could not come from Galilee?

There is a simple and also a profound answer to this insightful question. Simply, the prophecies of Jesus coming foretold his birth in Bethlehem and his family tree being that of King David. He comes from Judea because God determined it.

The more profound answer comes when we ask, “Why did God decide Jesus would come from the line of King David and then choose His ministry location to be that of non-royalty?” God wanted to model for all of humanity that your family line does not determine whom you serve. He models in the life of Jesus that a true servant sees the people as a friend of him or her and does not focus on what is behind.

The culture at the time of Jesus expected a royal to stay with royals and Jesus defied that. The custom of the time was to shun the poor. Jesus refused that. It was acceptable to only stay within your own “kind.” Jesus rejected that. He took all He was, from Judea and from a royal line, and went to those in greatest need.

He also comes from a royal line and from the family of the “man after God’s own heart” so that the sacrifice God provides for our sins might be a great sacrifice. Kings don’t die for subjects! Subjects die that so kings can amass wealth and power. Not in God’s economy. Our King, one from the Jewish royal line headed by King David, gave everything so that we could be rich in him!

Christ Memorial Church