Following Jesus or running him out of town?
Updated: May 21
I watched a Baptist minister read various verses from the New Testament this morning. As scattered in focus as they were, I believe his point was relative to coming to the realization that following Jesus was not a questionable matter. One is “either all in or all out.”
He said that when reading about Jesus telling the disciples about going to Jerusalem, where he would be arrested, beaten and killed, at which point Peter pulled Jesus aside and “rebuked” him for saying such a morbid thing. Jesus told Peter, “Get behind me Satan.”
With that focus clearly made, the preacher then pointed out how Jesus was the guest speaker at the assembly on the Sabbath in Nazareth (his hometown). The verses were put up on the screen that told of the anger held by the congregation, when Jesus said his presence was the fulfilment of the Scripture read from the scrolls, and then sat back down. The pastor pointed out how they forced Jesus to a cliff, where they were going to throw him off it.
The point there was Jesus said something the congregation did not want to hear. He pointed out that they all knew they were Jews; and, as Jews, they were the chosen people of God. To hear Jesus tell them he was the answer to a prophecy, when all of them were just ignorant fools, did not sit well with them.
The preacher then associated that with Christians feeling they are special because they go to a big, fancy, modern church (megachurch?). He said none of that history, lineage, and upbringing matters, because God knows your hearts.
Well … I wondered how that Baptist preacher would take it if I called him up (he posts the church’s phone number on the show) and told him, “It is good you read an English version of the Holy Bible and memorize lots of English quotes, but – just like those Jews in Nazareth and just like Peter thinking he knew more than Jesus – you have it wrong.”
For some reason [call it years of having faced the same rejection as Jesus did, which he promised the Apostles would also] I don’t think that kind Baptist preacher would open his heart and let it lead his mind to see the truth. I think he would round up a posse to force me to the nearest high cliff, with the intent being murder on his brain.
Jesus told Peter to “get behind me,” which is another way of saying, “you have to pick up your stake of righteousness and follow me … if you are to be my disciples (not Satan's).” Jesus called Peter Satan (which the Baptist minister said meant “adversary”), because Peter was hearing Jesus say something he did not want to hear. He tried to rebuke Jesus and was called out for being influenced by the worldly devil that puts more value on big brans thinking for his or her selves, than the commitment Jesus demands of his followers' hearts given unto Yahweh in divine union.
"Get behind me" means your soul must submit to Yahweh, so His Son's soul will join with your soul and then lead you to righteousness (sainthood). Jesus being one's LORD means your soul gets behind his lead and does everything he says to do. Jesus is not going to return as some puff of cloud next to you, whimpering for you to please pay attention to the Word and figure out the truth, so he can help you make a lot of money and be forgiven for every daily sin you commit without him one with your soul.
Then, the Baptist pastor talked about the widow woman who gave both her two coins (close to an American penny each), while all the rich Jews were giving “of their abundance,” but only a small percentage of what their worldly worth was. The pastor said those Temple donations were to help with the “upkeep of the Temple, kinda like the precursor of the offering plate today.” The Jews of old sound an awful lot like the Christians of today … huh?
Every time I hear someone who profits from people giving quotes of Scripture – as their profession, less than a spiritual calling – my ears perk up. I want to see if the spin is headed towards a plea for everyone to give like the widow woman. “Give it ALL. Go All in for Jesus. My upkeep in salary demands a new Cadillac every three years, to keep up with the other Baptist ministers around this area.”
He avoided a plea for cash donations (I imagine TV programs cost a pretty two pennies, so the upkeep need seems to be there); but he did not explain how he was All in for Jesus, as a model by which his viewers could follow. He never said, “I am Jesus reborn; and, Jesus says ‘Follow me!’”
The lesson of the widow woman is that every true Christian that walks this planet is a soul in feminine flesh (the earthly realm is feminine, while the spiritual realm is masculine), as a soul once married to Yahweh, but Yahweh has died as the God of the only religion in town. True Christians are without a physical Jesus to give to … widows once Jesus disappeared after his crucifixion. The Jews were all widowed from Yahweh; so when His Son can saying, “I am here to fulfill the prophecy,” they had no faith that allowed them to believe that could ever really happen. For as much as they gave in things, they gave nothing of their souls … in a renewal of their marriage vows [the Covenant]. We (as Jesus pointed out to his disciples) need to “get behind Jesus and follow his lead (without any reservations kept hidden in an offshore bank account),” so our souls will not be called out for being led by Satan.
The Apostles were disciples who gave their two cents willingly and lovingly, as if saying, "Get this materialism away from me!" In return for their commitment to Yahweh, Jesus paid them back with eternal life. In between, they had to teach the truth IN THE NAME OF JESUS so others could truly be ALL IN FOR JESUS too. That is the truth of Christianity; but over the centuries (much like Israel and Judah after the sins of David), they lost everything, becoming Jews (short of Judeans). There are few Saints today walking in ministry and giving freely of the truth, without a fancy church to call home. They all got persecuted to death … and rewarded with a room prepared for their souls in heaven.
Rather than call the number on the screen, I just decided to write this opinion.