Jesus Was Kind, but What Does That Mean?

There's an expectation, nowadays, of people to be "nice." Usually what someone is saying when they say this is that they want someone else to make them feel secure, safe, and like nothing unexpected will happen. Based on modern notions, I believe, wholeheartedly, that Jesus would not be invited to preach at many churches if He was preaching today. What it comes down to is this: Many churches are either Pharisaical, coming up with standards of "goodness" no one can measure up to, or the Church scraps the truth almost completely to fill up seats and make everyone love them. Neither of these approaches work. Jesus has always been interested in the broken, and seeking and saving the lost; he met them where they were at, and sought to bring them to where He was, not by standards of "goodness," nor by meeting the ridiculous traditions and demands of the Pharisees and Sadducees, but by cutting directly to the chase and telling everyone what God expected, rightly dividing Scripture, and fulfilling it at the same time. Jesus was Kind. But he wasn't always nice. He flipped tables, pronounced woes on the religious, told some He healed "Repent, or something worse will happen to you," gave hard sayings that often sent his followers packing, and didn't always give people what they wanted. The fact is, Jesus completely concerned with His Father's Kingdom and Eternity than He was temporary social norms, and if people liked Him or not. Jesus often chased crowds away, His sayings were hard, and people didn't often understand, but He always dealt in Truth, not what society demanded. He reminded people who they were to God, and He sought to bridge the gap between God and Man, offering Himself as that bridge upon the cross, conquering Sin and Death altogether. It is time for us to pick up our cross, die to ourselves, and go in to the world, regardless of outcome. It's not about being nice, it's about getting people in to the Kingdom. Christianity is not for you once you attain it, it's a sacrificial way of living to draw all people to the Living God, and that sometimes means turning tables over, and driving out thieves and robbers in sheep's clothing. It's time we get our priorities in line with Christ, and get in to His word, so that we can reflect His glory and usher in the Kingdom.

Philippians 3 English Standard Version (ESV)


Righteousness Through Faith in Christ

Finally, my brothers,[a] rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.


Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God[b] and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law,[c] blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.


Straining Toward the Goal

12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.


17 Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. 18 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.


Footnotes:

a. Philippians 3:1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 13, 17

b. Philippians 3:3 Some manuscripts God in spirit

c. Philippians 3:6 Greek in the law



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