I’ve been thinking recently how the teachings of Jesus can be captured in a few simple ideas that even a child can understand:
“Believe in me”:
Throughout history God has spoken through prophets, angels, scriptures, stone tablets, and even a donkey. But in his final attempt to reach our darkened hearts He sent His Son. “The Word became flesh and lived among us”. He loved us, taught us, and showed us the true face of His Father. God did not reveal himself as a philosophy, a set of commands, a book, or a religion, because none of those means could accomplish the task of “making all things new.” Only Jesus could could accomplish such a thing. And so He presented Himself in evidence and issued a simple invitation: “Believe in me”.
“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” John 7:37-38
“Seek first the Kingdom”: (Matthew 6:33)
Jesus didn’t come to simply save us from our sins. He came to remake the world; to offer the human race a “do-over”. He is not merely the Savior of my soul or the centerpiece of the church; He is the center of ALL things. “[God] planned to bring all of history to its goal in Christ. Then Christ would be the head of everything in heaven and on earth.” (Ephesians 1:10) We modern believers are still weak on this concept, wanting to reduce the gospel to a personal experience and roadmap to a future in Heaven. But that is not the Kingdom! The Kingdom is that universal dream for a perfect world that every person carries in his heart. Newsflash! God carries that same dream!
Love one another: (John 13:34)
Nothing could be more simple. Jesus said the world would actually recognize us by our love. So they do, right? Not quite. They sometimes recognize us by our judgments, boycotts, and religious pride. Other times they don’t recognize us at all. If we were to actually demonstrate this one thing – loving others supremely – the world would virtually throw open it’s heart to the Gospel!
And finally – after we’ve begun to master these first three commands, we are called to make disciples of others who will make disciple of still others in this rich and living way that puts the world back together again and fills everything with glory.