Monday, October 3, 2011

Day 23 - The Real Jesus

The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, “Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.”  Luke 7:34

 So, where is the real Jesus?

Here are a few places I believe you will find Jesus and I believe it is here that will the Spirit will lead you into divine appointments and where you can trust God for supernatural faith.

I believe He is found at some great house parties.

He did get a certain reputation. So, what about Jesus, did he enjoy going to parties?  I would say an absolute yes.  He loved them so much that he was beginning to get a reputation among the religious folk of his day.

So, what makes a party great?  There is a lot of laughter, great games, people mixing and mingling, telling stories, great food…

Why are house parties great? 

It is because when we talk about a party, usually there is a very good chance that non-Christians will be there.

Jesus attended parties that were thrown by tax collectors.  These guys were the worst, we know that they sold out their fellow countymen to the state so they could live in luxury.

However it was here that Jesus knew He would have an audience among people with real needs.

We were part of the first street party on Tovell Street where we live and someone took it serious enough that we had official ‘street closed’ signs from the city.  We played football and volleyball, had all kinds of international foods, watermelon eating contest, the limbo, the balloon and shoe toss and we sat and talked to our neighbors till 1:30am in the morning!  It was great and while our conversation didn’t get too far into the spiritual, it was a beginning.

Jesus was the most spiritually formed, spiritually deep person that ever lived.  He was pure righteousness, but he was a seeker magnet.   He didn’t just love people because it was his job, He truly liked being around the sinners.  He sought them out and they sought Him as well, no matter how far along they were on in their spiritual journey.  If you love Jesus, you will love the people He died for.

Authentic spiritual formation always leads to a burdened heart for the lost.  God’s plan for the church has always been to develop us, His people, with Jesus’ love welling up.

 Jesus is found among the broken.

They took him to people who were far from God all the time. He went to dinners attended by prostitutes, to lepers and pagans, to Samaria, where a respected person would never go. For those of us who have grown up in church, somehow these stories have lost their sting.  We have sometimes heard these stories but forgot who these people were.  We forget that the prostitutes that Jesus hanged out with really did sell their bodies for sex and lowered the moral level of the nation.   His actions got him into trouble with the religious watchdogs.

Now, for most of you, it doesn’t mean that you have to go to new places, but for some of you it does.  Now if you have always struggled with alcohol, I don’t think Jesus is leading you to the bar.  We are already in those circles and we need to engage them.  You can find a lot about the spiritual condition of people while you are watching your kids play alongside their kids.

Jesus is found with the outcasts.

He used his hand to reach out and touch the man who was filled with leprosy in Mark 1.  The law was real strict about lepers. You were not to have any contact with a leper.  They lived outside the city and cry ‘unclean’.  If they touched someone’s house, it was supposed to be torn down because it was declared unclean.  No one was to come within 10 feet of one.  But what did Jesus do?  He doesn’t run away.  He goes to him and  He could have just said, be clean   But, He didn’t.  He touched him and did Jesus contract leprosy?  No, Jesus infected him with His life.

I am so thankful for a lady by the name of Linda Dawson who cared for a family that had aids and through her, I also had the opportunity to minister to this family.  The children unfortunately also contracted it through the parents and I had to learn very early on in my ministry that life is not fair as I watched a little boy die at the age of 7 by the name of Robbie.  Robbie looked like my own child and I spent time with him in the hospital.  He drew pictures for me and I never would have had the opportunity if I didn’t minister to families outside of the church.

I believe another unspoken leprosy is loneliness and as I said last week, God hates lonliness. We need to create the fertile soil for relationships to grow right here!  Everyone should have a great friend, a count on friend who goes to Grace!  

There was a song that came out a few years ago by Downhere called, ‘The Real Jesus’

Jesus on the radio, Jesus on a late night show
Jesus in a dream, looking all serene
Jesus on a steeple, Jesus in the Gallup poll
Jesus has His very own brand of rock and roll

Watched Him on the silver screen
Bought the action figurine
But Jesus is the only name that makes you flinch

Oh, can anybody show me the real Jesus?
Oh, let Your love unveil the mystery of the real Jesus

Jesus started something new
Jesus coined a phrase or two
Jesus split the line at the turning point of time
Jesus sparked a controversy
Jesus, known for His mercy, gave a man his sight
Jesus isn't white

Jesus loves the children, holds the lambs
Jesus prays a lot
Jesus has distinguishing marks on His hands

If anybody walks behind the Good Shepherd
If anybody holds the hands that heal lepers
And if you recognize the eyes that see forever, please...

Jesus, Jesus
Oh, can anybody show me Jesus
Oh, let Your love unveil the glory, the real Jesus

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