Points to Ponder: If Jesus was your pastor
Points to Ponder
If Jesus was your pastor
If Jesus was the senior pastor of your church, would you drop out? Would you come to His Bible studies during the week? If He was teaching the adult Sunday school class that you usually don't attend, would you start attending? Do you think you'd come for the sermons? Even without projection screens and a sound system, Jesus drew a crowd. He was really good. The only people who didn't like His preaching and teaching were the religious people; the priests (clergy) and the Bible experts (Pharisees) and the elite (Sadducees).
Jesus wasn't really productive in the church growth area. At the feeding of 5000, and later 4000, no one became a disciple (as far as we know). Those who did follow Him afterward were looking for the next free meal.
"Jesus answered them and said, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.'" (John 6:26-27)
Well, the crowd jumped on that and asked what they should do to "work the works of God." Here's what you do, Jesus told them, "believe in Him (Me) whom (God) sent" (v. 29).
Then it was downhill from there, as they demanded more miraculous signs; as if to say: "Prove that You are worthy of us." Can you imagine being so arrogant as to tell Jesus He has to candidate for you?
That brings me back to the original question: Would you drop out of your church if Jesus was the pastor? Or to rephrase it: Would you become more involved in worship and Sunday school attendance? I think that Jesus would be a problem for church leaders and some members.
Public opinion never stopped Jesus from saying what needed to be said. Your secret sin is no secret to Him and He will love you enough to tell you straight up. How about this:
"And He said to them, 'You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins" (John 8:23-24).
To the folks who are well off (most of us), He could say:
"Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (Mark 10:24b-25)
Then, to those who equivocate on their witness for Christ; who worry more about offending people than offending the Lord,
"But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 10:33)
And then, there is this (which must be a typo in the original text, since so many don't believe it):
"He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me." (Matthew 10:37)
What would Pastor Jesus say to you when you tell Him why you skipped church for so many weeks? You don't attend His teaching in Sunday school because...(why?). You don't come to His Bible study. You have so little time, you rarely open your Bible...And Pastor Jesus will surely understand...
You think? Are you as uncomfortable reading this as I am writing it? We like to hear about how much Jesus loves us. How He gave Himself for us. After all, church, faith, religion - it is all about us, isn't it? Would Jesus be so demanding? Would He set such high standards? What about "grace"? That's the catch-all term that excuses just about everything we want to do.
Nah...would Jesus confront you, point out your complacency, press you to choose Him over...(well, you fill it in); or dare to tell you you are living in sin? Sin? He probably wouldn't have to; you'd probably already know.
If you love Him, His presence in Your life will convict you and compel you to grow forward in these areas. And if not, you'll drop out. Or wait until the church board fires Him.
Many churches already have.
Points to Ponder is a series of occasional articles written by Rev. Dennis Whitmore, Pastor of Hilltop Christian Fellowship, 12624 Trinity Church Drive, Clear Spring, MD (1/4 mile east of Clear Spring on Rt. 40). Listen to Pastor Dennis on WJEJ-1240 AM, Tues and Thurs, at 10:45am and 7:50pm, both days). www.hilltopchristianfellowship.com