An amazing fact about the ministry of Jesus is that he released people to be who they were created to be.
Scripture attests that Jesus …
- Released their genius.
- Turned his former ‘misfit toy’ disciples into the greatest agents of change.
- Sent his leaders out unencumbered, free from emotional and physical clutter.
- Kept it simple so everyone could understand.
- Didn’t disqualify them, even when they left him near the end of his ministry on earth.
- Helped people to face their ‘unfaceables’ like fear, inadequacy, shame, unworthiness and their guilt ridden past.
It takes a special person to do that
But, Jesus was up to the task. He understands there is a little bit of crazy in all of us yet he doesn’t judge us for that.
In fact, look at his disciples…
- Quite a Board of Directors!
- The hated and despised IRS of the day.
- The Hell’s Angels of that time were on his team.
What makes me say this? Haven’t you ever heard of Matthew the taxman, and John and James, the Sons of Thunder? The suspect others involved, including Judas the traitor? Sounds like a motorcycle gang type to me.
Jesus made people feel welcome
He spread the welcome mat out for prodigal sons and wounded Samaritans. The Bible says he went out to prepare a place for people like that.
And do you know what that means? There is a place for us there too. In this, Jesus shows us his excitement for our homecoming with him. Remember the prodigal son? Talk about a welcome! ‘And when his father saw him, he ran to meet him’ (Luke 15:20).
You see, Jesus wants to release us from the prisons of past guilt, present boredom, and future anxiety.
Jesus wants us …
- Firing on all eight cylinders.
- Effective and happy.
- Release in our genius.
- Free from the ghosts of the past
- Prepared for the opportunities of the future.
Jesus always has a welcome mat out for us. He leaves the lights on for us if we want to return home. All he ever tried to do is to put us in a position to succeed. That’s true today and tomorrow.
Jesus brought the solution to rid people of the ghosts and guilt of their past
He brought God’s love into their world. God’s love changed everything. God’s love is greater and stronger than anything the IRS of that time or the Sons of Thunder could do. God’s love is stronger than anything guilt can do.
As the formerly imprisoned from the past received God’s love, that love busted the ghosts of the ‘would-a, should-a, could-a.’ When they stopped living the problem and started living the solution, the problem went away.
The scriptures say it this way. ‘But, God being rich in mercy because of his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have seen saved) and raised us up with him, and seated us with him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, in order that in the age to come he might show the surpassing riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus’ (Ephesians 2:4-7).
You and I – a great future awaits Christians!
What Jesus did for them he can do for us too! Jesus still goes to prepare a place for us, even if there is a little crazy in us. You know the verse. ‘For God so loved the world (us) that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life’ (John 3:16).
When we stop living the problem and start living the solution, the problem goes away. God wants us to get our direction from him, not the past.
As we celebrate Easter this month. May the above be reinforced afresh in our hearts – Jesus has achieved so much for us.
Forgiven, Christians are free to enjoy a great future with him.
Dr Ed Delph is president of Nationstrategy, an organisation with the strategy of envisioning and empowering today’s leaders in the church to be some of tomorrow’s leaders in the community. Links: firstname.lastname@example.org / http://www.nationstrategy.com