Jesonian: Front Loading…February 15, 2015

Jonathots Daily Blog


Sermon on  the Mount big

I am traveling this year all across the United States, putting on a program with a musical and spoken rendition of the Sermon on the Mount, complete with stories and humor.

It has stimulated great interest, mainly because hundreds, perhaps thousands, of musicals and spoken-word pieces have been done on the last twenty-four hours of Jesus’ life, but very few have been written and shared on his body of work.

Perhaps this is due to the fact that we have two dangerous misconceptions about the ideas of Jesus. We think:

  1. The teachings of Jesus are hard–too idealistic and don’t work well in the real world.
  2. Jesus bided his time teaching while he was waiting for his true mission to be fulfilled–to be the human sacrifice for the sins of the world.

I am convinced that these two theological missteps are causing the message of Jesus to be misconstrued, which forbids the world to tap the obvious logic contained in his philosophy.

For after all, there is no other idea that works among people other than “love your neighbor as yourself.” The absence of applying this thought places the world in chaos. It is only when that principle is applied–even if it’s only partially done–that we have the foundation for financial prosperity and peace.

So when we portray the teachings of Jesus to be impractical “in the real world,” and to more or less be the fodder for a future heavenly existence rather than an earthly one, we rob our generation of the tools necessary to communicate.

Here are the three things that Jesus was against:

  • Hypocrisy
  • Selfishness
  • Intolerance

If you were listing three of the greatest problems in our world, these would certainly be included.

Jesus’ response to hypocrisy was, “Let your yes be yes and your no be no.” We could go a long way with that simple concept.

His response to selfishness was, “If you’re given much, much is expected of you.” This certainly would encourage initiative, but also would foster generosity.

And Jesus told us not to judge other people–that even he would not do so. This would eliminate our opinions from seeping through, insisting they are “God’s will.”

Secondly, for those who believe that Jesus was merely God’s pin cushion to extract a blood atonement for the foulness of mankind, we must admit that this is contrary to what the Nazarene said:

  • He wanted people to believe him for his words.
  • In the Garden of Gethsemane, before his crucifixion, he claimed that his work was completed.
  • And in Nazareth he quoted from Isaiah, saying that his mission was to “preach the good news to the poor.”

The greatest theological insult of our time is the notion that God, who hated the sacrifice of turtle doves and bullocks, would suddenly change His mind and favor the human sacrifice of His son.

What makes the death of Jesus not only an atonement–a salvation for our sins–is how he was willing, while still a human being, to take on the rejection of his peers bravely–and give his life for what he taught.

I am Jesonian.

Jesonian people are front-loading Christians. That means we give more significance to the life, teachings, inspiration snd spirit of Jesus during the thirty-three years of his ministry than we do for the back-loading of his three hours on the cross.

I believe with all of my heart that if we honored his words more often, while celebrating his death as a brave act of mercy, we would reach more people–and a message free of hypocrisy, selfishness and intolerance could find its simple place toward solution in our time.

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