Jesonian: The Five W’s of the J-Man… August 2nd, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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5 W's

Long, long ago in a print shop far away, we used to publish newspapers. They have been replaced by nothing.

A formula was developed for newspaper articles, which was referred to as the 5 W’s: who, what, where, when and why.

So what are the 5 W’s of the story of Jesus? I guess it depends on who you ask.

You have the common perception, which are those who are not necessarily believers, but look on the tale from a historical perspective.

You have religious doctrine, which comes from those who adhere to a Christian theology.

And then you have the Jesonian–individuals who are curious about the personality and mission of the one who has been dubbed “the Christ.”

So let’s look at it.

Who was Jesus?

Common perception: A carpenter-turned-religious icon.

Religious doctrine: A Savior who died for our sins.

Jesonian: The Son of Man, who came to redeem human beings and give us a working lifestyle.

What was Jesus?

Common perception: A Jewish teacher who was killed

Religious doctrine: The Lamb of God who was slain from the foundations of the world.

Jesonian: The Word who became Flesh.

Where was Jesus?

Common perception: Born of peasants in Nazareth.

Religious doctrine: Born in Israel to be salvation, beginning with the Jews.

Jesonian: Born in Israel, raised in Egypt, rejected by his family and hometown, condemned by the Jewish Council, crucified by the Romans, while challenging his disciples to “go into all the world.”

When was Jesus?

Common perception: Born approximately 2000 years ago.

Religious doctrine: His birth marked the beginning of the modern era–A.D.

Jesonian: All the world was temporarily crowded into Mesopotamia–Romans, Jews, Greeks, Egyptians and even those traveling from the East.

Why was Jesus?

Common perception: To be a religious leader.

Religious doctrine: To fulfill prophesy.

Jesonian: To free us from the rigors of religion.

So let us look at each paragraph, formed by our research.

Common perception:

Jesus was a carpenter-turned-religious teacher of Jewish extract, who ended up killed for his ideas. He was born of peasants in Nazareth some 2000 years ago and became the founder of the Christian religion.

Religious doctrine:

Jesus was a Savior who died for our sins, the Lamb who was slain from the foundations of the world. He was born in Israel to be a salvation and Messiah for the Jews and to begin the modern era of A.D. He came to fulfill all Old Testament prophesy.

Jesonian:

Jesus was the Son of Man who came to redeem human beings and give us a lifestyle, the Word who became Flesh. He was born in Israel, raised in Egypt, rejected by his family and hometown, condemned b y the Jewish Council, crucified by the Romans, yet told his disciples to spread the message into all the world. At the time of his birth, all the cultures were temporarily crowded into Mesopotamia–Romans, Jews, Greeks, Egyptians and even passing caravans from the Far East. Jesus had one goal: to free us from the rigors of religion.

Which story touches your heart? 

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Jesonian: Every Week at 11 A. M…. May 18, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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serviceChurch.

Some people revere it; other folks revile it.

I am curious if anyone’s interested in attempting to revive it.

Yes. What is a Jesonian church?

What would a church be if it was headed by Pastor Jesus?

We don’t need to speculate too much because it was Jesus’ custom to be at the synagogue on the Sabbath. When there, we have several accounts of his deeds, predilections, preferences and even aggravations.

He had definite ideas.

1. Welcoming.

Any church that is Jesonian needs to be welcoming. We often forget that along with the teachings, the miracles and the plan of salvation, Jesus is the only leader in history who was able to take Jews, Gentiles, Greeks, Romans, Syrians, Phoenicians and Egyptians and bring them under one banner through his story. We must remember that the church is an organism, not an organization, so no application is necessary to fill out for membership.

2. Equality.

A Jesonian church would be one filled with children and women–given a place of equality. Much to the chagrin of his disciples, Jesus was surrounded by children, and in an extremely male-dominated society, welcomed females freely.

3. Stories.

Not preaching. Parables of everyday life, relating what had been considered to be the mystery of godliness to common topics such as farming, fishing, parenting and even sweeping one’s own house.

4. Spontaneity.

I chuckle sometimes when I hear ministers tell me they have their services planned six months in advance. Without being judgmental, let me tell you–spirituality does not work that way. A Jesonian church would permit itself to have some ideas or jot down some possibilities for the service, but would always be ready to minister to the daily need and the primary concern at hand.

We often see Jesus healing on the Sabbath–not merely to object to the rigidity of Mosaic Law, but because someone present was in need of immediate attention.

5. Breaking tradition.

It is incorrect to portray Jesus as a renegade, but certainly, including his reformation spirit and his renaissance creativity is essential if you’re going to have a Jesonian church. Jesus had only one qualification for any religious practice: can it come from the heart?

In other words, can we be emotionally involved in it, or is it just vain repetition?

6. Repentance.

To be a Jesonain church, repentance and transformation are necessary. Repentance does not follow a sermon of condemnation. Repentance happens when we are overwhelmed with the goodness of God and realize we are living beneath our privilege, often in the pig pen.

The church needs a revival.

This will not be achieved by either revering it or by reviling it.

It will be accomplished as we awaken the parts of us that are more spirit than the letter of the law.

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Arizona morning

After an appearance earlier this year in Surprise, Arizona, Janet and I were blessed to receive a “surprise” ourselves. Click on the beautiful Arizona picture above to share it with us!

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

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A Creeky Encounter … January 12, 2013

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Jim and HuckIt was a stream of water that ran by the road in my hometown. It was no more than four feet deep at its braggart’s point and so narrow in some locations that you could step across it on four rocks protruding from the water. Most people didn’t pay much attention to it. For some reason, they named our local high school after this brook–Big Walnut.

Most of the good white folk stayed away from it because it was a hangout–well, it was a place where some of the “negroes” from nearby Columbus would come to congregate on the weekends. There were a few fishermen’s shacks which had been erected near the water, where these darkened visitors would sleep and relax as they cast lines into the nearby flow, seeking to capture a particular style of varmint called a sucker. Now, a sucker was an ugly fish–big huge mouth, with what looked to be thick lips and humongous, bulging eyes. Yes, the good white folks of our town were very careful not to spend much time on the banks of the Big Walnut, or to ever even consider consuming a sucker.

I occasionally went down to look at the water because it wound its way through a very pastoral setting of trees and rocks. On one of those occasions, when I was gazing from the bridge down at the creek beneath, an older fellow saw me and motioned to me to come down and join him. I was terrified, surprised, frozen and intrigued, all at the same time. For you see, he was a negro.

I was fifteen years old and had never spoken with a negro. I had seen them. I had even tackled one in a football game with a nearby city school which was intergrated. But I had never had an actual conversation with anyone of that color persuasion.

He motioned to me again, and because he was an older chap and I felt deep respect for folks of that ilk, I picked my way down the hill to join him at the waterfront. As I arrived, he got a bite on his hook and right then and there, pulled up one of those ugly sucker fish, which looked to be nearly a pound and a half in size. He gave a hoot.

Negro:  Would you look at that, son? Halleluia! I have supper for tonight.

(I pulled back in terror at the sight of the ugly fish.)

Negro:  Have you ever eaten a sucker?

Me:  My dad says they taste terrible and have too many bones.

Negro:  Well, I probably have too many bones, and I’m not so sure I taste good, either. But if you smoke ’em, they are delicious.

(I must have had a comical, perplexed look on my face because he laughed.)

Negro:  Do you know what smoked is?

Me:  Cigarettes?

(More laughter.)

Negro: No! You’ve eaten ham, haven’t you? Smokin’ meat is like puttin’ it near the fire instead of on the fire, and lettin’ the hickory flavor do the cookin’.

(I nodded my head–not because I understood, but because I was bored.)

Negro: Do you like to fish?

Me: Yeah, kinda. My dad and older brothers are nuts about it. I like to catch fish.

Negro: Me, too. By the way, my name is Marsh.

Me: Pleased to meet you Mr. Marsh.

(I was speaking to him from a distance of about six feet, so as to give myself the first fruits of an excellent exit. He stuck his hand out across the distance.)

Negro: No, it’s not Mister. Just call me Marsh.

(I was staring at the hand of a Negro. It was big. I could see callouses protruding from every knuckle. I quickly glanced down at my hand, which more resembled a medium-sized, damp white terry wash cloth. What was I going to do? He kept his hand extended, determined to make connection. So I cautiously inched forward and shook his massive paw.)

Marsh: You come down here often?

Me:  No–because …

(I stopped in mid-sentence. I almost let it slip–that the community generally considered this to be reserved for Negroes and not available to the whites.)

Marsh: (interrupting) Let me guess. You don’t come down here because people who look like me seem to own this place, right?

Me: We call it Monkey Hollow. At least that’s what my dad said.

Marsh: He did, did he? Well, we people of a different point of view call it Goshen’s Point. Do you know the story of the place?

(I shook my head.)

Marsh: Tale is that an escaped slave arrived here with his wife and didn’t feel it was safe for him to live among the white folks, so he settled here by the creek, built a cabin and started to raise a family. He called it Goshen because that was the land where the Jews were safe from the Egyptians.

(Once again I nodded my head. I wasn’t really interested–just fascinated by being in the proximity of this aged Negro. I stepped a little closer–honestly, just to find out if he smelled different. I was told they did. He ended up smelling like fish and the residue of earth worms, which was not unusual for people who frequented the sport.)

Marsh: What is your name?

Me: Jonathan.

Marsh: That’s a good Bible name. Jonathan–the best friend of King David. A good young man who got himself mixed up in family loyalty. Instead of siding with his friend, David, he followed his dad…to death.

(I crinkled my brow a bit because I knew the story, but found it more interesting coming out of the mouth of this wrinkled alien.)

Marsh: Is this the first time you’ve ever talked to a nigger?

(My expression must have been worth a million dollars, because Marsh laughed like he had just discovered a treasure.)

Marsh: You have heard us called niggers, right?

Jonathan: Well, once or twice, I guess, but never … near one, if you know what I mean.

Marsh: I do, son, I surely do. Usually they call us Negroes, right?

Jonathan: I guess. If that’s all right.

Marsh: I guess there’s a name we call every person to their face and another one we use behind their back. What do you think, Jonathan? What would Jesus think about that?

Jonathan: I don’t know. Are you a Christian?

Marsh: I sure am. But not like you.

Jonathan: What do you mean?

Marsh: You see, Jonathan, I’m a Christian because I need to be one to survive and get along in this world. You’re a Christian because there’s a church down the road where your friends go, that has some mighty good pot-lucks from time to time.

(I was offended.)

Jonathan: I believe in God.

Marsh: I know, son. I know. It’s just that my faith allows me to believe that God believes in me, too. That God somehow or another is able to escape staring at my color and sees right down to the tiptoes of my soul.

(I frowned, making him smile. Marsh held his freshly caught fish up to his face)

Marsh: Don’t you think this sucker looks just like me? Big lips and bulgy eyes?

(I didn’t know what to say.)

Marsh: You run along. I sure have enjoyed our conversation. I just hope you know that we Negroes–niggers, or monkey, or whatever you hear us called–are able to talk and really don’t bite or hurt nobody.

(I bit my lip because I couldn’t think of an adequate retort. Marsh turned around and started fishing again. I wanted to say something meaningful, warm or profound, but ended up pulling myself up the hill in silence.)

Marsh was the first Negro I ever talked to. Since then, I have purposefully had thousands of other conversations in honor of my initial “creeky” encounter.

I also have grown up and left my small-town, both in location and in thinking. Truthfully, I never did eat a sucker, smoked or otherwise.

But I did somehow manage … not to become one.

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