Jesonian… June 17th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3340)

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Leprosy is a loser.

You lose feeling. You lose your fingers and your toes; you lose your friends. You lose interaction with the world around you. You lose control of your life. At least, that’s the way it was in Jesus’ day.

That is why it’s so remarkable that ten lepers got together and overlooked their angst to come up with a plan. They decided to go see Jesus.

I’m not so sure lepers do a whole lot together. I suppose there would be the fear that the infection in your brother or sister might even be worse than yours.

But ten of them planned a road trip. They even included one Samaritan, which all the Jews hated. I guess they gave him a free pass since they shared dying in common.

Ten lepers traveling together caused quite a stir. Everyone was frightened of the disease. Multiply that fear by ten. Therefore, getting anywhere near Jesus must have been a feat, and being granted an audience–the first miracle.

So when Jesus tells all ten lepers to go and show themselves to their priest, they launch off together on a mission of questionable potential. They are not immediately healed, nothing is changed and they’re on their way to see an aged rabbi who certainly possessed no remedy..

But along the way, suddenly each one of them is restored to wholeness, with beautiful pink flesh (or whatever color they originally had). We don’t know how long it took.

But being faithful, and even more aggressive to achieve their mission because of their restoration, they plunged ahead to come in contact with what would surely be a dumbfounded clergyman.

All except one.

The Samaritan–that renegade outsider–decides to turn back to see Jesus and thank him for the miracle. The other nine shake their heads in disbelief. They view themselves “the good ones”–the souls being obedient. They trudge on, praying for their errant companion as he races back to express his gratitude.

When the grateful, healed man from Samaria arrived and worshipped Jesus for giving him back his life, Jesus had a very interesting response.

First, let’s look at what he did not say. Jesus didn’t say, “Why are you here? I told you to go to the priest. Just like you Samaritans to not follow the rules.”

Or, “Because you didn’t do what I said, here’s your leprosy again.”

No–Jesus says something surprising. “Where are the other nine?”

This strikes me as a bit hypocritical, since Jesus sent them on a specific task to show themselves to a religious fellow to confirm their healing. But Jesus not only asks where they are–he mocks the nine for not having the gumption of the Samaritan, to return and express appreciation.

I view this as a warning–a gunshot in the air for all the righteous rowdies in our world who think because they follow some verse of scripture or some isolated command that they are viewed by the heavens as supernally superior. They tell you everything they are sure God finds unfavorable, and cite verses to prove their point.

They are wrong.

Jesus makes it clear–there is something greater than the written or spoken Word of God. It’s called “being led of the Spirit.”

And when the Spirit confirms to you that you’re healed and no priest had anything to do with it, and that the most valuable thing in life is to be grateful, you will bypass the initial command in order to follow the greater calling.

You don’t have to look very far in the life of Jesus to see that the scribes and Pharisees constantly reminded him that he was breaking Jewish law. His response was always basically the same: “You pursue the traditions of men instead of the heart of God.”

A Samaritan former leper broke a rule to fulfill a promise. Because he did, he was praised. And those who did everything by the book were mocked.

If you’re not prepared to go against the rules to fulfill the righteousness of where the Spirit is leading, don’t call yourself a follower of Jesus.

 

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Jesonian: Good Christian Folk … February 9, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2146)

better Conestoga WagonIt became very obvious to me that I needed a new word–a different term to express the faith I hold dear and the devotion I feel as a disciple of Jesus.

The signature title, “Christian,” had lost its impetus, credibility and definition. Too many people had attached themselves to it like leeches, sucking the blood of Christ out of the experience and leaving behind all the powerful notions of brotherhood and human excellence.

There was a time when “Christian” was a magnificent proclamation, producing clarity in the minds of those who heard it. When the American pioneers were making their way West across the mountains in their Conestoga wagons, the phrase, “good Christian folk” was an oasis of hope and a promise of tenderness.

Matter of fact, when informed that people were “good Christian folk” you knew four things:

  1. These were people who would give you a chance and not judge you.
  2. If you were hungry they would feed you. Thirsty, they would give you drink, and if you didn’t have a place to sleep, they would provide a bed.
  3. They would always turn the other cheek instead of getting pissed off and allowing their emotions to overrule their devotion.
  4. They were determined to work hard without bitching.

Somewhere along the line, each of these principles has been abandoned, a generation at a time, until the term “Christian” has transformed itself into a safe word, to be interpreted as either “a patriotic American” or an individual who goes to church.

  • For instance, we have exchanged the lack of judgment of others for a moral majority.
  • We’ve made feeding the hungry and helping the homeless a “bleeding-heart liberal” sentiment.
  • “Turning the other cheek” has been rejected in favor of standing up for yourself, whether you’re right or wrong.

And hard work has been displaced by seeking ways to gain finance by keeping money away from those trying to ascend

We need a new word.

So one day I just decided to invent one. I didn’t do it to be revolutionary. Nor was I trying to be merely clever. I wasn’t attempting to attack the religious convictions of others.

I just could no longer call myself a generic Christian, and allow you to quietly fill in the blanks based upon your observations or prejudices.

The word I came up with was “Jesonian.” It is taking into consideration the sentiments, the heart, the mission and the ministry of Jesus instead of trying to balance the entire Bible as a unit for mutual appreciation.

It was my way of saying that what Jesus did is more powerful than the Book of Deuteronomy.

It was my way of proclaiming that I was not a Jew nor a Muslim, but rather, an individual who follows Jesus because he respects the pursuit of information without embarrassment, and gives freedom to others, even when he was denied it by their bigotries.

I would love to go back to a time when the phrase “good Christian folk” was not only significant, but also let everybody know the true extent of your passion.

But until that becomes true again, I am Jesonian. And Jesonian means to be a follower of Jesus, while honoring knowledge and giving place to the liberty of others.

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The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

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