Jesonian (The Politics of Jesus) … June 2nd, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3691)

PLEASE ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS

Name: Jesus

Birthdate: 0

Race: Human

Hometown:

  • Born in Bethlehem, Judea.
  • Grew up in Alexandria, Egypt.
  • Resided in Nazareth, Galilee until they tried to kill me

Occupation: Former carpenter turned storyteller

Marital Status: I respect everyone

Your voting block: The original millennial

Conservative? With human feelings

Liberal? With human compassion

Favorite Quote: Love your neighbor as yourself

Feelings about current leadership:

  • Herod–the fox who killed my cousin.
  • Caiaphas–head snake of the brood
  • Pilate–doesn’t know what truth is
  • Caesar–“I tend to render”

Salary: Daily bread

Major issue: Self-righteousness

Pet peeve: Hypocrisy

Goals: To do my part so you can do your part so God can do His part

Dream job: Son of Man

 

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Jesonian … May 5th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Long, long ago, when Jesus and his elves–twelve in all–were on their way to Samaria to assist Conan the Barbarian in rescuing Mary of Magdala from the Cave of Sighs, where she was being tormented by seven hissing demons, they stopped at a well in Sychar, where Jesus turned its water into wine. A party ensued.

There, Jesus told his elves the story of Mary, the Mother of God, who scurried along, following a rabbit down a hole into a stable, where she had a baby, which shone like the light of day. So she went to Egypt, where she met her husband, Joseph, who was a Carpenter Warrior from Cairo.

They took the baby to see Aslan,who wrote the Chronicles, from his den in Narnia, and helped the young family avoid the onslaught of the wicked Herod of the West.

Many baby hobbits were lost, but the young King was preserved. Jesus.

So now, Jesus is walking on water on the Sea of Galilee near the tree where we all can be, can’t you see?

They continue to try to kill Jesus but he runs away and leaps upon a white horse and takes his army into battle, where he destroys all the Telmarines, and establishes his kingdom. Everyone lives happily thereafter.

*****

If you’re going to teach the lifestyle of Jesus to your children like it’s a nursery rhyme, don’t be surprised, as they grow, if they start viewing it as a fairy tale.

And “Frank”ly, it will “Baum” their lives, leaving them only with a “Tolkien” belief.

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Good News and Better News… March 6th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3238)

jesus-politician

They were known as the Herodians.

They were one of three political parties that stumped around in Jesus’ time, completely enveloped in a cloud of self-importance.

Unlike their counterparts, the Pharisees and the Sadducees, the Herodians had quietly given up on the power of Jewish tradition, scriptural integrity and even the intervention of God. They had decided to seek a more “earthly” solution. In doing this, they proclaimed that Herod was the Messiah and the King of the Jews. This immediately eliminated a need to wait for anything, believe in anything outrageous or follow commandments which seemed to be a dead-end street.

It was the Herodians who actually put the nails in Jesus’ hands.

Both the Pharisees and Sadducees were so frightened of the people that they were never able to come up with a plan to trap Jesus. It was only when the cunning Herodians, with their defiled political thinking, came on the scene, that a plot was put in place to put an end to the “Jesus question.”

I bring up the Herodians this morning because we have a similar situation in America. The church has flirted with politics for years, feeling that it gave them some sort of pass to “big-town thinking.” Yet somehow or another, the religious system was able to keep itself from becoming the whore to Washington.

Then somewhere along the line, we gave up on faith.

We gave up on “love your neighbor as yourself.”

And to a huge degree, we gave up on Jesus.

We started looking for a secular leader to represent us–an imposter–so we once again have come up with a scheme rid ourselves of Jesus.

This is why we’re so confused. It’s why worship has a feeling of vanity and purposelessness to it. Numbers are dropping. The young people are uninspired, and the clergy teeter between fanaticism and apathy.

It is time for us to identify the Herodians, expose them as the quitters they are, and once again give our faith, hope and charity a chance to do its mystery.

Here’s the good news: Jesus is not political.

Here’s the better news: He’s still in the business of loving people and saving souls.

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Ask Jonathots … July 16th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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ask jonathots bigger

I love my church and my pastor, but every four years my preacher tells us who to vote for. I really don’t like this. Should I speak to him about this? Write an anonymous note? What is the best way to handle this? I don’t want to leave the church because of this one issue.

Well it really comes down to this point: does a minister of the Gospel have a responsibility to steer his congregation concerning a political decision?

It is not a question of whether he has the right. If a preacher insists he has a calling from God, then he can’t use the Constitution of the United States as proof of his legal authority to voice his opinion in the pulpit in political matters. If you’re going to claim a higher purpose, then you must live by the dictates of that higher calling, not merely the civil rights afforded to you by your government.

So it comes down to the question of how did the Good Shepherd handle the issue of political favoritism? And of course, when I say Good Shepherd, I am speaking of Jesus.

  • Jesus had a congregation.
  • Jesus had a flock.
  • Jesus had a following.

Unquestionably, they were swayed by his opinions.

Judea in the 1st Century A.D. was politically charged. It was Jews against Samaritans, Samaritans against Gentiles, Gentiles divided over their allegiance to Rome, and Rome basically swallowing up most of the air with its imperialism and desire to conquer.

There was tremendous pressure on Jesus to pick a side. For instance:

He was invited to the palace of Herod to discuss his work. He declined.

The woman at the well suggested that he should show a bit more favoritism to the Samaritans to balance things out. He didn’t.

And of course, the Jewish hierarchy wanted him to speak out against Rome. And his classic phrasing of “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s” still remains as a guideline for those who preach the Gospel.

They even wanted Jesus to express sympathy for Jewish folk who had been killed by Pontius Pilate while merely worshipping in the synagogue. Although it would have been easy for him to do so, he remained neutral.

Since he taught that “the Kingdom of God is within us,” how we are governed doesn’t make nearly as much difference as the decision we make on how to live our personal lives. Your pastor has absolutely no right to color the vote of his sheep. But confronting him on such an issue is not only disrespectful, but would certainly be unproductive.

If your church does not use Jesus as the primary example, then your pastor will probably fall back on Old Testament nationalism to condone his choices.

At that point, you have to make a decision.

Do you want to be part of New Testament church that follows Jesus, or a church which haphazardly mingles Jesus and Moses together with equal authority and power?

I see nothing wrong with posing the question to your pastor, “Do you think Jesus would campaign for a candidate, and if you do think so, what story from his life do you use to confirm that?”

Even the Apostle Paul told us to pray for those who are in authority over us–not campaign against them.

The church will become a much more powerful unit for spiritual and social change when it pushes for separation from the state.

 

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Jesonian: They’re History… August 24, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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swirl politicsConservatives, liberals, Tea Party, politicians and pundits.

Sounds like a daily line-up of guests on America’s revolving twenty-four-hour news cycle. But really, it’s the same boondoggle that existed in First Century Palestine, without the aid of antennas, cell phones, Twitter and technological toys.

For undoubtedly, the Pharisees were the conservatives–a blue-collar group of religionists who insisted on a strict enforcement of the Law of Moses while simultaneously creating their own oral interpretation via endless discussion.

The Sadducees were the liberals, who had removed all of the internal combustion from their beliefs, didn’t believe in a resurrection, were quite agnostic and had incorporated large portions of Greek philosophy into their mindful arsenal.

Then here come the Essenes, who were kind of disgusted with both of the former configurations, and had created their own Tea Party, living outside Jerusalem–disgusted with everything going on which wasn’t born of their own fears.

Herodianspolitical think tanks, gathering to try to find a way to maintain some form of Judaism while also satisfying the vapid egos of Herod and Rome.

And finally, the Scribes–those pundits who literally studied every jot, tittle, comma and dramatic pause to attain deeper meaning, only ending up with lesser quality because they focused on unimportant issues.

And even though the five conclaves nearly despised one another during their brief time on Earth, the history books lump them into one gigantic oppositional party…attacking Jesus.

Yes, the only thing they agreed on was a single alliance–standing against heavenly progress done on Earth.

And if the foolhardy arguers of our time aren’t careful, the only thing they’ll be remembered for is standing in the way of what human beings need during our time, while generating imaginary conflicts which render improvement impossible.

Because here is what antiquity will tell you: when you ignore an emotional need of humanity by fighting and arguing over the spiritual revelation that has come your way, you will be viewed by history as a villain.

If you look at the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth very carefully, you will realize that he answered their questions, ignored their traditions, took his message to the people and then, when they finally hatched an idiotic plot to bring him before a kangaroo court and marched him off to execute him as a criminal, he warned them that “their house would be left to them desolate.”

None of these five groups exist today.

There are no Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, Herodians and Scribes.

And if we’re not careful, their counterparts in our time will be dubbed equally as meaningless.

What is the goal of the Jesonian life?

  • Find the emotional need.
  • Be sensitive to the spiritual revelation.
  • Renew the mind of your generation.
  • And grant us all the strength to be doers of the Word and not hearers only.

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