Jesus Is The Way
I agree with Rob Bell when he writes, “I’m convinced being generous is a better way to live. I’m convinced forgiving people and not carrying around bitterness is a better way to live. I’m convinced having compassion is a better way to live. I’m convinced pursuing peace in every situation is a better way to live. I’m convinced listening to the wisdom of others is a better way to live. I’m convinced being honest with people is a better way to live.”
There are better ways to live. Generosity, forgiveness, compassion, peace, listening to others, and honesty are very good qualities to cultivate and deepen. Their opposite is anti-Kingdom. I believe that Jesus shows us how to live fully human. Many people will emphasize Jesus’ divine side to the detriment of his human side. We lose something crucial if we only see Jesus as merely God or human. Orthodox Christianity claims Jesus as fully God and fully human. We need both sides. Jesus is fully God and fully human. Jesus shows us how we are meant to live and what it means to live with and in God.
The literal meaning of Christian is little Christ. This should point to how we who call ourselves Christian are meant to live. We are to be Jesus in some small, tiny way to those in our lives. People don’t need to be abused by the bible or be told how sinful they are or that they are doomed to hell. What people need is see how a relationship with Jesus changes everything. They need to know and see how much God loves them.
Jesus in John 14 says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”
Jesus is the best, deepest, truest, most beautiful revelation of who God really is. If you have seen Jesus, you have seen God. Through Jesus life, death, and resurrection we see the true living God. People love Jesus. They see in Jesus what is true, beautiful, and good. They don’t like religion or the people who scream about how God’s wrath will annihilate you. Yet, we read over and over how Jesus meets, loves, forgives, and heals the very people religious people bash and exclude. Jesus meets people where they are and loves them anyway. Jesus embodies the maxim God loves you as are buy way too much to leave you that way and calls us to the same.
Rob Bell Claims that Jesus’ intention was, and is to call people to live in tune with reality. Jesus’ call is to live a life of love, forgiveness, compassion, peace, and honesty. A life to the full in and with God is not about hiding in a dusty building hunkering against the harshness of reality, but facing life with and in community with others. We are not alone and don’t have to face life on our own. We meant to be in relationship and that is where we best live the kind of life we are meant to live. Rob Bell writes, “This kind of life Jesus was living, perfectly and completely in connection and cooperation with God is the best possible way for a person to live. It is how things are. Jesus exposes us to reality at its rawest. So the way of Jesus is not about religion; it’s about reality. It’s about lining yourself up with how things are.”
I want to live my best life now not hiding from reality, but facing life head on. I know on my own I am not much, but when I am in community, when I engage others, and stay in relationship with Jesus I am better able to live the kind of life I want to live. Life to the full is life lived with and in Jesus.