Thursday, October 07, 2010

Questions about church (Part 3)

Did he (Jesus) have any roots?
This was another question asked and I'm taking it to mean: Was Jesus connected to a local church?

One of the things we must always think of when reading scripture is context. So, how does that help us here? Well, Jesus wasn’t attending church, as we know and think of it, each week, but He was involved in the Jewish practices of Israel. He was committed to daily times of prayer, almsgiving, and fasting. These were Jewish practices. Jesus was a Jew. He lived like a Jew and practiced Jewish things. He was connected to a local synagogue and a local gathering of people. People knew Jesus because He lived among them. He was a faithful Jew.

Jesus’ disciples probably met him and heard about Him long before He called them to follow Him. Jesus did not just appear out of nowhere and start teaching something contrary to scripture. As a matter of fact, in His own sermon on the mount, He says He has come to fulfill the law. Because of that and His Jewish roots Jesus lived according to the law.

Now something similar to a revolution begins to occur when Jesus calls 12 men to follow Him and then later appoints them as apostles. I guess you could say the church as we know it starts with Jesus. Some might be tempted to think Jesus is breaking away from Judaism and Israel. He is not. He is attempting to bring reform to Israel. Martin Luther and John Wesley weren’t attempting to start new denominations. They were attempting to bring reform to the church they grew up in and loved.

Jesus was rejected by so many Jews because of the message He brought. The incarnation (God coming to live among us) is simply amazing! It is also hard for some to believe. However, isn’t it interesting, that despite the heavy conflict among the Jews over Jesus and His message, that He didn’t leave Judaism and go off and start a new religion? Now, that has happened (i.e. Christianity), but that was not what Jesus was intially trying to do. He stayed. He lived as a Jew and He died as a Jew.

When conflict in our church arises we get upset and leave. Some of us never to return again. Some of us to start a new church. Jesus did not do that. He had strong roots to Israel and an even stronger commitment to God the Father. So yes, Jesus had roots and was connected to a particular people (the Jews) in a particular place (Israel).

Your thought?

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