Monday 4 July 2011


In this post, I want to highlight the fact that Jesus, although incredibly loving, is absolutely unwilling to compromise on the matter of our need to turn to Him as both Saviour and Lord.  Here are some relevant verses that quote Jesus Himself:
  • Matt 10: 32-33: “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.  But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.”
  • Matt 10: 37-39: “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.  Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”
  • Matt 23:13-15: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.  Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.”
  • Luke 9:23-26: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.  What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?  Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels."
  • John 8:23-24: “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world...
    If you do not believe that I am He [the one I claimed to be], you will indeed die in your sins.”
This is sobering stuff.  It doesn't exactly fit the view that some people have of "Gentle Jesus, meek and mild"!  And there are many other passages like it.  Consider, for example, these two:
  • Luke 9:57-62:  As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”  Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”  He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”  Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”  Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”  Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
  • John 2:13-16:  When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money.  So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.  To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!”
If you struggle to cope with these passages, it may help to think of sins as analogous to malignant and deadly tumours, and Jesus as the only surgeon skilled enough to remove them.  If we refuse to submit to the Lordship of Jesus, our sins will grow and grow, and eventually completely destroy us.  An absolutely dreadful prospect.  If, on the other hand, we repent of our sins and submit to Him, we will find ourselves on the path to eternal life, freedom and joy.