Monthly Archives: November 2009

What exactly is Loving Jesus?

I have discovered, not surprisingly, that many non believers accuse Christians for being hypocrites, intolerant, and manipulative.  These criticisms may or may not be true.  But what is true, I think, is the fact that Christians often fail to deliver and teach the main theme of what Jesus taught.  In my experience as a Church leader, I found that it is taught that we should love Jesus. That we should follow his commandments.  That we should accept his sacrifice on the cross.  That we should spread the Gospel.  But many times, these teachings are simply shallow.  What exactly are we teaching?  Simply believe that Jesus took our place and died for our sins on the cross?  That we should believe the miracles of Jesus and that we can still do them today?  That we should love our neighbors as we love ourselves?  Now, this last message is closer to what Jesus wanted us to do most of all.  In all four Gospels, Jesus strongly emphasized in the act of serving others, and treat them equally, without any self serving purpose.  In Mathews 5, Jesus introduced us to this central message in the Beatitudes.  He confirmed it with the way he treated others.  In the Gospel of John, He summarized by saying “One commandment I leave you, Love each other as I have loved you” and showed it when he washed his disciples feet, demonstrating how we should serve each others.  This is it, people!  Jesus wants us to love him by treating others with unconditional love.  You say you know this already?  My question is, do you live it?  Not simply do you believe in it, but do you actually experience the Kingdon of Heaven by serving others like you would serve yourself?  This is what Jesus wants us to do, and if we do, then we will surely Love him, and love God, and experience His Kingdom.  For loving God=loving Jesus=loving our neighbors.  Because loving ourselves alone = loving the things of this world = loving evil.  It is that simple.  Are we hypocrites, intolerant, and manipulative?  Yes we are, especially when we preach about loving Jesus, but turn our faces away from the homeless and the needy children.  Yes we are when we judge homosexuals and drug addicts instead of showing compassion and unconditional love.  Yes we are when we try to “convert” others to religion simply because we want more members in our churches and their money and to “bring a life to Christ” instead of simply providing genuine care and service expecting nothing in return except what God already promised.  Yes, we should be ashamed of ourselves if we don’t live the real love that Jesus taught us.


Lesson 4: Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness

How do you treat others?   Do you worry more about how you are serving others than how religious you are with offerings and sacrifices?  The Scribe asked a very important question to Jesus, a question that would summarize the central theme of His message: In overall, what is the most important thing to do?  Jesus put it simply, Love God in a genuine way, and also love your neighbor, no other law is more important (Mark 12:28-34).  When the Scribe agreed with Him, Jesus then said, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God (Heaven)”.  Jesus was strongly opposed to injustice, and His main example was found in the Pharisees.  The Pharisees were political and religious figures whom Jesus had not trouble calling hypocrites, fools, and blind in public. He clearly accused them for not practicing the Kingdom of Heaven, nor allowing others to practice it (Mathew 23:13).  He also made it clear that Pharisees were deceivers who cared mostly about their superficial appearance, their political powers, and killed prophets who exposed their injustices.  Pharisees did not mind justice, mercy, nor faith, (Mathew 23:23) which are all essential in treating others better.  But Jesus continued to expose their injustice by saying how those who mistreat others will end up condemned.  How so?  It is not sufficient to pray for others, cast out demons, and give offerings.  No, this is not what God wants us to do.  He rather wants us to “loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, to share food with the hungry, to bring to your house the poor who are cast out, to clothe the naked and not hide yourself from your family” (Isaiah 58:6-7).  If you do this, you will be doing it to Jesus himself.  So the next time you want to know what to do to please God, remember what Jesus clearly said that we should do to be recognized by Him in the last days:  “I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me water to drink, I was a stranger and you took me in,  I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited Me, I was in prison and you came to Me”  (Mathew 25:35-36).  When did we do this for Him?  When we did it for the homeless, for the HIV positive, for the inmates in death roll, for the cocaine dependent, and for any other “undesirable ones”   Be the Good samaritan, and you will be “filled with righteousness”.