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Communication with the World: Are you angry?

September 17, 2008

Have you ever had communication with someone who got down right angry with you? Have you ever lost a friend because of it?

It is often pointed out that Jesus seemed to get the biggest rub from his fellow Jews, especially the Pharisees. Well that is correct but I have been reading a book by Mark Galli, the managing editor of Christianity Today, entitled Jesus Mean and Wild, The Unexpected Love of an Untamable God and he makes a good point that this isn’t always so. Jesus did say blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

It seems that he had expectations and I truly doubt that he viewed that as only coming from other believers. Let us be very accurate, we really don’t know what would have happened if Jesus took his ministry to anyone beyond the Jews, other then the fact that none of God’s chosen people would have seen him as the Messiah, because that wasn’t his purpose.

That is the key. Jesus came to his people to announce that he was the Messiah. He had to deal with God’s people and it would only be logical that the Pharisee’s and teachers of the law would be his main combatant. It is not that his message wouldn’t have offended Gentiles, it is that this wasn’t His intended purpose.

Besides, as Obama supports have noted, Pontius Pilot was a part of the governmental apparatus of his time. Sure he wouldn’t have been there without the Jews but still.

But that is not the only place where saying Jesus is Lord gets God’s people in trouble. Once they do move into the world it is not smooth sailing. In Acts 16 it is recorded that Paul and Silas are beaten not for calling out Jews but for causing problems for the Gentiles. The riot that took place in Ephesus was not instigated by any Jews but instead by a silversmith who wasn’t happy that his business for pagan temples was threatened.

Yes we have Athens but that is not the only story and it should also be noted that when Paul finished some mocked him. How was his communication there?

I wonder if in an attempt to have a civil discussion we miss that the message has always offended some and we can’t say it in a way that won’t. No we shouldn’t seek to offend but just because we do doesn’t mean we have a problem with our communication.


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