That's not very Christian Like...
We've all Heard it
That's not very Christian Like
Something happened at some point where non-believers feel that they have the right to call Christian's out about what is and isn't "Christian like." Of course, as believers we are required to call out the things we see other Christian's doing that are out of line with God's word. Most Christian's know what God's word says, or at least they should, which gives them the right to call out certain things. Especially when a person has overcome those same types of things.
There's a whole subject based on this that spans the entire Bible. That is for another article. I wanted to focus this article on Jesus and who He is, and How He communicated with different people.
Entering into the Gates of Israel
Many Characteristics of Jesus
According to the world, It seems that Jesus walked around with his head down and only did and said nice things. He never offended anyone, and He would have been appalled at those who do. Some seem to have an image of Jesus being weak and frail, who never called out the sins of others, who avoided the truth for the sake of "inclusion." The fact is, He was not, nor is He any of those of those things.
On the day that Jesus rode a donkey through the gates of Israel he was fulfilling a prophecy that was written by the prophet Isaiah:
Isaiah 62: 11 Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.
The Israeli people knew this prophecy, and as he entered into Jerusalem:
Matthew 21: 9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.
The moment that Jesus rode that donkey through the eastern Jerusalem gate, He knew that he would be crucified just outside of that city. He was here in this world for a purpose, and He made it known exactly who He was.
We all know that while Jesus walked this earth He was:
As well as many other wonderful things.
Some seem to have this image that Jesus walked around making everyone happy with the words that He spoke. He most certainly did not make everyone happy, nor was that His goal.
He told the truth, even when it meant upsetting the top religious people of that time.
In fact, He plainly told them the "seven woes," as recorded in Matthew ch. 23. Here are just three of those "woes."
Matthew 23: 13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
Matthew 23: 14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
Matthew 23: 15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
I wonder how many people today, if they had heard Him say those words would say, "How very Christian of you."
Jesus also told them that they are of their father the devil.
John 8: 44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Though Jesus lived on this earth with meekness, many truly do seem to mistake it for weakness.
When Jesus spoke the Beatitudes, He said:
Matthew 5: 5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Most tie the word "meek," to an almost weak way of walking. In reality, the word "meek," is defined from that very verse as:
- 1) mildness of disposition, gentleness of spirit, meekness
Meekness toward God is that disposition of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting. In the OT, the meek are those wholly relying on God rather than their own strength to defend them against injustice. Thus, meekness toward evil people means knowing God is permitting the injuries they inflict, that He is using them to purify His elect, and that He will deliver His elect in His time. (Isa 41:17, Lu 18:1-8) Gentleness or meekness is the opposite to self-assertiveness and self-interest. It stems from trust in God's goodness and control over the situation. The gentle person is not occupied with self at all. This is a work of the Holy Spirit, not of the human will. (Ga 5:23)
Meekness is about ""wholly relying on God rather than our own strength." It's also about accepting God's dealings with us as "good." Even in His judgement of us.
His judgement are good and altogether righteous, even when we are chastised.
Hebrews 12: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
To be corrected by Him is a real blessing. Though, it may not feel that way while we're going through chastisement. Hopefully we come out on the other side being stronger in our faith, and more faithful in our walk because of it.
Even in this world correction comes and helps us to do better, be it in a foolish mistake, or in our education we're always under scrutiny, both naturally and spiritually.
Hebrews 12: 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
Hebrews 12: 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
Perhaps it would help many of us when we're going through trials or tribulations to remember the above verse, and be grateful that we are sons and daughters. What an incredible blessing that is.
Jesus was Angered
Jesus had entered the city of Jerusalem and he was angry that there were those who used the temple as a place to sell items and make a profit.
Matthew 21: 12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
Matthew 21: 13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
In doing this, Jesus not only stood on the written word, He carried out what was prophesied long before His birth in this world.
Isaiah 56: 7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.
Jeremiah 7: 11 Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD.
The actions of Jesus that day were indeed righteous. If most people saw Him do this today they would likely say, "That's not very Christian like."
I would venture to say that even some believers would drive Him out of the church.
Sometimes We Christian's Walk a Fine Line
What Did Jesus Do?
Jesus spoke to different people in different ways. He knows all of us through and through. He knows what makes us tick, what upsets us, and everything there is to know about each one of us.
For us, we can only discern the hearts of others, and we can answer them in a way that we hope will reach them. Sometimes it may seem harsh. However that doesn't matter. If a lost soul is reached and pointed to Jesus, it's all worth it. Sometimes it's like walking a thin line when witnessing to others.
When Jesus spoke to the woman of Canaan, most people today would say, "how Christian of you."
In this next part of this article, I learned something as I wrote this that ties this very event to Matthew 5:5. I had been looking at unanswered prayers wrongly. I also realized that I need to take a new view of every encounter I have and remember that God is in control, and sometimes He tests us.
A woman came to Jesus asking Him to have mercy on her daughter.
Matthew 15: 22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
At first Jesus seemed to completely ignore the woman. And then the words He spoke to her seemed to be even more harsh.
Matthew 15: 23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.
Matthew 15: 24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
The woman took no offense at His words. Rather than responding out of anger, she worshiped Him.
Matthew 15: 25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
Again, He answered Her in a way that most would find quite offensive. I've personally had people use this next passage as an excuse to reject Jesus.
Matthew 15: 26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs.
"It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs."
One man told me that Jesus called me a dog, and wondered how I could even think of accepting that seeing that I am not of Jewish decent.
But again, the woman was humble, and her response was:
Matthew 15: 27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.
"Yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table."
She would gladly take the crumbs! So would I. Who is anyone to expect to sit at His table while living a life contrary to Him? Who is humble but those who know that they are not yet perfected, who also know that Jesus is the only one who can perfect him or her? Jesus Himself said:
Luke 14: 10 But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.
After this woman showed that she was of a humble heart, Jesus said to her:
Matthew 15: 28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
Certain people I've known have said things like, "I prayed and God didn't answer me." I've said it myself. Perhaps, rather than expecting God to jump to our every request, we should acknowledge that God may not respond immediately to our prayers. Perhaps He's looking for a spark of humility and meekness in each of us. Perhaps He tests us to challenge us in times where it seems that the heavens above us are as brass and the earth under our feet is as iron. Or, perhaps He wants to see if we trust Him with our lives and all the issues that come with our living it.
One thing I know for sure, if we are able to keep that humble heart that stays focused on HIM, our reactions to others will be more thought out and more analyzed. With the realization that we could even be being tested. Realizing this can turn everything into something amazing. We can ask God, "What is happening here?" Or "what is it that I need to learn?" Instead of becoming upset at having someone turn against us. Personally, this was a huge answer to something I've been praying about for more than two years. Now I know without question that God was and is in a specific situation with me.
If we could say of our unanswered prayers, "yet the dogs take the crumbs from their Master's table," Perhaps then, we'll understand more about our prayers and our requests, as well as the state of our own hearts.
Jesus was never in the business of turning people away from Him, be it Jew or Gentile. He even healed the servant of the Centurion who was part of the army that occupied Israel at that time.
I believe that He was testing the woman who had come to Him asking for mercy on her daughter. Not so much that He could tell if she had any faith. More so, for her to see what a little faith can do.
Jesus was many things, but He wasn't weak and He wasn't mousy.
Everything He did on this earth would lead to a final (earthly) outcome that He told His disciples would come.
He lived on this earth, walked and taught the truth and then He was arrested. He was beaten and hung upon a cross, with nails driven through his hands and feet. Even on the cross He was ridiculed and mocked. He was humbled beyond what most of us could even begin to grasp. Yet He came into this world for a sure purpose, and He carried that purpose out all the way to the finale that he knew was coming all along. If that isn't the greatest example of true strength, I don't know what is.
Those in this world beat Him, mocked Him and killed Him. He even cried out, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do!" That was pure mercy and love for the very sinners who hated Him so much that they wanted Him to die.
The one thing that they didn't count on was that He rose up! He made a way, even for them, and even for us!
Glory to God, for sending His Son into this world despite the darkness and cruelty in the hearts of so many. Jesus told the truth, and upon His death and Resurrection He made a way so that any one who would seek Him would have a way at eternal life in Him.
Though Jesus is all of the wonderful and loving things we all adore so much about Him, He's also honest and will tell us the truth even if it means offending us.
In closing, I pray that this article is acceptable to Jesus. It's about Him.
I also encourage everyone who read this to search these things out for themselves. There's a lot of blessings in doing that.