Monday, May 14, 2012

"Gentle Jesus, meek and mild"?

Michael J. Kruger, who is a New Testament professor, has watched a film that reminded him that Jesus was rather controversial:
Not long ago a friend sent me the Jesus film entitled The Gospel of John. This is a movie that tells the story of Jesus through the lens of John’s gospel. I don’t typically watch Jesus movies, but he assured me this was worth my time. So, one afternoon I put in the DVD and sat down to watch. It was a well done film and, generally speaking, very faithful to the gospel of John. But, as I watched the movie, something struck me at a level of depth that I had never experienced before: Jesus was very unpopular.

Of course, this is a truth we all know well—so well, in fact, that we often forget it. But, it was abundantly clear in the film version of John’s gospel. We rarely sit down and read a gospel through in one sitting anymore. We just don’t take the time to do it. But in the film version, I got the gospel in one large dose. And I was blown away by the amount of arguing, debating, and polemical interactions that Jesus experienced. There was yelling, screaming, and shouting. Accusations and charges. Heated exchanges. And there was Jesus, right in the middle of all of it. .... [more]
Professor Kruger draws some conclusions about ministry in our time from our Lord's experience as recounted in John:
  1. We need to adjust our expectations about how people will receive our message. ....
  2. We need to prepare ourselves for ministry marked by conflict and hostility. ....
  3. We need to remember that there is a proper place for debate and disagreement in our ministries. .... [more, in which he elaborates on each point]
Remembering the Unpopular Jesus | Canon Fodder

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