Topic: 1 Corinthians 2:1-2
"When I came to you ... I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified." (1 Corinthians 2:1-2)
The Gospel message has gotten a little foggy these days with all the attention being paid to politics, family values, and culture wars, and a lot of folks have lost track of the fact that it's all about Jesus. Ask the man on the street what a Christian is today and you're likely to ask a long time until you hear anything about Jesus or the cross. Our message, from beginning to end, is Jesus -- who he was, what he said, and what he did.
The last recognized revival in this country was a movement primarily among baby boom youth in the early 1970s that was quickly dubbed the Jesus movement. It got that name because everything was focused around Jesus. When you think about it, Jesus was the ultimate hippie -- he wore long hair, sandals, and he was against the establishment -- and a generation of ideological kids embraced Christ, even while they rejected religion and the institutional church. Jesus was the central figure in all of this. What is now called Christian music was originally called Jesus music. Christians were called Jesus freaks. Now I'm not suggesting we all go back to tie-dyed T-shirts, bell-bottom pants, and Jesus rock, but I am suggesting we could learn something from this emphasis that transcended politics and religion.
Our message is all about a person, and our mission is to share that person with the world. God made us to belong to him; we wandered away; Jesus is the way back. A whole generation of young people found that out 30 years ago and nothing's really changed about the heart of the message. It's a personal message. It's non-threatening. It's all about a meaningful relationship with God that comes to someone by way of a meaningful relationship with them. There's not a lot of baggage here. Our main concern is to introduce ourselves to people and in doing so, to introduce them to Jesus, because, as far as we're concerned, that's who it's all about.
Jesus came to save us, unite us, and teach us to love one another. We've added a lot of other stuff to this and I'm not so sure it's helping us do what we're supposed to be doing. If it makes you more loving to your neighbor, then it's probably a good thing. If it makes you your neighbor's enemy, then it's probably not. If it's all about Jesus, then it's definitely "right on!"
What makes Jesus and His message different from every other "religious" teacher?