Apr 03 2012
If Jesus Had a Blog: Big-Time Leaders


(From Brant, an explainer, for those new to the series: The "comments", directly below, are NOT real. They're just my best guesses, if Jesus had a blog, what the comments would look like.)

If Jesus Had a Blog

Man, this has been a tough week. Things are winding down. Good thing, as far as this borrowed Gateway laptop is concerned.  I think it's got about four days left, too.  Everyone else here at this coffee place in Jerusalem has a Mac. I feel kinda retro-cool.

Anyway, there was this crowd today, and all these big-time religious leader fellers.  These guys LOVE being recognized, being significant, being "The Man" and all that.  And people give them the accolades, too:  "Ooh, it's my teacher!  MY leader!" -- that kind of stuff.  So I says (and I'm quoting myself from the New Living Translation, owned by Tyndale):

Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters.  And don’t address anyone here on earth as ‘Father,’ for only God in heaven is your spiritual Father. And don’t let anyone call you ‘Teacher,’ for you have only one teacher, the Messiah. The greatest among you must be a servant.

Were they cool with that?  (Snort.)  Uh...no, they weren't cool with that.  I told them that the people who thought they were "all that" now, with titles and what-not, would get humbled, and the humble would wind up being "all that".  That didn't fly, either.

Truth is, these guys get accolades, but you know what?  They just make life harder for people.  I told them that.  

Big news, coming later this week: I'm about to make life a LOT easier for people...

Posted:  Today at 6:32 p.m.


Comments (13)

Well, this doesn't surprise me.  You've been anti-clerical for a long time, ignoring thousands of years of tradition.  This kind of caps it for me.  Not fair.

-- BigBob209

I guess I see where you're coming from, but really:  They're ALL bad?  You've apparently had some bad experiences in the past, and I'm sorry for that, but you don't need to make big blanket statements.

A lot of good comes from these guys, and you can't argue with how big their followings have gotten.  Maybe a jealousy issue...?  I don't know.

-- davec3410

I was there and all I heard was, "Blessed are the cheesemakers"...?

[Edit from J:  Don't take me literally.  I meant ALL makers of dairy products.  BTW, Peter, we've got to rent "Holy Grail" next time.]

-- pete_the_rock

You sure like rocking the boat.  I think you're throwing some good people overboard. 

Some of these guys are our top experts on scripture, and I can't see how calling one my teacher is such a bad thing.  Yes, there are a few bad apples, but what are we supposed to do, stop learning?

You say you, Jesus, are they only real teacher? 

Uh...are you going to personally be in every religious building? 

I bet you won't.

-- vision4life2020

Yeah, I gotta piggyback on vision4life up there.  I usually get where you're going, but we need people in the offices of the teacher or the leader or, in some traditions, "father". 

You've got to delegate, and have somebody have some kind of stand-in status.

 Fact is, you're one dude, and you can't be there every time two or three people get together.

-- terpsfan98

My Pastor has seven books.  I don't see any of yours in our church BookTime CoffeeCenter. 

-- luv_n_grace

This post made me cry.  How dare you.

My husband is our church Teacher.  He is a man of The Word, and there's nothing wrong with recognizing that he is Anointed to be the Leader.   It's not like this is a glamorous position -- he's had to put up with jerks in every church he's led.  Now, he's being called to be the Leader of a different place, we think, and so we're going there, and if they want to act like he's their official Teacher, I don't see the problem with that, and they offer a better health package.

Point is, you're really judgmental.  The real leaders are the servants?  Who's going to be on the church stage?  Why don't you put the volunteer custodian up there, then?  See how many people come to THAT church!

-- deb4213

Why did you say, "You're all equal as brothers and sisters"?  We knew that.  No one believes otherwise.  What's your point?

-- someguyscaredtousehisownname

I think you guys aren't being fair.  Chill.

I think Jesus is only saying here that we shouldn't be Catholic or Jewish.

-- intheword4ever

So teaching the scriptures makes life "harder" for people?  Good.

Studying IS hard.  Keeping the Word IS hard.  Keeping track of the right stuff to do IS hard.

No one said the yoke would be easy.  No one said the burden would be light.

-- cubbies1908

Gee, nice post.  Real well thought-out.

I can see why your Technorati rank is like, twenty-millionth.

-- lifecenterworshipguy

You need to spend some time reading the epistles, apparently.   What Bible College did you go to...?  Are they really accredited?

-- DTS_09

hi jesus i like it when you sai d if i love you then you will take care of me :)

-- horsegurl9

Comments (23) -

4/3/2012 12:09:28 PM
Cheese Doodle Bandit United States
Cheese Doodle Bandit
And the sad - albeit not to be unexpected - thing is, people really do react that way.
4/3/2012 12:12:37 PM
Diggery United States
The irony in all of this is your "I'm sure glad I'm not like that Pharisee" attitude.
4/3/2012 12:20:47 PM
Brant Hansen United States
Brant Hansen
Actually, I call myself a "recovering pharisee" quite a bit.  I'm a pharisee by nature, even more than most people, I think.  Probably more than you.

I do wonder if Jesus got the same thing. "If you critique the pharisees, you are one", as an attempt to change subjects. I might have done that.
4/3/2012 12:31:22 PM
Diggery United States
Thanks for the reply, Brant. I just think it's really funny that as the Religious Protestant West, we pride ourselves in "not" being religious, but "real."

Yet, "real" isn't just accepting a theological construct and criticizing anyone who is actually striving in their living out Kingdom principles. That's actually the yeast of the Pharisees which Jesus condemns.

Jesus didn't criticize the Pharisees as a whole, although a cursory reading of the Gospels may appear as such. He was more closely aligned in his doctrine & lifestyle with the Pharisees than any other sect of his day. He had disdain, however, for the actions (or lack thereof) of some of them by way of hypocrisy (saying, and not doing).

I think we need to get off of our "save-by-grace-so-i'll-sit-on-my-butt" attitude and get on with living out our salvation. We need to stop pointing fingers period, and work together to "make DISCIPLES of all nations" who walk with our Master, rather than merely converts with a common mental assent to creedal formulations.
4/3/2012 12:53:57 PM
Brant Hansen United States
Brant Hansen
Totally appreciate your viewpoint.

My take on this is different:  I can see why Paul kept burnishing his credentials as a theologically-correct, knowledgeable Pharisee, honesty.  As a matter of history, Paul had these precise things said to him, like the gospel itself was going to allow people to "go on sinning so grace might increase," etc.

Once people are freed from the burden of the law, won't they go crazy?  His answer:  No.  Not because we're still under law, but because we are now a new creation.

But still, to this day, whenever someone explains the gospel as Paul did, they'll get that same objection, that we're allowing people to sit on their rears.  The idea that there is "no condemnation" for those in Christ is so sweeping and stunning, it must leave us with a do-what-you-want card.

But this discounts the heart of the Gospel, and the role of the Holy Spirit.  My life is a good example of this.  The law IS a blessing, it IS wisdom, it IS to be cherished - once we realize Jesus fulfilled it on our behalf. If we think we're still under it - using Paul's word - it becomes a curse.
4/3/2012 12:58:04 PM
Cheese Doodle Bandit United States
Cheese Doodle Bandit
I, too, have more than likely reacted in a Pharisee-ish way more than once.  We ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God.  None are exempt, least of all me.
4/3/2012 1:04:29 PM
Seaton United States
horsegurl9 is my hero... er, wait....
4/3/2012 1:06:56 PM
Brant Hansen United States
Brant Hansen

BTW, Diggery, sorry for typos.  I'm on the air, and not thinking on the fly too well.  World's Worst MultiTasker.  God bless.
4/3/2012 1:12:10 PM
Diggery United States
No worries on the typos, Brant. I can totally understand your POV. However, we need to make sure we're not confusing God's Law with man's law.

You've been released from man's law of religious conformity, yes. But that is not the same as being released from God's Law. The only weakness of God's Law was the human heart. Jesus gave us the cure to this by transforming the heart into His image when we submit to His kingship. This actually allows us to follow God's Law much easier than when we lived according to the flesh.

However, we must remember that Paul's message was to Gentiles, who were never "under the Law." The freedom they had from the Law was that they didn't have to become Jewish to accept the Jewish Messiah and live a transformed life. We are free in that regard (there has been a ton of scholarly work on this in the last 50 years). The Holy Spirit will never contradict God's Law.
4/3/2012 1:26:22 PM
Francisco Velazquez United States
Francisco Velazquez
Your blogs are difficult to take in at times not because i don't agree with what your saying because i do. But more or less along the lines of what your taught since birth that you will always be punished for choosing unwisely, and more or less life itself teaches us that. So when people  see another choice to make they freeze up because they see God as a they do air. As in they know something divine exists but who, or what exactly is this divine spirit or mentality called, etc... I believe that the bible is the living word of god and that Jesus Christ dies for my failures. but i also believe that what i consider my failures may not be considered as such by God. Ex... Hippocrates are the reason Jesus got crucified and we all know this but yet without them Jesus wouldn't have been crucified and we would have never been able to talk about our God like we do now....
4/3/2012 2:04:56 PM
Chance United States
"However, we must remember that Paul's message was to Gentiles, who were never "under the Law." The freedom they had from the Law was that they didn't have to become Jewish to accept the Jewish Messiah and live a transformed life. We are free in that regard (there has been a ton of scholarly work on this in the last 50 years). The Holy Spirit will never contradict God's Law."

Are you saying the Jews have to still follow the Jewish law?  Is the Jewish/Mosaic law God's law or man's law?  I'm not quite clear.
4/3/2012 2:09:10 PM
brant h United States
brant h
a) You rock.  

b) I honestly don't think Paul makes that distinction.  The Holy Spirit has not contradicted God's law. Jesus fulfilled the law on our behalf.  This is the Gospel.  

No condemnation now, for those in Christ.  Jew/Gentile, anyone.  Christ fulfilled God's law. In 2 Corinthians 3, Paul actually references the Ten Commandments, but contrasts them with being led by the Spirit.  (It's pretty remarkable, how stark the terms are.)  

Additionally, the book to the Hebrews calls the law "obsolete" in a very real sense, more than once.  It's not written for Gentiles.

Again, this is not to deny the instructive power of the law.  But Paul means it when he says we are "no longer under law", but are instead led by the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5)  He makes no distinctions anywhere that I know of, that say, "You are still under God's written laws on stone, but not man's laws."  Circumcision is God's law, and Paul spends chapters and books on that one.

I can see why Paul had to say, repeatedly, "Well, if we're going to go by religious qualifications, I'm going to win that one.  But the truth is, it's all those qualifications are a pile of manure."  I'm tempted to do the same, to answer the familiar, "Doesn't that let you sit on your butt?" question:  I'll just go down the list of my impressive-sounding works.  The Gospel hasn't made me sit on my butt.  It's helped me love God, finally, which has freed me.  

Listing stuff would be stupid, because it would be self-puffery.  The only good that comes out of me is from Christ, and it's in response to what He's done, not because of the law.

Anyway - my thoughts, there...
4/3/2012 6:46:34 PM
Angie United States
doesn't God say in the Bible, "Worship no other gods before me for i am a JEALOUS God"?  God sent his Son Jesus to die for our sins on the cross and we are HIS.  we (mankind) are always turning away from him, so why is it the God being jealous is stated like it's one of his flaws?

the Bible also forbids us from having Idols, but when we put the words and ideologies of our "teachers" (for lack of a better word) above the teachings of the Bible, haven't we TURNED them into an idol, even if we call them something else?  in that regard, aren't the followers as guilty as the leaders?

And why is it so offending when it's said that "the greatest among us must be servants"?  in the Bible, Jesus washes the feet of his disciples before instructing them to SERVE others just as he had served them.

In the fake comment from deb4213, she says to see how many people go to "That" church.  but i think that that is one of the biggest problems today's church has: we are so caught up in trying not to OFFEND the Tithers and trying to attack large followings that we "modify" the Gospel and only teach about "how much God loves us" and "what great plans he has for us".  those are all wonderful and true, but we need to teach more about what God expects from us and how we need to live out our salvation and bring light into the dark places.
we should teach the truth of the Bible, in its entirety.  if some are offended and leave the church, God will know and convict them in their hearts.  HE will speak to their hearts; HIS grace will draw them near; and HIS love will call them forth into salvation.

i know a lot of people use Grace as an excuse to do what ever they want, but it doesn't work that way.  God may forgive every one of our sins because Jesus has already paid the price for us, but that does not mean He is not disappointed when we choose not to follow his Word.
your parents never stop loving you no matter how badly you mess up (and if they have, God is holding you and He loves you even when they don't).  it breaks their hearts, but they still love you and they will forgive you.  we are already forgiven, but even though we are human and will never be able to achieve God's standard, we work to make him proud and please him, just as we try to make our parents proud.
we don't have to earn his love, but since we are called to love God with "all our hearts and all our souls" THAT love should call us to TRY to meet his standard.
just because someone loves us does not mean we can abuse them, but it means we try to do everything in our power FOR them, to help them, to PLEASE them.
4/4/2012 6:26:41 AM
Marc United States
I think you have the most interesting way of looking at life.  Right here, right now, I needed to hear (read) what you had to say about if Jesus had a blog.  I think that in life we keep our distance from the Bible and from Jesus and we really don't get into the Humanity of His life.  He was real and "down to earth" (pun intended).

He was so much more than the stuffiness that we get from reading the Bible in its flat black red and white text.  There is so much more behind what happened and the feelings of everyone involved.  We need more of the reality of life and all the messy feelings that go along with life and being a Christian.

Thanks for your thoughts Brant and I am blessed to know you and read what you have to say and listen to what you say on the Air.  Thanks for being you, the you that God made you to be.

Love in Christ,
4/4/2012 3:50:31 PM
Angela United States
Love the Jesus blog posts, Brant. Keep 'em coming.

You are right on about the Law and Gospel too. I'm a recovering Pharisee as well.

Jesus is awesome. I'm so glad He saves us from ourselves.
4/4/2012 5:17:27 PM
Ken Hagerman Paraguay
Ken Hagerman
Brant, can you point out where the parody comments stop and the real ones start again. I can't tell. I love these posts. Keep em coming.
4/6/2012 7:53:11 PM
Samantha Ketel United States
Samantha Ketel
love the comment Ken! Thank you Brant for always posting your blogs. I love reading them because they always put my focus back on God, right were it should be.

Thank you for being so real. God bless!
4/8/2012 9:04:31 PM
Mercedez United States
Maybe this is off-topic now, and probably late in the game, but for those concerned about the Law of God:  Aren't we likely following said law if we're led by the Holy Spirit?  As Brant said, "The Holy Spirit has not contradicted God's law."  The Spirit is here to guide us, it IS God, so we don't have to worry about not being up-to-par on the laws, but we can feel confident knowing the Spirit of God is our companion. If we're filled with the Spirit, we're doing what God commands of us, aka following the rules, or "laws."
4/9/2012 12:16:32 PM
Dan G United States
Dan G
... Cubbies1908 ???  Low blow man... I guess what do you expect from a Cards fan.

Then again, the truth hurts.
4/24/2012 4:14:04 AM
EvaLee Bretz United States
EvaLee Bretz
I liked ready this post. It was my first one to read of yours and I must say It is interesting to me on how people react to certain subjects. The only person I call father is my dad other than that God is my only Father. In saying that I work in a Catholic Hospital and the priest at the hospital have no problem with me calling them Brother instead of Father because it is my belief from what I have read that He is my Father and no one human besides my birth father shall ever take that place. But hey that is why we have freedom of choice and expression and God lets us have our interpratation of His Word so long as we keep it in context
10/14/2012 1:08:31 AM
Степан Сало Ukraine
Степан Сало
Я не понимаю Вас, но ясно одно - Вы обсуждаете Иисуса! Разве Христос не заслужил иметь хороший дизайн? Почему в Его доме нет нового дизайна? На все эти вопросы Вы можете найти ответ здесь:
3/12/2013 6:52:29 PM
bb United States
Brilliant, just stinking brilliant.
PLEASE write more.
4/15/2013 5:58:24 PM
Cindy United States
These are absolutely priceless and spot-on.  I have laughed so hard at some of the "comments."  Thank God for your wonderful insight and sense of humor!
Comments are closed