When I See Jesus in the Gospels

My perspective shifts when I look at Jesus in the Scriptures. When I turn through the pages I see the crucified, resurrected, and ascended liberating Lord and redeeming King I’ve always needed. And still do.

I see Jesus as Lord and King teaching the worshippers in synagogues, healing tormented people, and proclaiming good news in Galilean neighborhoods. I see him holding the hands of unclean lepers, showing compassion to the vulnerable, and sharing a table with people religious leaders labelled as sinners, just to prove his love.

Jesus as Lord and King welcomes a religious skeptic too fearful to be seen with him in the light of day, just to prove his love (John 3:1-21).

Jesus as Lord and King pursues a woman at the well hiding from her shame, just to prove his love (John 4:1-26).

Jesus as Lord and King refuses to let a newly married couple suffer the reputation-ending embarrassment of running out of wine at their wedding feast, just to prove his love (John 2:1-12).

Jesus as Lord and King refuses to leave a widowed mother in her grief and frightened father in his fear, just to prove his love (Luke 7:11-17; 8:40-56).

Jesus as Lord and King refuses to leave the hungry without food and thirsty without drink, just to prove his love (John 6:1-15; Mark 8:1-10).

Jesus as Lord and King honors a Roman centurion soldier, a leader in the enemy’s army, and embraces a desperate foreigner, a Gentile mother from Canaan, and even heals her child¹, just to prove his love (Luke 7:1-10, Matthew 15:21-28).

Jesus as Lord and King refuses to kill his enemies and chooses to die so they might be saved, just to prove his love (Luke 23:34; Romans 5:10).

The people religious worshippers deem irrevocably unclean and unholy he makes irrevocably clean and calls holy. The ones considered stained and profane he welcomes as sacred and honored. He gives the poor kingdoms and the guilty freedom. And he does it all just to prove his love.

What becomes clear to me when I look at Jesus in the Scriptures is a display of love that demonstrates God’s stubborn refusal to let us be held captive to the divided ways of a divided world prone to fear, exclusion, and violence. The love I see in Jesus’ teachings and actions enables me to see God’s heart-healing, mind-freeing, wholeness-making, life-giving love made available to all of us.

The good news for you and me is that his love hasn’t changed.

Christ Mural in SF

I took this picture of when visiting the chapel of St. Joseph’s Prep and Gesu School building in Philadelphia. It is called, “Christ of North Philadelphia.” You can read more about the incredible work here.


¹  Matthew’s use of the old term “Canaanite,” is different from Mark’s description of the woman as “a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia” (Mark 7:26). Writing to a Jewish audience, Matthew recalls historical animosities to remind the reader that significant social barriers existed between Jews and non-Jews, a.k.a. foreigners.

About Fred

Fred came to serve greater Williamsburg and WCC as lead pastor in October of 2010 and is grateful to be a part of the family. He is a husband, father, certified trauma professional, S.T.A.R. (strategies for trauma awareness & resilience) practitioner, community organizer, TEDx alum, founder of 3e Restoration, Inc. and co-owner of Philoxenia Culture LLC. He received his B.S. in Ministry/Bible at Amridge University and his Master’s of Religious Education in Missional Leadership from Rochester University. Currently he is a candidate for a Doctorate of Ministry in Contextual Theology in at Northern Seminary in Chicago. Fred has also served as an adjunct professor for Rochester University and Regent University where taught courses in philosophy, ethics, leadership, pastoral care, intro to Christianity, and ethnography. He has also served as a guest lecturer on the subjects of racialized cultural systems, poverty, and missiology at various universities, such as William & Mary and Oklahoma Christian University. Fred has authored on book (Racialized Cultural Systems, Social Displacement and Christian Hospitality) and several curriculum offerings, including The FloorPlan: Living Toward Restoration & Resilience. Fred enjoys hanging out with his family anytime, anywhere. He is deeply grateful for how God graciously works through the Church in all her various forms, despite our brokenness. He is passionate about seeing the last, least, and lonely of every neighborhood, city and nation experience God’s in-breaking kingdom, and come to know Jesus as King. Oh, and his favorite season is Advent and Christmas. Fred is a founding member of the board of directors for Virginia Racial Healing Institute, a member of the leadership team for Williamsburg's local chapter of Coming to the Table, and a member of Greater Williamsburg Trauma-Informed Community Network's Racial Trauma Committee and Training Committee.
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4 Responses to When I See Jesus in the Gospels

  1. Adam says:

    Excellent!

    Like

  2. Anonymous says:

    The mural is in St Joseph’s Prep’s Church of the Gesu in Philadelphia

    Like

  3. bishopdfaith says:

    Good News!  Thanks!

    dB

    Like

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