The Blog of Gordon Pruitt the Pastor of St. Matthew's United Methodist Church in Richmond Virginia

Monday, October 13, 2008

Jesus Wants to Save Christians 3

We are continuing our discussion of the new book Jesus Wants to Save Christians. Chapter 3 starts with the Israelites back in Jerusalem, but things are not well. The current superpower, the Rome Empire is the occupying force. The Israelites are in Jerusalem but are captive like they were in Egypt and Babylon. After 400 years or so like this, Jesus is born and he fulfills all the prophecies of the prophets, he is a Son of David, he knows what he is doing, he is a servant, he heals, and he debates the religious leaders. The scripture that Rob and Don use is the Walk to Emmaus story found in Luke 24:13-35. The key verses for them is v25-27, "Jesus said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself." Everything that Israel has been looking and waiting for is found in Jesus. This quote sticks out to me,

"In Jesus' day, people could read, study, and discuss the Scriptures their entire lives and still miss its central message. In Jesus' day, people could follow him, learn from him, drop everything to be his disciples, and yet find themselves returning home, thinking Jesus had failed."
Our world has changed a lot in 2000 years, but in many ways it is still the same.

1 comment:

Alison said...

I like the question that Rob and Don put into the mouths of the sick "Which kind of son of David are you, Jesus? The kind who maintians justice and righteousness, or the kind who builds military bases? Can you hear us, or are you like Solomon?"
But this new son of David is leading the people into a remarriage with God.

Later they say "the misuse of power always leads to the escalation of violence...The human propensity for bloodshed has been with us from the beginning. If evil always takes some form of violence, then more violence isn't going to solve anything."
Toward the end of the chapter, Rob and Don ask "So if all of creation is in a sort of exile, east of Eden, estranged from its maker, what's the penalty for that?" Rob and Don seem to have forgotten that exile was the penalty for their unfaithfulness, and when they were done paying the penalty, they could go home. We can always go home without penalty.