“The Teachings of Jesus”

This week we sample some of the teachings of Jesus from the gospels.  In a way, these teachings present a grand irony.  On one hand, the teachings of Jesus could be considered some of the least controversial teachings in all of history.  World leaders from nearly every religion and culture have acknowledged Jesus as a great teacher and these statements as “wisdom worth living.”

At the same time, these teachings are extremely controversial.  They were controversial not only in the culture in which Jesus lived (the religious leaders of the day sought to murder Jesus on more than one occasion) but also in each of us individually.  I find my spirit in great controversy when I’m told to “love my enemy,” “endure suffering,” and “turn the other cheek.”  As a result these teachings are often exalted but seldom adhered to and herein lies the irony.

As you read this week, make special note of those teachings you find particularly difficult.  What prevents us from seeking to fully live into Jesus’ teaching?

This could be a great discussion if we can allow ourselves to be a bit vulnerable.  As for me, one of the reasons it’s difficult to obey is I wonder whether I can really trust God.  If I “love my enemy,” “endure suffering,” and “turn the other cheek, etc” I leave myself open to be wounded and I’m not sure I trust God with that.  If I’m really being honest, the only person I fully trust to protect my rights is myself…..yet I’m incapable of protecting myself fully and so this is an act of futility.

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Categories: E100 | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on ““The Teachings of Jesus”

  1. Bonnie Diller

    I understand every word you wrote, Clint. (I wish I didn’t!) I understand because I’m living the pain of having to pray for someone close to me who has hurt me deeply. I continue to pray for this person through gritted teeth & Jesus keeps telling me that’s OK, just keep praying. I’m grateful for you bringing up the trust issue. That is truly my problem. I don’t trust God with my life. I wear my distrust. My fat is a symbol of my mistrust of God. Food & TV will get me through the tough times life faster than God works. Of course, we all know how long that reprive lasts.

    Bonnie Diller

    • Thanks for your vulnerability, Bonnie! I’m right with you, food and television are big opiates for me as well! Nothing’s coming to me immediately, but I wonder if there is a passage of Scripture that we might memorize and ask the Holy Spirit to bring to mind when we are tempted to trust self (food,tv,etc) instead of God?

  2. Bonnie Diller

    For today my verse I’m going to use is “Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit”. In my friend’s (whom I spoke about last night) book she writes, “In the first beatitude, Jesus assures us we’ll experience happiness when we accept our feelings of inadequacy without shame. This is because God never intended us to be self-sufficient. God made us to need God and others.” Also from her book, “You’ll feel so much better when you stop denying what’s really going on & accept your limitations,” says Jesus. “Face your problems. Confront the demons that destroy you. Acknowledge your poverty. Allow me to walk with you.” I’ve been embarrased, frustrated, & hurt that I’m having a problem with my sister. I forgot to accept that it’s OK & that God wants to be apart of all of this with me. Bible study last night was a good reminder for me.

    • Great insight, Bonnie! The passage doesn’t say “Blessed are the poor in spirit…..if they would only suck it up!” You are in my prayers!

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