Everything Must Change Conf.- 9:00 am session.

WHICH JESUS?- Brian McLaren
I’m not terribly impressed when people say they believe in Jesus. I want to know which Jesus they believe in.

Which Jesus do we believe in?

Always good to keep looking at scripture to re-fresh and re-inform our vision of Jesus Christ.

For the next year, whenever you see the word “Christ”, translate it to “God’s Liberating King”. This is what it means/meant in it’s original context.

In Matthew 16:13-20 Jesus takes His disciples on a field trip to Caesarea Philippi and Peter’s famous statement about Jesus’ identity (you are the Christ, the Son of the living God) comes out. This and many other similar statements were applied to Caesar in Jesus’ day/culture. For example, Caesar was called the “Son of the living God who brought Good News”. The beautiful description of Jesus in Colossians 1:15-20 contains phrases usually applied to Caesar.

Jesus suggests a completely different picture and narrative of authority and leadership:
– Caesar was a liberating King who brought peace by the sword and the shedding of other’s blood.
– Jesus is a liberating King who
brought peace by the cross and shedding his own blood.

Peter objects to Jesus’ revelation that He will be a suffering King. Peter was a child of his culture, where power and change came with violence.

Are we so different? We are drawn to Jesus’ ways, but they are often/always in direct opposition to the ways of our culture and the desires of our self/flesh. We feel pulled in both directions.

What we believe about Jesus affects the way we believe change will come about in the world.
If we stay with the conventional view of Jesus, we will get more of what we’ve already got.
If we’re willing to believe in a Jesus who changes things by suffering and humility, then we might get somewhere.

Christian leaders through the ages have decided that Jesus’ message is impractical and if we want to “get something done” then we’re going to have to default to the form of leadership that seemed most natural to Caesar and us- pushing, shoving, making others bleed. (For their own good of course.)

When we talk about pursuing this different, humble vision of Jesus, we aren’t talking about watering the down the Gospel.

We’re saying it already got watered down.

And we need to reconstitute it.