The "What" or "How" of Believing.

I have read that there are one-hundred and eighty-three questions asked of Jesus in the Gospels, of which He directly answers only three. This seems odd, because growing up in the religious world it was taught that coming to Jesus, which inferred joining a religion, is the means to get answers to people's unanswered questions and to resolve people's problems. This is substantiated by the phrase many of us have heard, "You do not have any problems, all you need is Jesus", meaning that Jesus would answer all our questions and solve all our problems using religion to accomplish the task.

But, is this Jesus’ understanding of the function of being in relationship with Him? The scriptures show He operates very differently from that perspective.

Jesus’ questions were often meant to re-position us to draw our own conclusions without the religious biases, bring us out of our dualistic mindset regarding God's character, challenge our understanding of God to the world, and present the gospel of His grace and love instead of the law keepers gospel of works. Notice that Jesus Himself did not usually wait for specific answers. His objective was to stimulate a person’s imagination to think for themselves rather than depending on the traditional accepted perspective.


In the New Testament, especially Paul's writings, we come to the reality that what made sense pre-cross no longer makes sense post-cross when looked at in light of the cross and resurrection.


Because of tradition may Believers only accept one way to look at something and that is the traditional way. But, in our pursuit for something deeper we started looking at the gospel from different angles…and strayed from the traditional accepted standard and became known as a heretic and condemned to hell by the traditionalists.


Institutionalized Christianity is about "orthodoxy", the right belief system translating to the right doing system. This mentality has led to many segregated denominated denominational denominations. Yet in scripture, the only thing Jesus was orthodox about was living life. It isn't "what" to believe that makes one right, it is "how" we believe so we can be a true representation of God in living. After we let go of the "what to believe", we are left with "how to live in His believing.” We grab the "how" and throw it into the midst of our living. Once we are living in the "how do I believe” the question will arise "How did I ever believe______," you can fill in the blank?


It is the "how” of believing, that is more about the right practice of belief…or, how do I live like Jesus and believe in the things He believed in?


In the gospels we see clearly that Jesus doesn’t fight for anyone to believe anything. Instead, Jesus telling profound redemptive stories, acting out the drama of abundant living in the midst of a broken world. Jesus simply shows us how to live differently, by kingdom principles being the living force and not religious beliefs. It is simply about living in His redemptive love and grace to the point of self sacrifice.


Jesus was arrested in the garden and Peter grabs the soldiers sword and cuts his ear off, Jesus tells Peter to put down the sword…and replaces the soldiers ear. We will never convince the world to believe in Jesus by defending what we deem to be the right belief. We will convince the world of Jesus when we are willing to put down our swords, and willing to sacrifice our lives…for Love.


I no longer am focused so much on what I believe…for what I believe influences how I live therefore, if I believe wrongly I will live and act wrongly even though I think I am living and acting rightly!


I now care more about focusing on how my living is confirming what I believe and how that might effect the people in my sphere of influence and how it will reveal Jesus and His kingdom to the across-my-path people I meet. If I get that right, right believing is automatic.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

DO NOT FORSAKE THE ASSEMBLING OF YOURSELVES TOGETHER! by David Yeubanks

The Tithe Deception.

A Bloggers Take on "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" and "Hell".