Monday, January 31, 2011

Truth Spaces (7) Jesus' unique questions

I wonder what specific issues you might have identified that are unique to Jesus' questions? Let me list three:

1) Jesus is Alive
When we read about Jesus in the gospels he is grounded in history, dealing with particular people in particular places. His questions were asked way back then. Yet, and this transforms our understanding, Christians claim that Jesus Christ is alive today and seeks to be Lord of our lives. The quality of relationships he had with people in the New Testament continues into the twenty-first century. His extraordinarily gracious way of dealing with people remains constant.

The central conviction of the Christian faith is that Jesus Christ died and was raised from death to live for evermore. That first Easter the disciples were not hallucinating or falsifying history. Rather they were witnessing the astounding, world-changing reality that Jesus Christ is now alive. He has overcome death to reign forever – “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). His promises of forgiveness and new life are vindicated and made contemporary by this astonishing triumph over death.

The early church burst into life as the Holy Spirit convicted and confirmed these truths in the hearts and minds of ordinary people. In the center of the Roman Empire those first followers, inspired by the risen Jesus, proceeded as T.R. Glover summed up to “outthink, outlive and outdie the pagan society.” The world turned on its axis. Because Jesus is now alive it is possible for every person to be in relationship with him in every place and at every time. No longer restricted to a walking within a few square miles in Palestine, Jesus is working in the lives of believers everywhere.

Jesus who spoke and acted in the gospel record continues to speak and act in the story of the church. Jesus who questioned people back then, continues to question now. He keeps on opening up truth spaces today.

Can you imagine what a difference this makes? In the very beginning Jesus asked two disciples: “What do you want” (John 1:37) but he keeps on asking people the same question today.

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