Contemporary English Version (CEV)
I think we sometimes forget how disruptive Jesus' claims can be. We've heard them for so long and our culture is so accustomed to them that they don't carry the same power they would have in 1st century Jerusalem to the first people to hear his claim. The entrenched religious leaders of the day did not consider Jesus' message to be good news -- they saw him as a threat and would do anything to get rid of him. Jesus' claim to be the Messiah was not welcomed.
In a way, we need to be disrupted by the Gospel message. We need to let Jesus point out all the points where we are straying, and we need to learn not to be defensive. When Jesus points out our sin and our idolatry, he does it not to condemn, but rather as a doctor defines our illness to heal us, Jesus points out our sin so that we might find forgiveness and healing. Jesus' love for us is infinite, and he wants us to be healed, to find wholeness that is only available in Christ.
The first century religious leaders were so closely wedded to their ideas that they were unwilling to let Jesus change their hearts. They struck back.
Will we listen with humble hearts, trusting in our King that he has our best interests at heart, longing for us to be made whole.
Once again, I'm riding in Pelotonia this year. It's an amazing event -- the entire city of Columbus rallies around the life-changing cancer research being done here at Ohio State. 100% of every dollar raised goes directly to cancer research, and I'm proud to do my part so that one day we will be able to say that cancer is a thing of the past, no longer stealing away precious time and precious memories.
If you'd like to donate, please click here.