...And just what was it all about to be a follower of this southern Judaean in northern Galilee? While He did preach "the kingdom of God", Jesus was moreso a TEACHER. (There's a lesson in that. He who cannot teach, cannot therefore preach. But that's another discussion...) Indeed, He was not a perpetual "condemnation-preacher"; rather, over and over and over we see that "Jesus taught".
What did Christ Jesus teach? In a word, TRUTH. How could the TRUTH be "divided"? In a word, Scripture. How could TRUTH be proven and made evident? In a word, Love.
As our Lord and Saviour instructed when He gave the Two Great Commandments in Matthew 22:37-40, we see this as now obvious. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Indeed, on the foundation of such absolute LOVE hangs ALL Scripture, the Written Word of God, the documentation for "dividing" ALL TRUTH, which is what our Lord Christ Jesus taught.
Now, consider that the FIRST of those Two Great Commandments is about LOVE of God. At the same time, consider also that it is clear that Jesus is indeed the Son of God (and He and the Father are one). With those two things considered, how are we to know that we have loved (and do love) Him to the degree He commands? Jesus defined our LOVE of Him in John 14:15,23: "If ye love me, keep my commandments. ...If a man love me, he will keep my WORDS: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." That's a powerful command. After all, as written in 1_John 4:16b-d: "God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him." To dwell in God and He in us, we must dwell in LOVE. Because we LOVE Him, we will keep His Commandments and keep His WORDS.
But how many people would REALLY keep His Commandments and WORDS, though? After all, what Jesus required/requires of His followers is what the world would call being a "member" of a so-called "cult".
In what the world would call a "cult-control technique", Jesus taught His followers to serve without expecting to be told "Thank you". Luke 17:7-10: "But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt ((then be allowed to)) eat and drink? Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow ((think/suppose)) not. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do." Indeed, in the very next seven verses after that, Scripture provides an example of that very teaching! After Jesus healed 10 lepers, only one returned to say "Thank you" ---only a ten-percent gratitude-rate! Thus, being a "member" of this world-defined so-called "cult" of Christ requires, as Jesus commanded, the followers of Christ Jesus to do as they are commanded with no expectation for gratitude in return!
© June 4, 1995, The Standard Bearer
P.O. Box 765, O.O.B., ME 04064