Though it's Jesus words themselves that terrify me the most. His parable of the sheep and the goats is a case in point because there will be always someone we miss or don't want to help or can't help... I'd love your take on that as a pastor...
I would tend to say that Jesus helped/helps us experience that God is real, and accessible to us.
I think it is important to note WHO Jesus is speaking to, when reading scripture:
- is he speaking to regular folks, seeking God - then he is often encouraging, think Woman caught in Adultery - > Go forth now, and stay on track ; )
- or is he speaking to Religious Fascists - any folks who block those seeking God or turn our attention to anything else besides God and who/how God is calling us (idolotry) - then Jesus is often kicking *ss, think Money Changers -> how dare you treat my Father's house like a den of robbers!
Very different energy.
So when i read the Parable of the sheep/goats, the end of Matthew 25.
I am getting the distinct impression that Jesus is speaking toward the Religious Fascists, those who think they are SET:
- follow the Law, and you win.
- believe the right things, and you win.
This is a Very Different way of being a follower of Jesus in the world - and it is a completely relevant today, as it was then, IMO.
And IMO/E it isn't about doing it PERFECTLY, it is about attitude of heart.
Jesus argued for many laws that were IMPOSSIBLE to keep.
(These are the first conversations he had, in the first book of the New Testament - oh, you want to keep the law, well, then, here we go... See second 1/2 of Matthew 5 )
The LAW is Not the WAY.
The Way, rather, is Righteousness - listening to, believing, and following God - BEING in Right relationship with God - in alignment with and filled with, and following our Source.
The LAW is not the way, and it never was - as Paul said, laws are for children.
We are called to mature spiritually, following God in every step.
This is the way, walk ye in it.
Do we fall down? Of course!
We just have to keep getting up, and going on.
Children learn to walk by falling down - A LOT!
SO DO WE.
Jesus said we MUST become like Children if we are to expereince what he said was most important: spiritual reality: the Reign/Kingdom of God.
WE MUST FALL DOWN, a lot!
Jesus is for, not against that...
Those are some thoughts, K - I hope something here is helpful.
Jesus did not come to bring fear, but rather freedom IN God.
I hope you are enjoying your freedom more and more each day.
BTW - I am not a Pastor (thank God!!!! thank God!!!! thank God!!!!)
I have a ministry, supporting people to mature spiritually; continually opening ears to hear and eyes to see the reality of spirit, and follow God's unique leading for us, in our world.
Lastly - Jesus is reminding me to talk about this scripture, because in it Jesus is talking TO a sweet person who wants God, about the bratty people who block the way to God
(this is the best kick the religious facist's *ss chapter ; )
There is so much to learn here about what following Jesus Absolutely does not look-like - note the first paragraph of Matthew 23.
This is my perspective, YMMV,
Best to you, Wendy