Unashamed #likeJesus

While Peter denied Jesus and most of the other disciples scattered at the crucifixion, others surprisingly demonstrated bold faith during Christ’s suffering.

Consider Nicodemus, a leading Pharisee.  In John 3, we see him come to Jesus “at night.”  He comes in secret.  He doesn’t want to be seen.  He has a reputation to protect.  He could get in trouble aligning himself with Jesus.

Jesus’ words, “You must be born again” and “For God so loved the world” must have reached Nicodemus’ heart.  He appeared to be a changed man.

John 7:51 records him asking the other Pharisees who are accusing and condemning Jesus, “Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?”

Then, after Jesus had been crucified, Nicodemus showed up again.  John makes sure to point out, “And Nicodemus, who first came to Jesus by night…”  This same Nicodemus, who came in secret, is now there in public “bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds.”  At great personal cost, both to his reputation and to his bank account, Nicodemus stood up and stood out.

Another man, Joseph of Arimathea, was also there.  He iswasa rich man.  He was a prominent council member.  Did he do business in Jerusalem?  He too was well known and had a reputation to protect.

Of Joseph, we read that he “was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, a good and just man and a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews.”

“A disciple of Jesus, but secretly…”  Isn’t that an oxymoron?!  How can we follow Jesus secretly?  Believe in secret, maybe.  But a disciple, a follower, in secret?  Joseph must have been “busting at the seems” wanting to come out and let the world know.

And so it is that we find the secret disciple stepping out of the shadows.  “Coming and taking courage, this man went to Pilate and asked that he might take the body of Jesus.”

At great personal cost, both to his reputation with the Jews and to his own safety in approaching Pilate, not to mention giving his newly hewn family burial cave, Joseph stood up and stood out.

Joseph and Nicodemus each had something to lose, but they counted the cost, pushed all their chips to the center of the table, and went ALL IN for Jesus.

What a great example for us of the devotion, commitment and sacrifice of a Christ-follower.  Like Nicodemus and Joseph, each day I want to stand up and stand out for Jesus!

 

To learn more about Walking As Jesus Walked and Discipling As Jesus Discipled, visit:  SONLIFE.COM

8 thoughts on “Unashamed #likeJesus

  1. If you want to be “like Jesus”, you should know which commandment is the Most Important One to HIM. No, it’s not “love.”

    Poem – What is love?

    Two men came to Jesus
    With different motivations.
    They asked Him the same question
    Relevant to all the nations:

    Which is the Most Important?
    The answer was the same.
    Jesus did not manipulate
    He was not there to play a game.

    “Love the Lord your God” said Jesus
    as He quoted from The Law –
    to fulfill and not abolish
    was His purpose, full of awe.

    Jesus did not make all Scripture
    Into one new great commandment.
    He summarized The Law and Prophets
    “First and Greatest” and “The Second.”

    The Love of God is higher
    Than the love of any man.
    Receive from God, give back to God-
    Then to others, that’s His plan.

    The Love of God involves much more
    Than simply “love your fellow man.”
    Worship, trust, and pray to God,
    and obey Him – that’s His plan

    To worship and pray to neighbors,
    Whoever they may be,
    Or trust and obey our enemies
    Would be idolatry.

    The love of God is first and greatest,
    And the love of man is second.
    “All we need is love” are words
    of dead Beetles on the pavement.

    “The entire law is summed up in a single command”
    are not the words of Jesus our Salvation.
    It’s false teaching of Paul the Pharisee
    an “accuser of our brethren.”

    “Love” without God is Satan’s word through Paul
    in his chapter to the Corinthians.
    “I will show you the most excellent way”
    is the road to eternal perdition.

    Where is God in Paul’s chapter on love?
    Nowhere in view of the eye.
    Paul sings about himself like a Mexican Mariachi
    “I, I, I, I.”

    Jesus is The Most Excellent Way
    Not the words of a Pharisee.
    The words of Jesus are very clear.
    Jesus said, “You must follow ME.”

    Like

    1. Matthew, thanks for reading the blog. How did you find it? Are you familiar with our ministry, Sonlife?

      To be honest, I’m not sure what you’re trying to say here. What it appears that you’re saying is:

      1. The most important commandment is to Love God… not just to Love “in general.” I agree (and so does Jesus) that the most important commandment is to Love God.

      2. Loving people is not a part of loving God… which I disagree with (and so does Jesus… and John). A natural outflow of our love for God will be a love for people. We can’t claim to love God if we DON’T love people. This is why Jesus attached the second command to the first, and it’s why He even explained the second with the parable of the Good Samaritan.

      3. It also sounds like you’re saying that the epistles written by the Apostle Paul are not inspired scripture… You’ve called Paul a Pharisee, a Mexican Mariachi. Read Paul’s letters to the Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians… they ooze with Jesus… Paul is the Pharisee who said “follow me as I follow Christ.”

      Paul was all about Jesus! And Jesus was all about love. “By this will all men know that you are my disciples (followers), if you love one another.”

      Like

      1. Doug,
        I was searching online for people who want to be more “like Jesus.” I am not familiar with you ministry, no.
        Yes, loving people is a part of loving God. An essential part – but only a part. It is PART of the application – but not THE application of loving God. There are two different commandments Jesus quoted from the Law (which He came to fulfill, – not abolish as Paul wrote…..) I make this point in the poem.
        Since you like parables, here is another one.

        Parable of the House Painters

        A homeowner called his friend, who was a painting contractor. “Friend, I want to hire you and your team to paint my house and my garage. Paint the house first, and I’ll stay in the garage until you’re done. Then when the paint is dry, I’ll move back into the house, and you can paint the garage.”

        The painting contractor hired a new foreman named Paul, and gave him the homeowner’s instructions. (Paul insisted that all the workers show respect for him by addressing him as “Boss Paul.”) Paul called the team of painters together and told them:
        “Boys, we need to paint this garage and house. The quicker we do it, the more profitable it is for us. So get to work! Since the garage is smaller, we can finish that quicker. Then those who finished the garage can go help the others finish the house.”

        One worker objected: “But Boss Paul, those were not the owner’s instructions! We are supposed to paint the house first. Only after the house is finished and the paint is dry can we go and paint the garage.”

        Paul replied: “I’m Boss, you work for me, and you do as I say. We are painters, and we paint. We don’t have time for debates about ‘which one is first’. We need to get to work applying that paint to the garage and house as quick as we can. Which owner would be upset if we finished early? The job is to paint the garage and house – what difference does it make ‘which one is first’”?

        “It makes a big difference to the owner,” the worker objected. To which Paul replied, “you’re fired.” Paul then took his team of painters, and started painting the garage and the house.

        When the homeowner returned in the evening, he was furious. He had nowhere to sleep, and had to go stay in a hotel for several days. The homeowner’s friend, the painting contractor, apologized, and explained:

        “I hired a new foreman named Paul, but that was a huge mistake. He ignored your instructions that I passed on to him. You don’t know him, and I’ve just barely met him.
        To be extremely polite, I could say that Paul ‘says some things which are difficult to understand.’ To be more direct, I could say Paul talks like an arrogant megalomaniac with a messiah complex, proclaiming; ‘I am not under the law’ but yet making up his own laws as he goes along, that everyone else has to obey. Paul said: ‘I became your father…. therefore I urge you to imitate me,’ and ‘I have become all things to all men.’ Paul thinks he’s Boss, and doesn’t need to listen to your instructions that I gave him.”

        In Matthew 22 and Mark 12, Jesus identified two commandments, saying one of them is the first and greatest most important one. Which one is it? The one in Deuteronomy 6:4-5, or the one in Leviticus 19:18 ?

        Like

      2. Why the Paul bashing? I don’t understand why you want to dismiss the ministry and teaching of Paul, which represent half the books of the New Testament. Paul talks like an arrogant megalomaniac with a messiah complex? Paul considered himself the worst of all sinners and was humbled to be chosen by God as a servant of Christ. Is Paul more important to the church than Christ? Absolutely not! Did God use Paul to spread the Gospel and establish churches? Absolutely! Our ministry doesn’t focus on Paul. We’re all about teaching the life of Christ. Jesus is our model for life and ministry. But Jesus is the one who supernaturally appeared to Saul on the road to Damascus. Paul was chosen by Christ and equipped for a significant assignment. He brought the Gospel to the then known world on his missionary journeys, and he went to prison for the sake of the Gospel.

        When you share your disdain for Paul, what kind of a reaction do you get from others? Are they shocked? Disheartened? Confused? Amused? I’ve never heard anyone say the kinds of things about Paul that you’re saying… especially someone who is a Christ-follower.

        In your search for people who want to be like Jesus, what have you found? What does it mean to be “like Jesus?” I’ve tried to use social media to invite people into the conversation… twitter, Facebook, instagram, etc.

        Like

  2. Doug,
    Both the poem and the parable make the same point – and you haven’t addressed it.
    Which one is it? The one in Deuteronomy 6:4-5, or the one in Leviticus 19:18 ?

    If you follow Jesus, you have one answer.
    If you follow Paul, you have a different answer. Galatians 5:14, Romans 13:8-10.

    I agree with Jesus, therefore disagree with Paul on this point,
    and others, such as the following:
    Jesus reminded us from Genesis that God created us male and female, and created marriage to be between one man and one woman. Paul said otherwise – that “there is neither male nor female.” Before you get defensive and say “that’s not what Paul meant”….. Only Paul said such a thing in the pages of the Bible. Not Jesus, not God the Father, and no other author of Scripture. So why not just listen to Jesus, rather than have an endless debate giving our opinions or opinions of other men about “what Paul really meant.”

    Jesus is God, Paul is not. The commands and teachings of Jesus, in fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets, given through the Apostles He personally appointed, are more important than any of Paul’s words. Would you agree?

    You wrote, QUOTE: “Paul considered himself the worst of all sinners…”
    That is step 2 of
    The Evangelical “Mexican Hat Dance”

    Sin is always specific, not general.
    The “Hat” is, “What were Paul’s sins?”

    The music starts, with a cheery blast of trumpets in a melody that is familiar to most North Americans- the “Mexican Hat Dance.” (The national dance of Mexico, taught in Mexican public schools since 1921, and officially named “El Jarabe Tapatio.”)

    A couple in rather elaborate traditional costumes begins the dance. The man throws his huge sombrero hat on the floor, and the couple dances around it, but never steps on the hat. (The “Hat” is, “what were Paul’s sins?”) Here are the basic steps- (there may be one or two other basic steps, but they are very similar to these.)

    What were Paul’s sins?

    STEP 1) Paul said; “I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man.” [1 Timothy 1:13]
    (Response- Those were Saul’s sins, before Jesus called him. What were Paul’s sins as a Christian? )

    STEP 2) Paul said; “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners- of whom I am the worst.” [1 Timothy 1:15]
    (Response- Sin is always specific. What were Paul’s specific sins as a Christian? )

    STEP 3) Paul said; “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” [Romans 3:23]
    (Response- Again the same question; What were Paul’s specific sins as a Christian? )

    STEP 4) Paul said; “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.” [Philippians 3:12-13]
    (Response- They say third time’s a charm. Same question; What were Paul’s specific sins as a Christian? )

    STEP 5) Paul said; “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do- this I keep on doing.” [Romans 7:15-19]
    (Response- One more time! This is getting boring. Same question; Specifically, what were Paul’s specific sins as a Christian based on specific verses of the Bible? )

    STEP 6) LOOP- REPEAT steps 1 through 5, until your dance partner gives up, the audience gets bored, or the music stops. The rule is- never step on the “Hat,” just keep dancing around it.

    Like

    1. Matthew,

      I appreciate your effort to try and explain your point of view with entertaining parables. However, I really don’t have any interest in debating with you. I really don’t see the point.

      Jesus said that the first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. He also said that the second is like it… love your neighbor as yourself. Is one more important? Well, He did call it the first and greatest. Does that mean the other is unimportant? Absolutely not.

      But I’m done discussing your views on the Apostle Paul. For whatever reason, you have an axe to grind with Paul, and in doing so, you diminish the authority and inspiration of scripture. You don’t have a very high view of Paul or of his writings. It seems like you’re saying that Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon are of less value and are less inspired that Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. We have 4 Gospels that record Jesus’ words. Are the other 62 books of the Bible less the Word of God than those four? That’s what it sounds like you’re saying.

      Jesus himself had a very high view of scripture (Matthew 5:18). Jesus referred to the Old Testament more than eighty times, quoting from over seventy chapters.

      While the people of the Bible, other than Jesus, were far from infallible, I firmly believe that the Word of God in totality is inerrant, inspired and authoritative in its original autographs.

      So, if you want to talk about what it means to live #likeJesus as a Christ-follower, I’m all in. If you want to bash Paul, count me out.

      Like

      1. Doug,
        “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “ is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ [Mark 12:29-30, Deuteronomy 6:4-5]

        Jesus replied: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” [Matthew 22:37-38, Deuteronomy 6:5]

        You wrote, QUOTE: “Is one more important? Well, He did call it the first and greatest. Does that mean the other is unimportant?”
        AND HE ALSO CALLED IT “THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE.”
        So that means it is the “Most Important’, and “the Second” is LESS important.

        If you want to live like a Christ follower, you should know what is “Most Important” and what is “less important” or “Second” in importance according to Jesus. This is not a minor point – it is literally the most important point. It is Jesus speaking, to two different men, giving a direct specific answer to a direct specific question. It is recorded by The Apostle Matthew, an eyewitness who knew Jesus personally for His entire ministry, and by Mark, whose family was intimately connected with Peter and the other Apostles, some of whom could not write for themselves. Jesus is quoting the Law, not speaking on His own authority. And He is speaking in complete consecutive sentences.
        Can you hear Jesus?

        Or are you too used to hearing the opposing voice of Paul, Galatians 5:14, Romans 13:8-10. So to make Jesus agree with Paul, you have to have a “sound bite Jesus.”
        From the middle of the 3-chapter-long Sermon on the Mount, rip part of one sentence out of context, and slap a man-made label on it – call it “the golden rule.” Then in the 5-chapter-long Upper Room Discourse, snatch part of one sentence out of context, and another single sentence out of context, about “a new commandment’ and “my commandment”….
        For seasoning, add a few words from the Apostle John out of context, about “God is love”, and “If you hate your brother, you can’t say you love God.”

        So why don’t we address the point head on.
        Which commandment is The Most Important One? The one in Deuteronomy 6:4-5, or the one in Leviticus 19:18 ?

        Like

      2. Doug,
        If you want to live love and lead like Jesus, this is for you !

        The message of The 11 (“The narrow gate”)

        “The eleven disciples went to Galilee”
        “Where Jesus had told them to go”
        They heard His voice and obeyed His will
        Despite uncertainty down below

        Jesus spoke to them at length
        He wasn’t really a Tweeter
        Only 3 of them wrote Scripture
        Matthew John and Peter

        “Feed my sheep” said Jesus, for though
        “Heaven and earth will pass away”
        I have the words of eternal life and
        “My words will never pass away”

        “Enter through the narrow gate”
        The voice of Jesus through the eleven
        Believe in Jesus “through their message”
        And “eat from the tree of life” in heaven

        Jesus commissioned the eleven
        With “everything I have commanded you”
        “Teaching THEM to obey” Jesus
        And “THEM” means me and you !

        “The command given by our Lord and Savior”
        Is not a Pharisee speaking alone
        It came rather “through your apostles”
        Matthew Peter and John

        If a Pharisee boasts proudly
        Those men added nothing to my message
        He doesn’t speak for Jesus
        His words are nothing more than garbage

        Bibliography
        All “quotes” in “quotation marks” are from the writings of the Apostles Matthew John and Peter in the Bible, mostly the “Red Letter” words of Jesus. [Matthew, John, Revelation, 2 Peter – NIV]

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s