Two millennia ago a group of men led by their Rabbi was travelling through Samaria towards the Jewish holy land. They needed a place to rest and sleep. With that in mind the Rabbi sent messengers to a village nearby. The Samaritans had been treated as outcasts by the Jews as they were a mixed race resulting from the intermarrying of their Jewish ancestors with the gentiles. Naturally, the Samaritans had a more liberal outlook of their religious observations which further intensified the enmity of Jews towards them. The centuries-long rivalry resulted in the request of messengers for lodging being denied. Two of the men, James and John, were incensed by the denial. These two had been called “the Sons of Thunder” by the Rabbi and, in fact, if their teacher had not rebuked them, they would have prayed for fire to rain down from heaven and consume the unfriendly Samaritan village.
The above story from the Bible can be related to our present-day lives in which there is often to be seen a divisive struggle between progressive and conservative philosophies. Whether it be religion, politics or any other ideology of interest, people tend to divide into opposing camps of liberal or traditionalist. This polarization results in an intolerance towards the other side and a lack of receptivity to their perspective. In fact, both conservatives and progressives may build up enmity to the extent of wishing the other eliminated. Have you ever thought of what a darkened picture of our heart this portrays?
There is only one person in history who was born specifically to die, and He died to give us everlasting life. The liberating message He has for you is that He died to take away your condemnation, sin, guilt, shame, and death.
Jesus Christ (the Rabbi in the above incident) said to His disciples “the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them” (Luke 9:56). These words of Jesus comprise an essential and transforming message for progressives and for conservatives no matter the place or the age or the context. Jesus’ message was simple but absolutely essential. Later, the same fiery John, the Son of Thunder, would record in his Gospel the words of Jesus Christ: “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17). Few words are more vital than these. Whether liberal or conservative, rich or poor, educated or uneducated, black or white, Jew or gentile; humanity lives under the bondage of sin and death. Jesus’s words bring liberty and reconciliation.
The death and resurrection of Jesus was to shatter the strength and pervasiveness of sin which had permeated the souls of mankind. There is only one person in history who was born specifically to die, and He died to give us everlasting life. The liberating message He has for you is that He died to take away your condemnation, sin, guilt, shame, and death.
Would you be willing to accept the salvation Jesus offers to you?
Let His be the liberating message for your soul. Let Him be the Savior of your life.
Dijo John – Renew in Knowledge Core Team Member