What DID Jesus Do?

“So let us not talk falsely now… the hour’s getting late.” -Bob Dylan, “All Along the Watchtower’

Hatred or the simple, side-stepping “I don’t care, it’s on them not me!” is complicit if not direct in how Black, Asian, Indigenous and other People of Color are treated in the United State and elsewhere.

Cutting through the dross it has always seemed to me the 3 major issues among professing Christians are often much the same as those in the wide world. I truly believe if asked in a certain way decades ago I’d have still boiled down the major disagreements, fights, splits and too tragically often, cold blood-covered ground to these.

From all I’ve studied and believe true about Jesus and this world, doesn’t it come down to authority, money and “kind”?

Put another way, who’s in control/gets to say/gets their way, who’s got the loot and means to both keep control of it and make a whole lot more of it, who gets and maintains both while looking the other way because they -can- in terms of their own gender, racial “superiority” (racism) and cultural comforts.

I’m quite certain “the man behind the curtain” is a white male who has been trained, raised up in such a climate, often inside as easily as outside any church, but there it is.

The total shock of all this is such that it’s no surprise at all such folks are typically white-hot angry or dumbfounded in a state of depression, despair and adrift wondering how to rightly deal with such truth -and mind you, it’s true.

I’ve obviously been a white male all my life but this is how I see things, sometimes I suppose, not in a “white” way.

Perhaps in part what I’ve written here came to me early by being raised in a family trashed via illness which lead to poverty which lead to a fully fractured family, that I spent many hours with poor white friends and via friends and music baptized in elements of black culture, then living in the inner city and eventually coming to faith in Jesus, travelling in all sorts of varied churches and Christian cultures around the world.

A life of historical studies also seemed to bring these three issues to the top over and over, world-wide, not only in the U.S..

So how does one become a “blessed” peace-maker when one is confronted with one’s own “leg-up” and peace seems to be impossible within? Repent. Learn. Grow. Serve others in greater need, often far greater need than myself.

It is true that the Father sent His Son -perfect, sinless- into a world of injustice much based on those three elements. How did Jesus respond?

Many will immediately think of Jesus knocking the money changer’s tables and driving them out of the temple, the house of worship. He did do that, once and at most twice. What else did Jesus do? It’s obvious but relating to ourselves takes one much deeper.

Paul in what I think to be both plain and eloquent terms paints the picture in Philippians chapter 2. He emptied Himself. Poured Himself out for the Father and others. Humility, sacrifice, focus on God and others, not self, power and wealth though He alone deserved it all simply by fact He was and is God in the flesh.

No one rightly claims authority, wealth or in the human sense, racial Jewish/Chosen of God “status” as Jesus could have during His time on earth! But none of us is Jesus. For me, it always comes down to this. We want to BE God and when it seems our sense of control is contested, out come whatever weapons we choose. The kingdom of self must go.

Those of us with the privilege, power and comfort of “kind” have no real excuses for not sharing and in fact handing the keys of power to those “not like us” because in the end in a very true sense, that’s the example Jesus Himself set for us, yes, gives us.

Ponder that please.

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn


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