There was a time when the gospel of Jesus Christ was so clear, so succinct, so pure and unadulterated. When Jesus walked the earth he announced the good news and invited people to turn to him from wherever they were no matter who they were. There were no doctrines, orthodoxy, or rituals. He was straightforward. “Follow me,” he said. And along the way he healed and showed compassion to the outcasts and so-called “sinners”. He said he was the way, the truth and the life and that those who followed him would walk in light. He instructed folks to simply listen to his words and do what he said. He enlisted disciples (students and apprentices) who were interested in sharing his love with the world and even told them that those who love know God. Could it be any simpler?
Yet in the ensuing years we have so complicated his gospel that we hardly can distinguish what he really meant and did. Could it be that through pride we have made his gospel exclusionary? Is it possible that we have decided who can be a disciple when Jesus simply proclaimed that disciples were those who followed him by listening to his words and putting them into practice?
Jesus, the Bible says, came to bring grace and truth. Law, while it is fulfilled by the life and death of Jesus, is not the guiding principle anymore. And yet when you look at the 30,000 plus Christian denominations most of what you see are laws, principles, creeds, and doctrines that divide rather than create a unity among us that Jesus indicated would show the world the true nature of discipleship
So, let’s keep our eyes and ears as well as our hearts centered upon Jesus about. He said that anyone who believes, who places their confidence in him, will live forever … starting right now.