Thursday, June 11, 2015

Sacred People (part 2)

In this series of articles we're examining the life of Jesus to see what a truly sacred person looks like. And it may not be the most spiritual or holy person, although that's what we've been led to believe.  What we discover may shock you.

Sacred People (part 1)
Sacred People (part 3)
Sacred People (part 4) 

Getting out of the box

The Jews in Jesus' day lived by rigid legal standards – some established by God and others added by men.  These rules were put in place to keep their hearts and their focus solely on Him.  This included isolating themselves from people that didn’t serve their God.  As a matter of fact, Jews wouldn’t associate or even eat with non-Jews.  This tradition continued with the believers in the early years following Jesus' resurrection and return to heaven.  Their churches were made up entirely of Jews or converts to Judaism.

But God never planned to keep the message of the Jewish Messiah (Jesus) just for the Jews.  His plan all along was for men, women and children of all nations to be a part of His family.  In order to make this a reality, God had to get the Jewish believers out of their isolationist box!  A radical worldview transformation was necessary for this to happen.  Jesus warned that this would happen:

And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins.
Mark 2:22
In Biblical days, wine was fermented in specially prepared animal skins (wineskins).  The waterproof skin would expand with the juice as it fermented into wine.  But once a wineskin had been used it couldn't be used again, or it would burst and the wine would be ruined.  While old wineskins could store already fermented wine, new wine required new wineskins.

When God chose to invite "outsiders" (non-Jews) to join in the Christian faith, He selected Peter the Apostle, one of the main leaders of the newly formed Church to do so.  And it required a MAJOR overhaul of Peter's belief system.  It would so radically expand Peter's worldview that it was just like new wine - it could only be poured into a new wineskin (a new way of thinking).

It's much the same for us... in order for us to live like Jesus - a "friend of tax collectors and sinners" (Luke 7:34) - we have to allow God to change our hearts.  This is what He did with Peter.  And it's exactly what He desires to do with believers today.  He wants access to our fears, insecurities and prejudices.  The good news is that it leads to the Sacred Life that Jesus desires for us to have.

How has God transformed your worldview when it comes to people that are far from Him?  Join the conversation by adding a comment below.

In part 3 of this series we'll look at how God changed Peter's heart and transformed his worldview.

Sacred People (part 1)
Sacred People (part 3)
Sacred People (part 4) 

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