Posted by: Keith Clark | March 31, 2011

Walk This Way

It’s absolutely stunning. On several occasions Jesus encounters folks he’s never met before, people who have no awareness of who he is and who are busy going about their lives. As we watch Jesus in such situations, there are a handful of available options from which he can choose, concerning how to interact with them.
If you and I were in Jesus’ shoes, I have a pretty good idea what choice we might make. If we were having a really good day, we’d begin by rehearsing a summary of salvation and follow that up by drumming up all the courage within us (never mind the background or experiences of the people we’re about to meet or the self-contradiction of selling salvation by appealing to selfish desires). Or perhaps we’d ask if we could begin to study with them (never mind the inherent arrogance of thinking we have something to offer but nothing to learn). Or perhaps we’d just decide they aren’t worth our effort, after all if they were really capable of learning and becoming godly people, surely they would already be on that journey (never mind the hubris of being blinded to one’s own privileged circumstances). If it were a particularly bad day, we might just condemn them because they don’t think, act, worship, live, or look like us.
Yet Jesus, in trademark fashion, acts in an absolutely stunning manner. He doesn’t offer a quick summary and force them to choose. He doesn’t presume to study them into submission. He doesn’t relegate them to a status unworthy of his attention. He doesn’t dismiss them as hopeless and condemn them. Instead Jesus’ interaction of choice is one that rarely appears on our radar: he says, “Come follow me.” Let’s walk together, talk together, spend time together.
The folks he invites to join him are a frustrating bunch. They don’t understand him. They keep trying to tell him what to do. They’re really slow learners. They keep doing things that embarrass him. Yet this is the way Jesus chooses to go about the work of the kingdom of God. It’s absolutely stunning.
I have a sneaking suspicion that if we were to walk this way, to walk as Jesus walked, to choose the Jesus way, that our world would be equally stunned. Stunned by graciousness. Stunned by patience. Stunned by humility. Stunned by compassion. Stunned by the love of God as we welcome people into our company, just like Jesus. What might happen if we walk this way?


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