I see it in relationships. I see it in churches. I see it everywhere! A barrier. A stumbling block. Something that stops greatness in its tracks. An unasked and unanswered question. "What would Jesus want this to be?"
In Matthew 16 Peter is having an intimate conversation with Jesus. He confesses that Jesus is "the Christ ... the Son of the Living God!" Jesus says (paraphrased) "Great! You go Peter! I can build the lived-out body of Christ on that confession and even the gates of hell cannot prevail against that kind of power!" If that conversation doesn't get your blood going, you might check your vital signs! That is verse 18.
By verse 22 we begin to see the problem. Jesus tells the disciples what must happen for God's plan to be fulfilled and Peter responds ... "Lord, this shall no the unto thee!" Jesus says, "Satan ... get thee behind me" to Peter. The change in tenor is the reason for this blog today. Peter's comment was the reason why we encounter the barrier, the stumbling block ... the thing that stops greatness in its tracks. We want what we want rather than wanting (and actively seeking) what Jesus wants. We want our plan ... because God's plan is hard, painful, dangerous struggle. How do we live out our faith beyond this barrier?
Tony Evans says the solution is pretty simple. Tony suggests we start adopting Jesus' model of the Church if we want to be part of a Church that prevails against the gates of hell. He remembers the words "Without me you can do nothing!"
Last Sunday I walked down the hall to what I pray will be a revamped Sunday School class having power, influence, prayer, love and life. We were going to discuss how the class would move forward and become the very best it could be. There were some technical issues discusses, but those can always be solved pretty easily. The human issues are the more complex ones. As I walked I thought about this question ... "What would Jesus want this to be?"
Jesus' answer was a class full of eclectic people form all walks of life, coming together so they could learn about Jesus' plan for their group. It reminded me that in Matthew 16 Jesus talks about the Church being an amalgamation of little rocks bound together for the work of God that will not be stopped by the gates of hell. I am excited that these "little rocks" have come together and are listing for marching orders from Jesus. I got one email and another call that has added 3 people to the class just today! I hope they will ask every week ... "What would Jesus want this to be?" That plan will work for the class, for their daily issues, for their relationships and for their lives! Randy