Tuesday, October 11, 2005


By David Tait

Under the Old Covenant (Testament) system authority was effectively shared between 'kings' and 'priests'. Put simply, kings were responsible to God for the people's temporal wellbeing while the priests were accountable for the nation's spiritual welfare. '

The 'saviour' that the Jews were, and many still are, looking for, was to be a king/priest who will, help them overcome their enemies in battle. Not a god, but a man. Hence, still today, leading rabbis are looked at to see if they have the qualities and charisma that would qualify them to be the promised saviour. Someone wise, someone successful, of stature, someone who can rally the people to defeat the multitude of enemies that Israel has always been plagued with. There have been numerous pretenders, both before and since Jesus, but none have been successful in setting the people free.

Along comes Jesus. Brilliant academically from a young age, He confounded the top teachers of the day with His knowledge of the Scriptures. "Is it possible that Jesus could be the saviour?" must have been in the rabbis thoughts. But, of course, this was soon discounted. For Jesus didn't behave like a king. In fact the very opposite! He mixed with the lower levels of society, the 'down and outs' of the day. He was anti-establishment - the religious establishment that was! Nor did He show any interest in leading a rebellion against the Roman invaders. In fact, He often went out of his way to avoid confrontation with them. Indeed, sometimes it seemed He was running away! He also did such strange things such as washing the feet of His close followers, instead if them washing His. Highly unbecoming and completely out of character for a candidate for the 'Savior' role. Although forceful at times, particularly in His dealings with the religious hierarchy, He was a humble man. He didn't stay in the top inns of the day, build a single building, nor indeed, leave any physical monument of His existence - not even a body! He had no money. In all truth, He relied upon His supporters, particularly - dare it be mentioned - the women, to provide for His minimal physical needs. When He died, all He owned was the clothes He was wearing. Finally, He conquered no territory, set up no government, indeed, left no formal organisation. Just a few ragged followers, most of who would then desert Him in the worst, yet best, moment of His life. He failed in His last opportunity, on Palm Sunday, to stamp His authority on the adoring crowds and lead them into battle against the hated Roman occupiers. A few days later He was hung on a tree, in the manner of the lowest criminal element of the Land. A disappointment. A failure, in human eyes.

Yet this 'failure' rose again, of course unrecognised by the Establishment, and His life has had a greater influence upon human history than any other, before or since.

The question then is, in whose image are we going to live our life? Are we seeking to have fine churches and great ministries recognised by multitudinous Christians, maybe even, by the secular world? Do we want to gather a Christian Army and conquer the world for Jesus? Set up Christian government?

Or do we want to be like Jesus? In perfect harmony with the Word! Serving our neighbours; figuratively, even literally, washing their feet. Loving others, with the love Jesus showed the people of His day. Being misunderstood. Not standing on our rights, but influencing others through our behaviour. Often appearing defeated from a worldly viewpoint, but having a character that attracts the spiritually hungry -the character of Jesus. Selfless, serving, even unto death. Like Jesus, neither seeking nor receiving the plaudits of mankind but unconditionally obeying the will of His Father, Like Him, changing the world!

For most of us this requires a new mindset. Well away from status, away from buildings and programmes, conquering nations, fighting the battle in human way. Rather, offering unconditional forgiveness and love, dying to our own desires and dreams, serving others without any thought of recognition or reward for ones self.

As we so do, we will become the Jesus generation today.

"But Lord, my new church building will witness for you in this community!" "No, my son, My witness is not found in buildings, programmes or position, but through your sacrificial life."

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