All people who consider the Creator God have a choice to make. We have to consider who Jesus is. We need to decide if Jesus was God walking on earth showing exactly who God is, and speaking to use with the Creator God’s voice. We need to decide if he was serious when he said “Follow me.” When he said, “Take up my cross and follow me.”
If Jesus was, we must follow in action and faithfulness to him because he showed the face of the Creator God (Heb. 1:1-3).
“Some were convinced by what he said, but others refused to believe” (Acts 28:24) That’s the choice, believe and live differently, or not. (Acts 4:4, 5:15, 8:12-13, 9:42, 11:21, 14:11, or 19:9 there are many more in Acts.)
If you believe God is not like Jesus then you can choose another leader as your example of discipleship. But, don’t forget the New Testament authors call us to follow Jesus as Lord of all. Savior of the World. Ruler of Creation. Here and now. His Kingdom on earth. Read these sermons and remember they were calling people into a community of discipleship, citizens of God’s Kingdom, not just to heaven when we die even though after life is a part of the package. (Acts 2:14-36, 3:12-26, 5:29-32, 7:1-8:1, 10:34-43, 13:16-52, 17:22-32, 22:1-23:11, 26:2-32, “and Paul lived there [Rome] two whole years in his own rented quarters and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with complete boldness and without restriction [28:30-31].”
The new testament contrasts Jesus as Lord of all the earth against the presidents of the empires of the world. Empires rule with lies and violence and fear. That’s the current climate of the Philippines. That’s how all emperors have always promised to build peace. Lies and violence. Demanding the faithfulness and bloody sacrifice of the lives of youth on the altar of nationhood. Build our nation on the bones of our enemies…but that only creates a new generation of enemies…can’t we see? It’s the same cycle of history for 2000+ years.
Jesus calls the church every day to follow him in a new community. Where justice, forgiveness and healing are the way of his people as we become his New Creations by the loving power of his Holy Spirit in us. Everyone is invited on this journey as we reach out to our neighbours to be the new gathering of his kingdom on earth. Our new title is Ambassadors of reconciliation. Citizens of a new kingdom. The kingdom where Jesus is King, and we follow our king’s example. His example was to give his whole life to heal his persecutors, not demand their blood and kill them.
Jesus is my president. The name on my passport has nothing to do with my Leader, Messiah, President, King, Lord and Christ, Priest, Prime Minister, Sultan etc… Jesus who alone brings full life into the world. Compare him in the Gospels and in the life of his church to the empires of history that continue to promote a cycle of violence and lies.