The world of mankind has not advanced by evolution but revolution, by violent upheavals in society. Jesus came to the earth to inaugurate a revolutionary movement of the heart. He came to upset the status quo, to the rock the religious, cultural, and political boat. Jesus modeled and launched a new kingdom order, a new heart perspective. He was the fulfillment of the prophetic word from Ezekiel, Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh. Jesus proclaimed and demonstrated that His core message was to heal the brokenhearted and set the chained heart free.
The cultural and churchy Jesus that we have grown up hearing about has little resemblance to the Jesus of the Bible. It seems that the Jesus that is presented in most of our churches and magazines looks more like a combination of Oprah and Mr. Rogers. His interests obviously lie in all of us getting along, being happy, and getting that next raise at our job. The American Jesus is smiling down on all of us, positive about life, and unable to say a negative word about anyone.
Yet I have this problem…I read the Bible…I read the Gospels. Currently at the church I pastor, The Road, we are going verse by verse through the Gospel of Mark. We have now covered nine chapters with forty messages in eight months. I’m reading and studying daily, and preaching weekly on Jesus. I’m saturated with the life, times, teaching, behavior, and attitudes of Jesus! I don’t go a day without thinking about the ways of Jesus.
Let me be honest, this Jesus in the Gospel of Mark bears very little resemblance to the churchy cultural Jesus I have heard so much about. He acts more like William Wallace than Mr. Rogers. No, the Jesus of the “messy gospel” (my title for the Gospel of Mark) is a man on a mission to change the very values of this world through changing the hearts of men.
Jesus was a revolutionary who went after the heart. He was fiercely opposed to religious systems that killed the desire and passion of the seeker. He broke the rules of the day by healing on the Sabbath and when being confronted by the religious leaders, “looked at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their heart.” (Mark 3:5) Jesus got angry. Jesus got angry often.
When you seriously study Jesus, the Jesus of the Bible one cannot come away without being confronted with a man who demonstrated a love that was fierce, angry, and confrontational. Fierce love? Angry love? Confrontational love? Yes, these are the ways of Jesus, the revolutionary of the heart.
On the Road,
“The Road Less Traveled” blog: steveholtonline.org
The Road: theroadcs.org
If you live in Colorado Springs, join us at The Road this week for “Windstorm: a study in Revival” from 6-8pm Monday, Jan 5th—Friday Jan 9th (no gathering on Wednesday). We meet at Chapel Hills Church, 2025 Parliament.
 The New King James Version. 1982 (Eze 11:19). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.