Jesus for President, a thought

I’ve been reading Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw. I’m about 1/3 of the way through it, and for now I’ll just say that it’s a challenging read. But these few paragraphs jumped out at me today and I wanted to share them with my 2.3 readers. So, here ya go…

Jesus’ last commission was to “make disciples of all the nations” (Matt. 28:19). They were to teach each nation a new way of living. One by one, these disciples would infect the nations with grace. It wasn’t a call to take the sword or throne and force the world to bow. Rather, they were to live the contagious love of God, to woo the nations into a new future. “Nations” didn’t mean states or governments: it meant all the world’s peoples regardless of religion, tribe, or clan. The covenant of God was open not just to Jews but to all the Gentile world. And making disciples didn’t mean using cutting-edge small group curriculum; it meant disciplining themselves, training themselves to become the peculiar people of God set apart from Caesar’s world (man’s kingdom*).

Just like Abraham and Sarah starting a new family, these early disciples would soon become known as the new humanity, a people callled out of the nations of different ethnicities, but with one thing in common: they were children of God, born again in a dysfunctional world where they were to become a new family, a people born not of flesh but of Spirit, a global sisterhood and brotherhood that ran deeper than nationality or biology. They were born again.

Making disciples meant that they were teaching the world to do the things Jesus did. To wash feet. To proclaim jubilee. To love enemies. To welcome strangers. And they would become known as the Way. Their community was more than just a group of people that embodied a new way of living, the way out of the empire (man’s kingdom*), where slavery, poverty, war, and oppression were normal. They were to become the salt and light of the world. The credibility of their gospel would rest on the integrity of their lives. For they were now to be the body of Christ. Jesus would live in them.

* added for clarification

Like I said, challenging. When I read this I realize how RADICALLY different the lives of the early believers were when compared to the world around them. When I look around, when I look in the mirror, I don’t see much of a difference!!

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2 Responses

  1. I hear ya.
    I too find the book a challenging read. Thinking, wondering, hoping for change, not knowing where to begin, considering that maybe I overthink it – or don’t think about it enough.
    Lots of questions, not many answers.

  2. Thanks for your blog post about Jesus for President! I just wanted to let you know there are 2 videos of Shane speaking about Jesus for President, plus audio clips, visuals, and a blog tour at this link:

    http://zondervan.typepad.com/zondervan/2008/03/jesus-for-pre-1.html

    Please feel free to join the blog tour.

    Blessings,

    Amy

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