Tuesday, May 16, 2017

What would Jesus do?

This week I am preparing a sermon from John 2:13-25, which I suspect is not the usual passage most people consider when asking, "What would Jesus do?" In the passage, Jesus marches into the temple court, throws over tables belonging to vendors, then drives out those merchants and the sacrificial animals they had been selling. This is not Jesus "meek and gentle." Countering corruption sometimes takes overt action. Preaching requires capturing the attention of those so ingrained in their sin that they don't realize you're speaking to them when you call for people to repent. On the other hand, Jesus teaches disciples to turn the other cheek, to give more than is asked, to go the second mile. Do you sometimes struggle to discern when to seek reconciliation and when to turn over tables? Answers to our immediate confusion, urgent and elusive though they seem, may be entwined with our awareness of what it means that we have died to sin when we were buried in baptism and that we have arisen into a new life where we seek to keep in step with God's Spirit. What Jesus would do if he were we might not be easy to determine as some might think. However, followers of Jesus still, like him, seek justice and live faithfully. We forgive and seek reconciliation. We suffer. We, at times, act decisively and abruptly to protect the vulnerable and weak. We seek the way Jesus would take.

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