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Revolutionary Command

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The Square on the Hippopotamus

Some of you may have heard of this in your schooldays, but unless your maths teacher was a comic, it was probably not in the maths class. There you hopefully heard about "The Square on the Hypotenuse", the ancient Greek philosopher Pythagoras' famous theorem about the sides of right-angle triangles...

...which is that

This is one of the most fundamental theorems in mathematics, science and engineering.

A (More) Revolutionary Theorem

Jesus, the Revolutionary Man from Nazareth in Israel, gave us a far more revolutionary theorem than Pythagoras', for Jesus' theorem is not aimed at maths for our heads (though there is nothing wrong with that - God invented mathematics) but at motivation for our hearts. In Mark's Gospel, 8:35, he says "For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it." Put another way, it is...

Gain = Loss
and
Loss = Gain

Now, if we are honest, that's not the theorem we often live by, though most people think doing a good turn, helping someone without any reward, giving to the poor, are all good things. There is a deep ditch (or even a great chasm) between what we applaud and what we actually do all the time.

Sadly, for many a lot of the time, and for some all of the time, the theorem of life looks more like this...

Gain = Gain
and
Loss = Loss
The extreme is perhaps the "Greed is Good" ideal (gain = gain)

The Bible talks about this in the book of Proverbs, when it says "The leech has two daughters. 'Give! Give!' they cry" - Proverbs 30:15 (NIV)

At the opposite end (loss = loss) is someone in desperate poverty, who cries out with old Jacob "Everything is against me!" (Genesis 42:36 NIV)

It wasn't true for Jacob, and it is not true at all, even for someone with nothing.

The Foundations of Jesus' Revolutionary Theorem

Jesus gives us 2:-

A single soul is worth more than the whole world

When a soul is finally lost there is nothing valuable enough to buy it back

Exploring the Theorem

What it is NOT

What it IS

It is not really all that NEW

At last, the Revolutionary Command!

Built upon these truths, Jesus gives a command to those who would be his followers. It is not an arbitrary command, "Just because I say so", though what follows in chapter 9 blazes out his authority to do so. Neither is it a harsh command, for he leads the way, obeying it before us. It is a command that will do us good. He is like an army commander who commands his troops "Follow me, stick to the rocky places, for the easy ground is a minefield!".

"Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.r" v34

3 Verbs

What it is NOT

What it IS

What it is in its proper CONTEXT

WARNING - Strictly Observe These Instructions Or .......

Jesus then says "If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels." v38

SHAME brings SHAME

If we are ashamed of him NOW, he will be ashamed of us THEN, at the end of this age. Jesus' warnings need to be taken very seriously. If he is the God's universal King and Messiah, as He claimed to be, and as the Jews of the day, his witnesses, knew He claimed to be (see John 5:18), then he has power to do what he says. The day of mercy in the gospel is still with us, but it must end one day, if God is to be fair and just (as all men think He should be! How quickly men cry "That's not fair God!")

What it is NOT

It is not meant for the fearful, weak believer in Jesus. Peter in a time of great stress and danger denies Jesus the night he was betrayed, but is forgiven and restored, and goes on to serve Jesus all his life, and at last to lay it down for Jesus' sake, being crucified for that name so precious to him.

The weak and trembling need not fear - though they cannot hold on 100% to Jesus, he will hold on 100% to them. "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom." Luke 12:32 NIV

What it IS

It is meant for the play-acting "Christian", the hypocrite. Judas had a name as an apostle, but all he cared for was money, stealing from the common purse and taking the bribe to betray Jesus. He counted the Kingdom of God and Christ as feeble and worthless, shameful, and preferred to trust in gold and silver.

Whereabouts are you with Jesus' Revolutionary Command and Warning? With "feeble" Peter, or with "Strong" Judas?

Are you focussing your life on the NOW, or the soon to be THEN?

Jesus says "Follow me!"

Mark's Gospel, chapter 8, verses 34 to 38 (NIV)

34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.

36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?

37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels."


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This page http://tardus.net/revolutionaryCommand.html published: 16 June 2011

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