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2006-06-23_1736-29

Was Jesus happy?

Oh, I know, I know. Recent video portrayals of Him show Him laughing, joking with the disciples. Only problem is, no biblical evidence for this exists.

Ok, Jim, so now you’re going to advocate for a humorless, somber Christianity. Great, Jim. Just great.

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I know it’s hard to hear—but Jesus doesn’t trust you—or me. Or anyone. We shouldn’t feel bad. If we stop and think about it, scripturally, why should He trust us? He knew what was in man: “Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man” (John 2:23–25). 1

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This may seem like an odd title for a post, I suppose, but I’m endeavoring to add a note of truth to the beautiful account of Jesus’ birth in the stable; a fuller understanding of who this Baby was, in His immense glory. The impotent infant Jesus we read about in those accounts in Matthew and Luke left His home in heaven, more magnificent than we can imagine, possessing more power than we can imagine, to this dark, rebellious planet, so he could…die. He has called all Christians to enter into that self-denying-I-will-die-for-God-and-others life, as well. Please keep this in mind when someone tells you that you should live a purpose-driven life.

But I digress.

This God-in-the-flesh Man is called, among many other things, a Prince of Peace. Why is that?

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Last week, the question was asked, “Does everybody need a king, even one that some might consider oppressive?

The answer I offered: Yes, and no.

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Everybody needs a king.

Why would I say such a thing? Kings have been largely disasters throughout human history. In fact, their pervasive and often evil existence is one of the reasons representative democracy sprang into flower. You might have a good king once in a while, but then the sons and daughters who follow may be wicked and vile. The same can surely be said of most dictators, rulers and despots. As Lord Acton said, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

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This is an interview that Frank Viola did with Scot McKnight concerning his book, The King Jesus Gospel. Worth the read.

http://frankviola.org/2012/02/08/scotmcknight

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The Bible is full of amazing statements. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that the Bible is amazing from cover to cover. However, at different times in our lives, some portions are “made real” to us. They stand out. The Holy Spirit opens our eyes and causes the truth of those verses to crash into our understanding about the nature of God.

Here is one such passage, and it just absolutely, completely astounds me. At different times when I have shared it with others, I can barely keep myself from crying. It’s from Luke 12, and Jesus has been talking for some time about money, possessions and the things of this world. He tells us to give to the poor and store up treasure in heaven, not on the earth—this is in verse 33. In verse 34 He says, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

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Jesus made it clear that He came to serve: “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:25–28).

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One of the most amazing voices ever. Enjoy Matthew’s testimony about his battle with cancer, and then listen to him sing, while sitting down, “To the King.” Just stunning. The only bummer is that the video ends before the song does.

Thank You, Lord.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoswaXheg7U

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