So, back to the answer of Jesus. John 1:1-2 has become my favorite scripture. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.
Jesus was with God when He created the world and all that is in it. He was with God when Adam and Eve took that first bite. He was with God when Cain killed Abel. He was with God through the flood, the covenants, death of prophets, and idolatry of kings. And yet he comes in the flesh to establish fully the kingdom of God.
Jesus dispenses grace because he has been taught by His father the importance and need for it. Jesus has a different vision, new eyes, than the world of his time (and even our world today). Jesus shows compassion to the outcasts of society: lepers, women, non-Jews. He speaks to people that have little to no religious influence and condemns those who are most influential.
One of the greatest examples of all of these things coming together is in Matthew chapter 9. Here Jesus commands Matthew, a tax collector, to follow him. Matthew would have been despised by not only religious leaders, but by anyone who paid taxes. And the story really takes a interesting twist when after calling him, Matthew invites Jesus to a party with armpit of Jewish society; tax collectors and sinners. Tax collectors were known for how they cheated others for personal gain and the “And sinners” were known for being Jews who chose what Jewish laws they would follow. They all sit around the table sharing food, swapping stories, and laughing at one another’s jokes. Jesus doesn’t shun the party, he joins it. Jesus doesn’t preach about their need for repentance or their destiny to Sheol (Think deep, dark, tortuous Hell). Jesus only preaches when the Pharisees, the religious leaders/rule keepers, ask His disciples, “why?” Jesus acknowledges the need at this table for help and dispenses their life medicine in the form of mercy…grace!
And this begins Jesus’ pursuit of those in need of a break and how the Father freely gives life through His grace.
We are following hundreds of people through facebook, twitter, blogs, etc. I even have a following. And we are pursuing dream jobs, financial gain, long-term relationships, and church homes. And while we follow others and pursue life may we be given vision for following Jesus and pursuing His grace!
How are you pursuing God's grace?
What strikes you most about Jesus in the beginning?
What grace are you dispensing today?