Christians Should Confound Expectations

What would happen if someone began to publicly speak and act according to genuine reality; Kingdom of God reality?  I think that person would completely mess with cultural expectations.

Jesus did exactly that.

Jesus did not directly confront religious or political ideologies, but it was clear that he did not fit within the elaborate and well established law-based framework of Pharisees.  He confounded expectations by doing things like hanging out with “sinners,” healing on the Sabbath, and neglecting to participate in the habitual fasts of religious leaders of the day.

“Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”  the Pharisees asked.  (Mark 2:16)

“Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?”  (Mark 2:18)

“Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?”  (Mark 2:23)

Jesus behavior simply did not make sense from within the interpretive reality of the Pharisees.  There was a wide reality gap between them.

Christ healing an infirm woman on the Sabbath, By James Tissot, 1886-1896 From Wikimedia

Jesus answered all of the above questions graciously, wisely, and with authority.  His behavior was consistently compassionate, loving, and kind toward all people. Even his interactions with the Pharisees, confrontational as they were, were to open their eyes to the truth. He further demonstrated his power with miracles of healing and deliverance.

He made no attempt to take over or grab power.  Yet, the simple fact of Jesus’ presence and the reality of the Kingdom of God from which he lived was a great threat to the established structures of his day.

What if Christians lived the same way today?

Jesus would surely challenge the structures of 21st century America if he were to walk the earth today.

Where would Jesus go to church?  Suddenly, things like worship style and programs would take a back seat to real godliness, character, and genuine service. Who would he hang out with?  It would be fascinating to observe who Jesus would associate with in our contemporary world.  What would he think about some of our cultural issues?  Something tells me that we’d be very surprised.

He would live in the genuine reality of God’s Kingdom.

What if Christians lived from within a framework of the Kingdom of God regardless of our prefered political ideologies and oblivious to cultural pressures?  What do you think that would look like?

12 thoughts on “Christians Should Confound Expectations

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  1. Hi Judy, I was thinking of you earlier today–wondering how you’re doing as we head into Thanksgiving week. I’m following you from yet another new blog–still the old Caddo. Anyway, are you familiar with the book, and now movie, “Heaven Is Real”–about the pastor in NE whose 4-yr old son (at the time) had a medical crisis during which he visited Heaven, and came back to tell about it? It was not a near-death experience, though the skeptics wanted to label it that way. The book was a page-turner, and I really enjoyed the movie tonight. To me, the Burpos’ story fits with your post–confounding expectations in a BIG way. In the past 3 1/2 years–and more recently in the past week–God has stretched my vision of Who He Is, what He is doing today, and how He moves behind the veil to guide us into new wisdom, revelation–and a “dare to believe” hope and excitement about the glimpses He gives of our destiny. It blows my mind, as the hippies used to say–and makes me weep with awe at His unending Grace and Love that just keeps pouring like a fountain over us. Sorry for jabbering so much–praying that you’re well, and looking forward to a beautiful Thanksgiving with family–Bountiful Blessings to you! love, Caddo

    1. Hi Caddo! I can’t keep up with your blogs, so I’m glad to see you comment! I read the book Heaven is for Read but have not seen the movie. You are so right that God blows our expectations with this Grace and Love. If only we would believe that and act accordingly. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Caddo!

  2. Very well written Judy. I like the way you question in order to provoke thought.

    I’m sure that If Jesus were to manifest in the flesh amongst the typical Christians of this day, be they whatever Ilk or flavour, he’d be some what amused, and wonder off to the back doors and side streets, and to the homes of those who are lonely, sickly, poor and longing for ‘one’ taste of mercy truth and love while they live on this planet.

    I think he’d more likely bring a whip into our churches than any other item, and ‘He’ would set up a new form of show and tell, “the testimony of real repentance to those with ears, and mouldable, softened hearts”.

    okay I can be long winded 😦

    Hubert Rondeau

    1. I imagine things similarly, Hubert. I wonder why it’s so hard to live according to Kingdom reality, even when we know what it isn’t? All the more reason to follow Him closely! Thanks so much for your comment! Judy

      1. Judy I suppose its a bit about Galatians 2:20, and being actually born of the Spirit John 3, Im pretty certain that I was, but it seem like I have lived through *ell more since then than I would have ever dreamed. One thing though is that Chris Jesus will not lose a single one who has come to him in truth, and He said that no one is able to snatch us out of Gods Hands.

        Easy believer-ism teaches that we can choose God – but more so The word and history shows that “He choses” and those he choses seem to have a rougher path in life.

        If you like Judy please feel free to read, “I know you like reading”…. but read some of my work, I must say though I am not well educated so it may scream for editing

  3. Over the years, I’ve discovered that Jesus offers far more grace to the various steams of Christianity than I ever thought possible. So, I would guess that the biggest change taking place, if Jesus showed up, would first be in me.

  4. Good thought provoking stuff Judy. Jesus certainly exposed the misconceptions and misinterpretations of the pharisees. His teachings and actions revealed the true intent and spirit of God’s law, statutes, and prophets. Hope all continues to be well with you and yours. Great site!

    1. Yes, Jesus showed the true intent of the law and in so doing he also showed how far the people had moved from God himself. Strange, isn’t it? But I see it around here too. Thanks for your comment, Pete!

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