Jesus Keeping it Real

February 15, 2008

As I read the Bible, one of the things about Jesus that always intrigues me is his disgust at hypocrisy. If there ever was a man who was all about “keeping it real” it was Jesus. There were many problems with the established religious order (pharisees, scribes, etc) that Jesus publicly exposed. He was able to do this because of his fear of God and not his fear of man. Jesus didn’t care what people thought of him, but amazingly he didn’t sin while not caring like a lot of our maverick Christian leaders do. He “didn’t care” in a humble and powerful way. Of course, he could do this because He was God.

As Jesus is making his way towards Jerusalem to be crucified, he keeps it real with his disciples about how they should live as he talks to his disciples about prayer. Really, if we are not praying consistently we are missing out on the blessings of God by being conformed to his image and his will. He says,

“…I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in Heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” (Mark 11:24-25)

How many of us have read that first part of Jesus’ command and thought, “I can do that…” and then asked for selfish desires. However, how many times do we forget to dwell on the second part of Jesus’ command? He said that whenever we are praying, we should forgive others. Why does he say this?

Unforgiveness is a sin that has destroyed many relationships. In fact, if you watch movies, television and listen to popular music, you would not even know that forgiveness was a virtue worth emulating. The world tells us to make people pay when they wrong you…to stand up for yourself. However, Jesus commands us to forgive others. Amazingly, Jesus forgave those people who we would want to get even with. He even forgave those who killed him: the Jews, the Romans, and ourselves.

That’s my Lord: Jesus – teaching, forgiving, and keeping it real all the way up to his sacrificial death on the cross.