I think the best way I could describe what Jesus was about is to provide you with his inspired wisdom. He said the greatest commandment was to love God realizing that if we didn’t acknowledge a higher power why would we care about how we acted? If I grew up without parents guiding me I don’t know how out of control I would’ve become.
Without following the first commandment why would we care if we fulfilled his second commandment and that’s to love one another? He turned love into a verb: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it isn’t proud. It does not dishonor others, it isn’t self-seeking, it isn’t easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” I wonder how many marriages throughout the ages have used the above scripture (1 Corinthians 13:4-7), with some not even knowing it came from the Bible?
Jesus knew these two most important commandments would address most problems in society. Why do people steal? Why do people kill? Why do marriages fail? Why do people lie? Jesus had the answers and they’re found in his true description of love.
Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is the greatest speech by far that I’ve ever read. He makes it clear that we were placed here to make a positive difference in the lives of others and if we don’t, we waste our purpose for living. He wants us to take care of the disadvantaged. Where I live in Charlotte, North Carolina, there are several Christian organizations downtown that take care of clothing, food, and housing for people in need. This is what Jesus was talking about.
He said things that for men back then didn’t go over very well like showing respect for their wives. I hate to put it this way, but a lot of women were there to serve men just like any slave would. Jesus said that God doesn’t want a man to leave his wife because he no longer wants to be with her that instead he must file for divorce for legitimate reasons (like infidelity), or not get divorced at all. He said that adultery angers God. He said men could only have one wife. He certainly wasn’t telling men what they wanted to hear. Jesus’ focus was on maintaining the foundation of marriage because of its impact on a community. If you think about it, he had a hard sell yet people were flocking in the thousands to hear him.
Jesus was adamant that we shouldn’t judge other people but instead work on our own faults and then when we’re perfect (never going to happen), then we can help others with their imperfections. He said focus on today and don’t concern yourself with worrying about the future and what might happen. Mark Twain did a great job of describing this when he said: “I’ve been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.” Jesus was trying to get across the point to not worry about tomorrow because today has enough worries for itself.
He was adamant that Christians should do what they say they’re going to do when they say they’re going to do it. Jesus knew that trust was a key component in demonstrating love to other people. Jesus knows Christians won’t be perfect, but he wants us to do the best we can, with whatever we can, when we can. We’ll mess up sometimes and not live up to our Christian standards, but we shouldn’t give up but instead get up every day and try again.
Jesus stressed the importance of not focusing on things but instead people. As someone once said, “You can’t take it with you.” This mindset regarding what he was preaching is directly in line with what he was teaching about love. Not all people, but some, get so caught up into climbing the corporate ladder that they neglect co-workers, family, friends, etc. Jesus was saying in so many words that when some people reach the top of the ladder there’s often a feeling of emptiness and a lot of damage can be done while climbing up that negatively affects relationships, sometimes irritable damage.
I could go on and on about Jesus’ teachings, but I’ll stop here. As for me, I believe he was the Son of God, but I readily admit that I don’t blame agnostics and atheists for not believing because it’s a real leap of faith. But I’ve got to say that atheists take a leap of faith themselves by believing in some scientists. It’s called a “The Big Bang Theory” not “The Big Bang Law of Creation.” I’ve researched the topic extensively and some of these scientists really took liberties in reference to their ability to predict time. They’re saying the Big Bang occurred 40 billion years ago; let this sink in. Scientists use carbon dating when trying to evaluate the age of a fossil and even it’s subject to scrutiny because its accuracy can’t possibly be proven. What I’m getting at is people who believe in Jesus certainly aren’t the only ones walking by faith and not by sight.
Even if someone doesn’t believe Jesus was the Son of God, I challenge him to not appreciate his teachings. The fact is, if people would live as he wants us to live, the world would be a much better place. As for me, I can tell you there’s no doubt the people who have been in my life have benefited from me believing in Jesus’ teachings so if in the end I’m wrong about him being the Son of God, at least I will have made a more positive difference in the lives of others during my life’s journey. I can live with that.