Look at my Servant, whom I have chosen. He is my Beloved, who pleases me. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. He will not fight or shout or raise his voice in public. He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. Finally, he will cause justice to be victorious. And his name will be the hope of all the world.
Relate: Nietzsche had a problem with Christianity. He felt it was a weak and effeminate religion. His animosity went so far that he even called himself an “anti-christ.” Even still, as much as Nietzsche hated Christianity, he did laud Christ. He called Jesus the one and only true Christian and said of him that he was “blessed in peace, in gentleness, and the inability to have enemies.” Nietzsche wasn’t the only outspoken anti-Christian who had nothing but good to say of Jesus. In personality and teachings, Gandhi is probably about as opposite from Nietzsche as one can get. He believed Jesus to be one of the great teachers of the world but he also said, “I like your Christ, but not your Christianity.”
Praise for Jesus was of the first things that someone would say to me in Turkey when they are first meeting me and find out that I am a Christian. “I love Jesus just like you do.” Most of the time I wouldn’t say it, but my first thought was always, “No you don’t.” Imagine a man coming up to his friend and saying, “I love your wife just as much as you do. Then he goes on to describe her as a tall redheaded firecracker. The problem being this guy’s wife is barely over five feet, she’s blonde, and she is the most softspoken person you could meet. I could picture him responding, “You love someone, but that’s not my wife.” When I hear and read about the distorted picture of Jesus described in Islam my only response can be, “You love someone, but that’s not my Jesus.”
React: Pretty much any religion and every person everywhere love the idea of Jesus. It doesn’t matter if they are Hindi, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, or atheist, the idea of Jesus is universally one of love and peace and hope and justice and goodness. This scripture says that Jesus will proclaim justice to the nations. Even in those places where the message of the church has made very little headway, they know who Jesus is and what he is all about. Even as warped as it might be, even though they might have no idea who Jesus truly is, there is no question what he is like.
I wonder why the same cannot be said of the church? We are supposed to be Christians. We are supposed to be reflections and representations of Jesus to our world. So why is it that so many people from so many different places in the world and so many different walks in life love Jesus but hate the church? Could it be that we are doing this thing called Christianity all wrong? Where Jesus is known as the hope for the world, right or wrong, the Church is too often known for its hatred. This seems especially true right now in America where so many who claim to follow Christ have made an idol of a particular political ideology. The way that so many are continuing to cling to that idol, worshipping their form of nationalism and calling it Christianity is a black eye to a more true understanding of Jesus and what he would be about. Maybe it is past time we stop praising Trump and start living Jesus.
Help me to be more like You. Help my church, and the Church, be more like You. When people look at me, let them see Your love. Let them experience Your peace. Let my life radiate hope and my actions promote justice and goodness. Let me… let the Church be the representation of You that it has always meant to be.
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To read previous devotionals taken from the January 17th The River Walk devotionals click below: