Early June I preached a message by the same title – the Jesus List. Some of you know that I have made a practice of what I call the “gospel loop”. What I mean by the gospel loop is I’m always reading through the gospels and when I finish with the gospel of John, I loop back to Matthew and start reading again. Matthew / Mark / Luke / John / Repeat /
The point for me is to watch Jesus act and maneuver through everyday, real-life situations. I want to hear him respond to questions, when does he answer a question, when is his answer another question. As we listen, we learn and then as we find ourselves in everyday, real-life situations we have an opportunity to practice and pay attention to those things Jesus paid attention to. Out of this came THE JESUS LIST.
Some of those things we know and we are called to respond and practice. Love God, Love People…Serve One Another…Be the Light…Feed the Hungry…Heal the Sick…Bless those Who Curse You. What follows is a list of 5 things that Jesus paid attention to. 5 things that need to begin showing up on our everyday radar.
1). JESUS INVESTED IN PEOPLE (1 Thessalonians 2:4). Jesus spent time with people, he ate with them, he walked with them, laughed and wept with them. He has entrusted the gospel message, the Jesus story, to them..to US! God has entrusted the STORY to ordinary people – calling us to do the same thing knowing that God will do the extra-ordinary.
2). JESUS SAW LONG & FAR (John 17:20). Jesus passed The Message, entrusted the Message to ordinary people who would pass The Message along to other ordinary people, who would pass The Message to… – you get the picture. Eventually, THE MESSAGE came to us, you and me, living in the 21st century! Jesus lived way beyond “the moment” and saw the long and far implications of this movement. If you read the text from John, he prayed for us 2,000 years ago. If we live only on the edge of what’s urgent, or the current crisis, and only deal with “now”, we shorten our vision. I’m not sure I know how to pray for people who are 2,000 years away, but I’m pretty sure I can begin praying for the grandchildren yet to be born!
3). JESUS SENT PEOPLE ON MISSION (Luke 9:1,2; 10:1,2). As Jesus poured His life into those around Him, he wasn’t trying to gather up the biggest entourage in the game. Jesus wasn’t known as the “attractional” Rabbi. He drew people to Him only to send them away in mission. Come Follow…now GO DO! Tom Bandy tells the story of The now extinct Passenger Pigeon in his book, Moving off the Map. It’s a story of chicken sized pigeons who loved being around other passenger pigeons so much they only gathered and clustered with those who were like them. Hunters became wise to this characteristic and because of generational in-breeding the genetic pool became weak and birth-rates dropped. Enough said!
4). JESUS GRIEVED FOR LOST COMMUNITIES (Luke 19:41,42; Matthew 23:37). Jesus wept over whole communities that were broken and “shepherd-less”. He understood the “lost” as those who are greatly treasured and missing. His heart was moved with compassion, which gave birth to kingdom action.
5). JESUS LED A BALANCED LIFE (Mark 1:35-37; Matthew 15:35). I am convinced that this is a life-long pursuit. When you think life is in balance a wave comes, the wind blows, and the quest for balance begins again! Jesus invested in people. Jesus met the crowd and retreated from the crowd. Jesus spent time alone with the Father.