We moved Gabby into her dorm room last week. It was a great experience…for the most part. The college did a great job. They had dozens of people on hand to carry our stuff up to the new room. Which was amazing, since it was 86-degrees that day, and her room was on the 4th floor (no elevator). However, there was one part of the day that did not go so well.
Denise and Gabby had stopped at IKEA to pick up a few things for the dorm room. It was easier to pack them before they were assembled. That meant dad got to assemble them in the 86-degree heat of the 4th floor non air-conditioned room. It was a simple set of wire shelves. And after glancing at the instructions, I dove in. Thirty minutes of frustrations later, I discovered that the screws came in 2 different lengths, and I had used the wrong ones in the drawers instead of the stand…and so, I spent 15 minutes taking it apart and 15 more minutes putting it back together. The outside of the box said, minimal assembly required – 20 minutes. But doing it in my way took an hour…a sweaty, frustrating hour.
Isn’t that the way of life? Whenever we glance at something, we assume we know, and do it. We end up doing it the wrong way, or the long way. Or end up with parts left over, uncertain when everything may just collapse. There is a right way to live life. We were designed on purpose. I like to think of this way as the Jesus way.
When Jesus came to earth, He came to do more than just save our sins. He came to show us a new way of life. A way that integrated God’s truth with real living. A way of rest and good works. A way of life that was balanced and healthy.
Experts in interpreting the Bible have an ongoing conversation and debate. Is the Bible descriptive or prescriptive? In other words, are the people we see in the Bible examples for us to learn from or patterns of how we ought to live? Do they show us godly principles in their successes and failures? Or do we need to copy their lives and experiences? When it comes to lives like David or Moses or Peter or Samuel, I would say their example is descriptive of how they found God’s principles and lived them. But when it comes to Jesus, His life is prescriptive – it's not just showing us a way, it is showing us THE way to live. The Jesus Way.
For the entire fall, we will study the life of Jesus. But not the parts we talk about every year. Every year we talk about His birth around Christmas and His death and resurrection around Easter. But when Jesus was not busy being born, growing up, or preparing to die on a cross, how did He live? In the three years that Jesus did ministry between His baptism and His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, what did He do? When life was His to create and accomplish what God wants for a human being, how did Jesus live?
As we look at His life in Mark 1-11, we will see the Jesus way. We will see the way that Jesus lived. We will see the balance to His life. We will see the real priorities of life.
This study will take us longer than the normal teaching series. We don’t want to just glance at the directions and then try this on our own. We’ll end up putting screws in the wrong places and need to redo everything to get to the right way later. So together, we will look at the ministry years of Jesus and ask – how do we live life the Jesus way?
I know this. When we look at Jesus and get His life fixed in our minds and hearts, we won’t need to fear complex directions, or unclear futures. We’ll find and balance and right way to build life – even when the heat is on.
Looking forward to this series with you…