Which Side?

Posted: October 26, 2009 in Justice, Lessons, Peace

I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoy our Sunday Bible class. If the only advantage to Malibu living was that particular class, it would be worth it.

John Wilson is the teacher, and he is the reason behind my high praise. Recently, John told us a little about Capernaum, the place Jesus called “home” as an adult. John is one of the leading experts in the world on Capernaum – how would you like to be one of the leading experts in the world on Jesus’s hometown?

John is unable to teach from time to time. When that happens, Randy Chesnutt fills in for him. This is like pinch hitting Alex Rodriguez for Albert Pujols.

Anyway, of all the cool classes, this past Sunday’s was one of my all-time favorites. We are working through the Gospel of Mark verse by verse (worth a mention – working through one of the Gospels verse by verse is my favorite Bible study all by itself!). We were spending some time in the early part of Mark chapter two when John mentioned an assignment he used to give his college Bible students. He would ask them to take a piece of paper, draw a line down the middle, and read through a Gospel noting on one side of the line the type of people Jesus had good things to say about, and on the other side the type of people Jesus have negative things to say about.

You could guess the results. John said the big surprise was how overwhelming the actual data turned out to be. The positive interactions were with the common people, the “sinners.” The negative interactions were with the religious leaders.

John almost seemed embarrassed to say it out loud, but he said that “the church today” has come nowhere close to comprehending the ramifications of this data. He said he has no political agenda and is no “bleeding heart” or anything, but the data is undeniable. There is a “side” that is the problem for Jesus. There is a “side” that Jesus takes.

I wanted to stand and applaud.

What this data means for those of us claiming to follow Jesus today is a discussion worth having.

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