The Consternation of an Unfinished Arguement
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When Jesus gets Angry
When Jesus gets Angry
First, allow me to thank our Bishop for this opportunity to serve in this capacity. It is always a pleasure to serve at DBC and for that I am grateful. I would also like to thank His Grace for the choosing of this topic. When Jesus gets Angry. On first glance of the topic, one who would not know the context that is DBC, would wonder what kind of church is this? One who does know this church and does not have its best interest at heart would speak against such a topic being spoken within the confines of these hollowed halls. But I am grateful, as a man who is unapologetically Christian and African American. First, one of the things we learn as a Pastor is that series preaching has many benefits but the one should appreciate here is that series preaching allows all involved to go through process. As believers, we all go through process. It is the denial of process that leads to an unhealthy individual. If you want to be a well round philosopher, you cannot read one philosophy and not grapple with opposing ideas. That grappling is the process by which one becomes well rounded. The process often allows one to appreciate even the consternation as a valuable point in the process that successfully makes one whole. So much so that when observing younger philosophers going through their process, the seasoned philosopher will not interfere in that process. When have, as victims of a Euro-Centric Christianity, been battered into believing that anger is somehow out of the prevue of a believing African American Christian and have been sold this version of Christ that never gets angry. Once we have applied credulity to this conjured Saviour , we have been encouraged to endure abuse as longsuffering and been told that anger is not Godly. Believing that has made us unhealthy Christians. So Bishop, Thank you for having go through this process that we might understand that we are crazy. Wrong in the scripture is met with opposition and that we have the right and the responsibility to oppose wrong, injustice and unrighteousness.
One of the more awesome and liberating things to see in this series during Passion week is how authentic Christ is and how we should behave in similar instances. By this I mean, we have seen Jesus get angry but sin not.
Now the pericope we want top examine today is another passage where we are privy to some consternation facilitated by some interesting people but let’s look at it in context. I tell IHP, just about every Sunday, “any text, taking out of context, is a pretext for a misunderstanding”. It is always vital to understand context when reading scripture. Its important to know context even in our contemporary pursuits. It’s important to know context when listening to music. If one is singing opera, especially in another language, it is sung better if the singer understands what he/she is singing and what the context of the lyrics are. Even listening to music today. I understand Jay-Z better because I understand the context of living in Brooklyn. I have traverse through Marcy Projects and know the a bit about the life one must live in that context. So Perspective is vital.
Jesus, is an itinerant preacher/teacher who has been born from less than ideal circumstances, to a family not part of the aristocratic sect, proclaim to be King. He is preaching God’s requirement that his people take on a radical righteousness, that is at odds with the more comfortable faith tradition and is winning followers and this success is causing problems. This Jesus never sought or recieved the approbation of the ruling Religious authorities and in doing so caused problems because along with his radical words he was performing miracles. It’s easy to dismiss theology but its harder to do with a guy like Lazarus standing next you calling him LORD. This is one of the things America gets twisted. Christianity is not just truth claims, it’s lives that have been changed that makes it hard to fight against. Our problem, is we keep trying to reason with and unbelieving opposition instead of exposing the new creature that Christ has made with Love alone. He is successful, not because he has a big church and owns half the city, or because the rulers will not a move without him. Jesus is successful because Barthemeus could not see and now he can. He is successful because the woman with an issue of blood, no longer has the issue. He is successful a centurion said to him, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. Jesus is successful because when the doctor told you get your affairs in order, You Prayed and called on Jesus and everything changed. Jesus is successful because you were once a Muslim, trying to find God and God saved you. But success comes with a price.
True success comes with enemies. Bishop, I have learned to be leery when every body enjoys your success. I believe that when no one opposes what you’re doing for God, check it. Especially in ministry. When telling an UnGodly people, they must give up what they like to conform to what God likes and suffer the indignation people in the process, is by definition an offenses position. I am not saying be offensive for the sake of being offensive, but be pleasing to God. Even if it cost you, do it God’s way.
Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
So this successful Jesus has opposition. The text tells us in verse 15,
Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.
Then the Pharisees met together to plot how to trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested.
Here is something I have learned. Your opposition will not “shot from the hip”. Why do you? They plan. they strategize, you, use your feelings and wonder why it did not work out the way you thought it should. Some of us, were sold a bill of goods. We think, if we have the Holy Ghost we don’t need to plan or study or take counsel. Some of us need to understand that God has his strategy sessions on Wednesday night, it’s called Bible Study. We need to have a strategy as well.
The plan was clear. “How they might entangle him in his talk”, in the NLT “to trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested”. Say something they know would be incendiary. I posit, that they could not do this without knowing something about his theology in the first place. Someone in their ranks came to church on Sunday morning and enjoyed the choir. Might have even come up for prayer to get the full benefit of the theological position. Everyone who praises you is not for you!! To know how to trap him, they would need to know what he has said before, maybe know what his position is. Back then even without youtube, you could hold someone to there position because you were present. Today................
So verse sixteen (16) says something rather interesting. Once the Pharisees have plotted, they sent their disciples. They were not bold enough to do the dirty work themselves. But the interesting thins=g about this text is not that they sent the disciples but that they sent them with the Herodians. Now this is interesting. One of the great tools one uses when developing a hermeneutic is to ask questions. Often we find that little distinctions are not so little. The Herodians were a political party. They were not disciples of a competing religious group they were a political party that was loyal to Herod. As a matter of fact, Herodians are mention in the New Testament only Three times. Twice in Mark and once in Matthew. It is sad that the ideals or ideologies of the Herodians and the Sadducees are just about indistinguishable. What I am saying is that the Pharisees and the Herodians are actually rivals. They did not like each other but even then, your enemies will team up with you if it means getting you out of the way.
Also, why do we as a church, allow politicians to tell us what we should be preaching. Today, we have Gay politicians trying to tell the church how we should preach. As long as they are on television we buy into whatever Christ they want us to preach. Even in Jesus’ time, politicians will try to shape the narrative for the church.
How did they do it, by trying to appear conciliatory.
And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.
They sent some of their disciples, along with the supporters of Herod, to meet with him. “Teacher,” they said, “we know how honest you are. You teach the way of God truthfully. You are impartial and don’t play favorites.
If this is the case then here is our question: