You hear that a lot. Let Jesus be your guide.
Show me your ways, Lord,Psalm 25:4-5
teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
But what kind of guide does a first century nomadic Palestinian Jew make for 21st Century people?
Jesus never had a spouse, or kids or even a real job. Jesus never knew any kind of technology beyond fire and the wheel. Jesus never had to manage a Twitter feed or deal with trolls on a world wide scale.
What would Jesus do if he had told his three kids to clean up their rooms five times and the rooms were still disasters? Would he say “Peace be with you” or reign down the wrath of God on their heads?
What would Jesus do if he and his spouse had a disagreement over how to spend the household budget? Capitulate to keep the peace? Pull a water-into-wine kind of miracle and just make more money?
What would Jesus do with an earthly boss who was a jerk? Attempt to change his heart or just curse him out?
What would Jesus do if a computer virus wiped out every parable he ever told?
I know. I know. That would never happen. Because Jesus saves. (Apologies.)
But Jesus is our guide. Our guide on how to treat each other, how to serve God’s creation, how to worship and how to draw closer to God . One of the places Jesus can really be our guide is through our study of the scriptures. And on this, I implore you, let Jesus be your guide.
Recently CNN’s Don Lemon talked with Christian Ethics professor David Gushee about why Franklin Graham and other evangelicals are so vehement in what Gushee calls their “harmful and inappropriate” rhetoric against LGBTQ people.
Well, I think what we’re talking about here is a long history of selective biblical literalism that takes certain passages or sentences, strands of the Bible, severs them from the heart and example of Jesus and ends up using that selective literalism to hurt people. It’s a long history of that from anti-Semitism to grotesque sexism, support for slavery, colonialism, segregation, even the exclusion of divorced people from the church, and right now, the main battleground is LGBTQ inclusion.Dr. David P. Gushee
When people sever passages of the Bible from the heart and example of Jesus, they often turn the Bible into a weapon. They use it to defend what they already want to believe and to cause harm to others. As Gushee points out, this kind of misuse of the scriptures has been happening since time (or the Bible) began, but right now the LGBTQ community is the object of its ire.
But if we let Jesus to be our guide as we study scriptures, if we allow ourselves to consider all that we read throughout the scriptures in light of the work and words and witness of Jesus Christ, then we can guard against using God’s Holy Word to merely further our own ideas and agendas.
Jesus may not know what it’s like to have your spouse forget to do the dishes or to have to deal with a hostile FB thread, but He can still be our guide–particularly when it comes to the reading, understanding and application of God’s Word