Jesus Meets the "Committee!"

Jesus Meets the "Committee!"

Hello there -- some of you know that I am Theo and I'm CR's administrative assistant here on Circuit Rider's Range. It is my responsibility to introduce you to this unusual narrative which involves Jesus meeting with a special "committee." Most of us are familiar with committees. It's almost impossible to move around in U.S. society without dealing with a committee or being influenced by some of them in one way or another. They exist in government, church groups, community organizations, social clubs, educational institutions, and just about anything else that has a degree of organization in its stated purpose of existence.

Now with that in mind, imagine for a moment that Jesus is here on earth as He was in the 1st Century. That is, He appears as a man as He did then and goes about teaching, preaching, and performing many miracles. But there is a "committee" which is determined to force Jesus to conform to the generally accepted standards of our day. It has made it its business to make sure that He is "politically correct" in attitude and vocal statements which He makes from time to time. After all, our society -- and that includes quite a number of church groups -- prides itself on our cultural "diversity" and "inclusiveness" regardless of race, creed, national origin, or sexual orientation!

This is no run-of-the-mill "committee" -- it is made up of religious leaders, including those from major religions of the world, political leaders, influential professionals such as sociologists, psychologists, professors in institutions of higher learning, lawyers, and corporate CEO's. There are 2 teen aged high school students and 2 college students on the "committee" who will reflect the prevailing views of the majority in those age groups. It was decided not to include representatives from a very small minority in those age groups who hold to such views as God being the Creator of all things as opposed to the humanistic evolutionist view of beginnings. This small minority of young people also holds to sexual abstinence before marriage, believing that sexual intimacy is valid only within the covenant of marriage. This is in sharp contrast to the majority in the younger age groups which believes sexual activity is OK -- best summarized in the statement, "Sex is fun with anyone or more than one anyone at the same time, anywhere, and at any time, day or night! Just do it 'safely!'"

The main reason given for excluding students with those very "narrow" and "simplistic" views was that only a few on the "fringe" hold to such views, and likely these would be very disruptive as the "committee" seeks to do its work.

The "committee" also includes representatives from the powerful media culture such as executives from the movie, TV, and music industries along with an actor and an actress who represent the Hollywood interests. Radio and TV talk show hosts/hostesses and powerful print media reps round out the membership of the "committee."

A meeting has been arranged and Jesus is to sit down for a "dialog" with the "committee." The announcement of the meeting stressed the critical nature of the scheduled session in order to insure that all members would be present.

Stated purpose of the meeting is to confront Jesus and see to it that He personally acknowledges His erroneous ideas and that He take immediate action to correct those ideas and the misleading teachings He has propagated as a result of those errors. By complying to the "committee's" demands, He will be able to reverse the very negative influence He has been having on individuals and families. The "committee" has evidence that there are people of all ages who are beginning to think, talk, and act as Jesus does with the result that serious disruptions and divisions have been taking place throughout United States society and the world at large!

The "committee" has put together an agenda of items which it hopes will enable Jesus to see just how greatly He is out of step with mainstream society, in conflict with the prevailing world view, and how important it is that He rethink His position on a number of vital issues.

You can have a sneak peak at the agenda -- and if there is an item you want to look at before the others, just click on that subject and you can go right to it:

The head of the "committee" -- a most fascinating specimen of humanity because she best represents the combined world view of the membership -- vigorously pounds with her gavel and then calls the meeting to order. Ms. Knowitall, chairperson of the "committee," looks coldly at Jesus and speaks:

"Jesus, there are those who are saying that you are God. It's very important that you set the record straight -- inform these misguided people that you are merely human as we are and nothing more than that. That you are simply a man who has talked about some noble principles for us humans to consider in daily living. To insist that you are God in human form is very upsetting to many people -- especially to those who follow religious groups other than Christianity."

Jesus immediately replies as His piercing eyes move from one face to another of those who are gathered at the table -- and as His eyes meet those of each individual, there is a nervous shifting of that individual's body in the chair and the eyes of the person quickly move downward to the table surface, giving the impression from the very beginning that each member of the "committee" would like to find a dark hole into which he or she might slither!

The words coming forth from Jesus' lips are unhurried and very distinct:

"I repeat what I personally said long ago as well as what has been stated about me in the eternal record:
'Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.' --- 'Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.' --- 'He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.'" [John 14:9,10; John 5:19-29; John 1:10-14]

With a grunt Ms. Knowitall continues:

"To pursue this issue further -- Christianity is but one of many expressions of faith in the world. There are some which have many millions of followers such as Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. We've been encouraged a bit when we hear of a number of professing Christians, including some church leaders, saying that these religious faiths are valid and legitimate and have as much right to address the issues of life, death, and destiny as does Christianity. It is further encouraging when we hear of dialog sessions taking place among religious groups with pastors and congregations of churches professing Christianity inviting those of other faiths to enter into discussions with each other. However, the problem is that radical element -- what many of us refer to as the "right-wing" extremist element -- those who are nothing less than "narrow-minded bigots" -- "fundamentalist Bible thumpers!" I'm sure, Jesus, that you get the picture as to whom we are referring -- those persons who insist that you are the exclusive and only way to experience and know God in a personal relationship -- to know peace and forgiveness -- to have the assurance of everlasting life and to be a citizen in your everlasting Kingdom. We insist that you inform those unreasonable followers of yours that these other religions are every bit as valid as Christianity and one can also know God through their teachings -- this thing of suggesting that such religions are false and only Christianity is true has got to cease!"

Jesus again is quick to respond and His gaze results in massive body and eye shifting -- it appears that the members of the "committee" are still looking for that hole! Jesus declares:

"My position has not changed in the least from the time I originally said:
'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. --- I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life. --- I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. --- I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. --- I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.' [John 14:6; John 8:12; John 10:9; John 6:35; John 11:25,26]

"Those whom you consider to be "narrow-minded bigots," etc. are simply agreeing with me and affirming what I said back in the 1st Century when I was here on earth. Your problem is not with those followers of mine who insist that the statements I just quoted are absolutely true, but rather your refusal to fully accept Who I really am and the authority of the revelation which has made all these facts about me perfectly clear!"

A louder grunt spews forth from Ms. Knowitall this time, but she presses on:

"Jesus, some of those who follow you are also quite narrow-minded on the issue of human sexuality. They insist that sexual expression and experience are confined to the marriage bond and shared only by husbands and wives within that bond. In attempting to establish their "case" for this myopic view they quote certain passages of Scripture on the subject. Now we have people on our "committee," including some who profess Christianity, who say that sexuality can be enjoyed and shared under a wide variety of circumstances. People need not be married to have enjoyable sexual experiences and it does not have to be limited to intimate experiences between males and females. Are you not aware that some prefer to be sexually intimate with members of their own sex -- men with men and women with women? And do you not know that there are also some who actually enjoy sexual activity with animals in these progressive times? And you know that you never said anything explicitly about same gender sex or having sex with animals when you were here the first time -- is that not right?"

Suddenly the room was filled with shouts of "Yes!" and "That's right!" -- the members of the "committee" seemed to be revived a bit as they mistakenly perceived that chairperson Ms. Knowitall had cleverly backed Jesus into a corner from which He could not escape!

Finally the raucous died down and Jesus very calmly -- and this in itself caused more body shifting and nervous twitches among members of the "committee" -- made His response:

"It is most unfortunate that you have deliberately chosen to be selective when it comes to the God given laws governing all moral behavior. You are guilty of two things: first, you try to confuse the issue by mixing in the temporary ceremonial laws as given under Moses regarding such things as food items with the unchanging moral laws which apply to all human behavior, and second, you attempt to confine those unchanging moral laws which address same gender sexual activity to certain cultures and time periods. In this you are no different from the Sadduceees who did not know the Scriptures nor the power of God (Matthew 22:29) and the Pharisees who always nullified the laws of God by their own traditions and interpretations (Matthew 15:3-9). Now try to think carefully and consider all the implications of what I said back in the 1st Century:
"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled." [Matthew 5:17,18]

With face contorted in anger and a clenched fist Ms. Knowitall retorted:

"Enough of that -- we'll determine our own moral standards as we see fit -- so far as we are concerned, there are no absolute moral standards. Everything is relative and we are accountable to no one. We do have our civil laws, but these are always subject to change from time to time. We encourage our young people to explore and determine their own value system, including their moral behavior, and whatever seems right to them, then that is the path to follow. Further, we stress that they should not be "judgmental" of others whose moral values are different from theirs. It's that fanatic group which follows you that creates so much conflict with their "judgmental" statements and attempts to impose their values on the rest of us! And you might as well know that we are sick and tired of having Bible verses thrown at us -- we have philosophers and professionals from many fields of learning who have written works that make more sense than the Bible!"

Jesus in carefully measured words replies:

"That is a major problem which affects the entire human race without exception. In the most deadly of all errors you believe you can determine solely by yourselves what is best and right and have ignored the clear warnings of God's special revelation on this subject which tells you:
'So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.' -- 'There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.' -- 'O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.'" [Deuteronomy 8:3 -- Proverbs 14:12 -- Jeremiah 10:23]

"Furthermore, you have completely ignored the reality of ultimate accountability as to what you have done with your individual lives on earth. I am the one before whom you will appear to be judged. I will judge both those who have been my faithful followers and those who refused to accept and obey me and my offer to them of pardon, salvation, and hope. Remember what I said a short time earlier:

'For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.'" [John 5:21-29]
"But I need to remind you of another statement I made back in the 1st Century which is being too often ignored even among the ranks of those who claim to follow me:
'Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!' Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. Now everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.'" [Matthew 7:21-27]

Ms. Knowitall's grunts by this time were supplemented by the staccato tapping of her pen on the table. She was in a situation unlike any she had ever faced before -- for the first time she was confronting a person she was unable to intimidate and control. In the past she had mastered the art of intimidating people with what she considered to be her superior knowledge. She had 2 Ph.D. degrees, had written a number of books, each of which had received rave reviews, and she was the hostess of a top rated TV talk show program which made Oprah W.'s seem like low quality amateur stuff! Finally she looked again at her agenda list, and then directed her icy "looks can kill" stare at Jesus and spoke:

Jesus, there are some among your followers who are very dogmatic about the fact that you are scheduled at some point in the future to come back to earth, and that this is not just to pay a visit, but to take over the whole planet and rule it! Do you have any idea just how troubling this teaching is? What about the governments already in place, including the United States? What is going to happen to the world leaders, and what will happen to the United Nations? This has got to be one of the most preposterous teachings ever advanced by the fringe element of those who claim to follow you. People believing such absurd things as that should be examined by psychiatrists! I appeal to you again -- please tell those deluded followers of yours who are spreading such things to stop immediately and admit they have been guilty of advancing heresy of the most destructive kind -- that there isn't a bit of truth in all this idea that you will return again to earth and take complete control of it. You are aware, are you not, that not all who claim to follow you accept this teaching that you will come back to earth again and that you will be revealed as "King of kings and Lord of lords." In fact, there are pastors in congregations professing to be Christian who deny your "second coming," as it is so often identified, or they simply say it's not important and doesn't really matter in the least.

Jesus, again as He has been doing all along, calmly in a very steady voice free from emotion replies:

"Nothing has changed over the centuries of time. I repeat what I said when I was here before in regard to my return to earth:
'For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.... Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.... But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.' [Matthew 24:27,30,31,37-42]

"I also repeat some of the facts about my return to earth as they were given to my servants through my Spirit:

'Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.".... For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.... Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.... Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.".... Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, and they also who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.' [Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; 1 John 3:1,2 Jude 14,15; Revelation 1:7]

"It is absolutely necessary that I return to earth again at the right moment. If I didn't the inhabitants of the earth would completely destroy themselves. Except for the few who have made proper preparation and are expecting me to return, my statement about this possibility has no meaning whatsoever:

'For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be. And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days. Then if anyone says to you, "Look, here is the Christ!" or, "Look, He is there!" do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand. But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in heaven will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.' [Mark 13:19-27]

"While you and your committee believe you are capable of resolving all human problems by means of your acquired knowledge and technology, you refuse to face the root source of all human problems on earth. Also you deliberately ignore the steady deterioration of the human race in the times prior to my return to earth. One of my servants spoke of the conditions which would be dominant throughout the whole earth:

'But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.'" [2 Timothy 3:1-7]

Ms. Knowitall was beginning to show the strain of this encounter -- she was becoming more and more irritated upon hearing things that were most unpleasant to her ears. The thought of Jesus returning to earth and ruling it was like a nightmare in its prospect to persons such as she who believed that it was not really necessary to even recognize that God existed. Humans are able to handle the affairs of this world sufficiently with their various abilities. With the help of the United Nations and a growing recognition of the accomplishments of different individuals who are from a variety of cultures, the world was truly becoming what many term to be a "global community." It is seen in people of different backgrounds, male and female, and of different "orientations" who are contributing to a world of peace and understanding. Ms. Knowitall proceeded to the next item on the agenda:

"Jesus, it is obvious that those peculiar followers of yours are not giving support to those who insist on quotas in our organizational structures -- at best they seem to be indifferent to this social improvement in our culture. For instance, it has become customary to have various organizations, including churches, reflect our diversity by being certain that all ethnic, gender, and age groups are included and represented. There is a large mainline denomination that has made a deliberate effort to have its various boards and agencies made up of individuals who are members of minority groups, youth, and females in proportionate numbers serving in various positions. In its book of regulations it spells out formulas to be followed as persons are placed on agencies, boards, and committees. In fact this denomination to which I refer is a showcase model for others to follow. Thanks to the implementing of the formulas, there is a sure guarantee that such diversity will take place within its many organizational structures. By means of photo ops a visible witness clearly shows the world that the denomination is color blind and prejudice free as it celebrates its diversity! Now then, why do those followers of yours -- the ones we declare to be nothing less than "fanatics" -- not give more support to the practice of formulas and quotas to insure equal representation in organizational structures?"

The committee has learned by this time that Jesus gives no indication that He is under pressure -- there are no nervous mannerisms -- it's like He already knows what the question is going to be and what He is going to say in response to each issue that is raised by the chairperson. Since this latest question is extremely important to them, they listen intently -- and He responds:

"Be aware that when I was here in the 1st Century I did not make an issue of quotas and formulas in the make up of any organization, nor did I stress that it was to be practiced in the church which I said I would build. And when I selected the 12, notice that I didn't even have one female in the group, nor did I attempt to make the group racially "inclusive" as you apply the term at the present time. My standard then, and it has never changed, is that all persons no matter their gender, age, or racial identity, are called to repent of all their sins and believe on me as Savior and Lord. Through my Spirit I will transform their lives and they will be lifted above the prejudicial barriers that divided them because of gender, age, or race. They will be delivered from the temptation to use formulas and enforce quotas for public display which does nothing more than feed human pride which has no place in my Kingdom and in the lives of those who are truly a part of it. The eternal record is clear on how one is identified when one's life has been transformed by me:
'For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus....If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you also once walked when you lived in them. But now you must also put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.' [Galatians 3:27,28; Colossians 3:1-11]

"You are very much in error on this matter of diversity. As mentioned in the eternal record, those who have repented of their sins, and have placed their faith and trust in me as their Savior and Lord, are not preoccupied with quotas and diversity. As a result you will not find them celebrating diversity, but rather they celebrate their unity which is experienced in literally knowing and obeying me -- the barriers that existed in the unregenerate state are removed through their spiritual experience of the new birth. They know from personal experience about the "oneness" for which I prayed, and that is the basis for celebrating. My servant John spoke of this in the eternal record (John 17). Celebrating and drawing attention to diversity does nothing more than cause more division. It is sad and most tragic that you are unwilling to meet the conditions I have established for experiencing true unity."

Ms. Knowitall struggled to regain her composure and knew that her blood pressure was reaching a dangerous level. Her doctor had warned her about getting into stressful situations, but when she had been asked to head up the "committee" it was too great an opportunity to pass up -- it was a very high profile position and it was also a powerful position which would enable her to dominate a lot of men -- this would be most enjoyable to her! Her ego was breaking free from what little restraints had previously existed. She attempted to push aside thoughts of future glory and continue with the business at hand. Members of the "committee" were now engaging in side conversations with one another as people on a committee are prone to do at times. Again, the gavel came crashing down as Ms. Knowitall in a very irritated voice said:

Jesus, it is a matter of record that you made at least 4 very unreasonable demands on all members of the human race. One that has provoked discussion and at times much confusion is about this thing of being "born again." There are those within the churches which claim to be Christian who admit they're not quite sure what this is about and are very uncertain regarding their personal experience in this matter. There are members of the clergy who express similar sentiments about this subject. In order to be more fair why don't you just sort of summarize everything by saying, "As long as a person is sincere in what he or she believes, that will be quite sufficient and will more than satisfy the requirements of finding acceptance in the sight of God?"

By now the members of the "committee" have been deliberately looking down or else up to the ceiling if they suspect that Jesus is going to direct His piercing gaze in their direction -- they have never been so uncomfortable in the presence of anyone before -- it's like He is looking right into their very souls and He sees everything that is there -- even those many things they thought they had conveniently concealed from the sight and knowledge of others!

Suddenly they are jolted from their disturbed thoughts as Jesus responds to Ms. Knowitall's latest challenge:

"Those who meet my demands, which are within the realm of possibility for every person to meet, know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I have touched and transformed their lives by the power of my Spirit. Further, it is through my Spirit that I bear witness that such a miracle has taken place. Those who express their doubts and denials about this have not had the experience and in their blindness fail to see that they are fulfilling the Scripture which says, 'But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.'" (1 Corinthians 2:14).

"For your benefit I again repeat those demands which will not in any way be altered and I also repeat the words of my servant, Paul, which I gave to him through my Spirit. It is your choice as to what you will do with them:

'Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. --- I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. --- Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. --- Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me....It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. --- For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.... Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.'" [Matthew 18:3; Luke 13:3; John 3:3; John 6:53-57,63; Romans 8:14-17; 2 Corinthians 5:17]

By this time Ms. Knowitall and most of the members of the "committee" were livid -- murmurings and mutterings filled the room as "committee" members expressed their frustrations over the fact that Jesus was being totally unreasonable and unwilling to compromise even a little bit on every issue which had been presented to Him. It was quite evident that He was not observing the proper protocol for a "dialog" session -- that is, both sides show respect for each other and show a sincere willingness to yield here and there on their original positions so that a peaceful resolution to the differences takes place, and Jesus had not budged even an inch in all this discussion! It was beginning to look more and more like a hopeless situation. Maybe if enough pressure would be brought to bear upon that radical element of His followers then they will eventually back down and be willing to "dialog" as some seem to be doing already!

Suddenly a loud noise -- almost like an explosion or maybe a gun shot fills the air -- many "committee" members jump upright in their seats -- they settle down a bit as they realize Ms. Knowitall has come down with her gavel with a ferocious force as though she were trying to drive it all the way through the table top -- extreme frustration can affect a person that way!

At this point Ms. Knowitall's countenance was such that one could almost see flames in her eyes and venom dripping from the corners of her mouth! In her typical high pitched nasal tone she spoke for the final time:

Jesus, we've tried to be reasonable and to have you see how certain persons who follow you are creating serious problems everywhere. By their rigid insistence that you are God, that you the only way of salvation for eternity, that only Christianity is the true and legitimate faith expression in the world, that you are returning again to rule the world, that the code for human moral behavior and relationships is very restrictive, that you have made 4 absolute demands upon humans for experiencing acceptance in the sight of God, etc., we have not only disruptive conflicts within society at large but even within churches which profess your name.

In light of this, and because you apparently refuse to correct your radical followers, we will make every effort to silence them. We will embark upon a campaign to identify and label them as being right-wing extremists, intolerant, bigots, homophobic, unloving, and very unChristian! Need I remind you that we are dominant in the avenues of the mass media, and very powerful people such as are represented on our "committee" control much of what takes place in movie productions, TV programming, radio, and the print media. Even now TV ads are in place that remind the public of prejudice in society -- we picture children with captioned words such as "sexist" and "racist." And we include in these words the word "homophobe." It's a message that says clearly that children pick up on the prejudices of their parents. We are also pressing for expanded "hate crimes" legislation which will eventually make it a crime for anyone to even speak against certain lifestyles as being sinful. This has become necessary because of those radical followers of yours who call sodomy and lesbianism an abomination and publicly preach against it and denounce it. And be assured that under certain conditions we will use force if necessary to put an end to what that fringe element which follows you may attempt to do in spreading such things as we have discussed here today.

Around the table heads begin to nod in agreement -- sort of like those bobbing heads you see on figures that people put in their car's rear window area -- but no one is speaking as they wait for Jesus to respond. There is an extended moment of very awkward silence -- almost as though Jesus is giving them an opportunity to think through what has just been said -- the threat which was not concealed the least bit. He speaks:

"My followers sometimes tend to forget what I said about how they will get along in this world, and what some regard as very strange and unreal statements on my part. So again I say as I did in the 1st Century:
'A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household! Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to "set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law." And "a man's foes will be those of his own household." He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me....If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, "A servant is not greater than his master." If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, "They hated Me without a cause." But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning. These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me... Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.' [John 15:18-27; John 16:1-3; Matthew 10:24-40; Matthew 24:9,10]

"The message of my true followers will be about my love for every human being, including you who are gathered at this table. I have commanded them to go into all the world and share the message of the salvation, peace, and hope that I made possible. They will do this in love -- my true followers will never threaten violence nor resort to violence in an effort to force people to believe in me, nor will they attempt to pass laws which force people to accept me and the way of Christianity. The message will be proclaimed and the decision to believe or not believe will always rest with those to whom the message has been directed. Remember what is written in the eternal word about me:

'For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.... For He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.... Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree")....who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed.' [John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13; 1 Peter 2:24]

"My true followers also are fully aware of the future glory and rewards which await them when they move from this life into eternity. This of course means nothing to you at the present moment, but it is a source of comfort and encouragement to them as they deal with the elements of this world. There are many statements in the eternal record about this. I will mention but a few -- perhaps you might think about them before you go to sleep tonight:

'Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also....He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God....But hold fast what you have till I come. And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations; "He shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the potter's vessels shall be broken to pieces;" as I also have received from My Father; and I will give him the morning star....He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels....Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful." And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son."'" [John 14:1-3; Revelation 2:7,25-27; 21:5-7]

Jesus sat quietly for a moment after His final statement. It was then for some unexplained reason that all eyes were focused on Him, and slowly His eyes moved from person to person, pausing briefly as He met the gaze of each member of the "committee" -- and last of all, He looked into the eyes of Ms. Knowitall. He said nothing as He looked at her, and then quietly got up and exited the room. Finally and in a voice that was shaken by emotion, Ms. Knowitall declared the meeting to be adjourned.

It has been rumored that the members of the "committee" have not been sleeping well at night, and their appetites are practically non-existent! They admit as the meeting concluded with Jesus looking into their faces one by one that never had they experienced such an overwhelming expression of love directed toward them as they had in that moment. Even the chairperson was making an open admission of confession about this experience -- a feeling that this Jesus loved her and all members of the "committee" with a love that was so different from anything they had ever known before. What if those accused of being his radical, narrow-minded, and intolerant followers are really correct in what they say about Him? What if......????

By the way -- in the foregoing drama featuring Jesus meeting the "committee," with whom do you most easily identify -- Jesus or Ms. Knowitall and the members of her "committee"? It's one or the other, you know

A tragic fact is that the majority of this world's population plus a number within the ranks of professing Christianity do not realize or deliberately refuse to recognize that each person will ultimately give a personal accounting to Jesus Christ as to what he/she has done with his/her life on earth -- most crucial will be the choice regarding repentance of all sin and the acceptance of Jesus as personal Savior and Lord -- note statements about this:

"For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him."

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. -- John 5:21-23; Philippians 2:5-11 (NKJV)

Notice that Allah and other deities of different religious expressions in the world have absolutely no place or status in this climactic event!

What choice have you made regarding Jesus Christ and the place He has in your life?

It is time for You to act, O LORD, for they have regarded Your law as void. Therefore I love Your commandments more than gold, yes, than fine gold! Therefore all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right; I hate every false way. Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them.
(Psalm 119:126-129)


January 29, 2003
Revised & updated - August 12, 2004
by Clayton D. Harriger
Elder in Full Connection
W. PA Annual Conference
The United Methodist Church
and presently pastor of
Gipsy Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Gipsy PA

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