Murals (2008) by PHANTAST - Graffiti - Cultural Music & Art Association inc. - 98 Milne St. Benleigh



This is a summary of HIS preaching and teaching. It is JESUS AND HIS TEACHING in a nutshell. CRISIS is the best word to use for the arrival of Jesus. It is a word which originally meant a point of decision, or a turning-point. That is just what Jesus brought. But it was a double crisis. Jesus announced that something big was happening- and He called on people to do something about it. The gospel of Jesus brought an historical crisis and a personal crisis.

HISTORICAL CRISIS. "The right time has come, the kingdom of God is near"! These words would have rung loud bells in the ears of Jesus' hearers. Jesus was saying, 'All you have been looking forward to in the future is now, here. This is zero time. The time has come. God is about to act in a new and powerful way. Many, of course, simply would not believe Him, especially those who knew Him from his home town. He tried to explain who He was in Nazareth's synagogue one sabbath day - one who fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament - they thought it was a dangerous blasphemy.

PERSONAL CRISIS. "Turn away from your sins and believe the good news!" This are the 1st recorded commands of Jesus. For Him was not just declaring facts, He was calling for a response - challenging people to make a decision about what God was doing. Wherever He went, people found themselves confronted with a personal crisis by what He did and said. People were either for Him or against Him. They could not be neutral about Jesus once they had heard  His massage and seen what He had done. He told people to do 2 things: turn and trust.

1. Turn. Some versions of the Bible use the word 'repent', but the basic meaning of the word Jesus used was to turn right round and face the opposite direction. Sin has made us turn away from God and go our own way, so we have to turn away from our sin and let God have control of our lives. This means that a lot of things are turned upside down. Jesus told many upside down stories; they have shocking and unexpected endings. The things that we often rely on - wealth, ambition - were shown to be useless, or even dangerous. Look out for examples: the beatitudes  (Matthew 5:1); love your enemies (Matthew 5:1); Like a child (Matthew 18:1); losing life and gaining it (Luke 9:23); the rich fool (Luke 12:13)...

2. Trust.  Jesus' second command was a call for faith. He asked people to have faith in the good news, which really meant faith in Himself, since He was the good news in person. The diciples soon learned that following Jesus called for total commitment and absolute trust. He told them that they should refuse to be anxious or worried over the daily necessities of life. If God is put first, He will see to the rest. It is not an easy lesson to learn - then and now. It runs contrary to what we call common sense. We get obsessed with money and possessions because we like to feel secure and provided for. And we live in a world where such things are the dominant concern of most people. But in the midst of such a world, Jesus calls us to live the life of the Kingdom of God - accepting Him as king and then allowing Him to be in control. (Cris Wright).

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