Scripture: Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.” Mark 8:27 (NIV)
Even in his life, Jesus was a controversial figure. Some refused to see him as the Messiah. Instead, they chose to see him as the son of Mary and Joseph the Carpenter. “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? (Matthew 13:55) .
There was a village that chased him away because he made a wealthy man lose his many pigs (Luke 8:26-39). Other villages refused to welcome him. But through all these, Jesus did not complain. Even when the Jews demanded a murderer to be released and they falsely accused him, Jesus accepted his fate.
Scripture: Like a sheep about to be slaughtered, he never said a word (Isaiah 53:7).
There was a time when the disciples were angry because the people of a particular village refused to welcome Jesus. They asked Jesus, “Should we command fire from heaven to burn this village?” (Luke 9:54). Instead, Jesus rebuked the disciples and moved on to the next town.
Why? Why didn’t Jesus rebuke those who rejected Him?
The Bible answers this question for us. It says God gives people to Jesus. Some are called to Christ, and some are not (John 10:27).
Yet it is God’s will that ALL people should come to know Him through Christ. God is not pleased when sinners perish; He would rather see them repent and live (Ezekiel 33:11).
What GOD Has Done
Luke 14:15-24 summarizes what GOD has done through Jesus. This chapter is known as the parable of the Great Banquet. The word parable is derived from the Greek word “parabola.” The Greek “parabola” stems from two words, “para,” which means “beside” and the verb “ballein,” meaning “to throw.” In Greek texts, parabola loosely translates as “to compare.” or “to throw beside.” Similar to the word “Mashal” in the Hebrew Bible, the word “parable” signified that the writer was about to use “figurative language.”
Luke 14:15-24 uses figurative language to inform us what God has done through the coming of His son Jesus Christ into the world. In this parable, a man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet, he sent his servant to tell those invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ But the selected guests began making excuses. One guest said, “I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.” The second guest said, “I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.” The third guest said, “I just got married, so I can’t come.”
The owner of the banquet got so furious that he ordered his servant to go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring the cripple, the poor, the blind, and the lame. The servant did this and returned to the Master and said, “what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.” To this, the Master told the servant, “Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full.”
God allowed Christianity to spread throughout the world so that more people will enter His Kingdom. There are so many scriptures about the Kingdom of GOD. But what is clear is that it is a GREAT kingdom. I mean, if the Earth is a footstool to the creator (Isaiah 66:1), then we cannot imagine Heaven. Karl Marx characterized religion as an “opium for the poor.” Well, doesn’t the Master tell the servant to go for the poor? Besides, Karl Marx was doing financially well for himself. He was wise in his own eyes (Proverbs 3:7). And to such people, Jesus said, “Those who are well do not need a doctor” (Mark 2:7). Maybe, Karl Marx did not feel that he needed God.
You may have everything you need in this life but still be poor in spirit. You are not satisfied with your success, and you are exhausted from working so hard and trying to keep things together. To such people, GOD’s servant tells you, “Don’t put your trust in something as fleeting/temporary as riches. Instead, place your trust in God.
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant or to put their hope in wealth, which is uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. (1 Timothy 6:17).
Also, to those who are physically poor, the Bible gives them Good News. The Bible reminds them to remember the Steadfast Love of God and trust that He can help them overcome.
As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy (James 5:11).
All these could not have happened without the death and resurrection of Christ. Jesus himself said, “When you lift the Son of Man, then men from All nations will come.”
And I, when I am lifted up from the Earth, I will draw all people to myself. (John 12:32).
Theories Won’t Lead To the Truth
What are theories? The last time I bore the torment of sitting in a classroom, they told me that the term “theories” refers to a “system of ideas that seek to explain something.” So what we do in today’s world is that one person comes up with an idea. Let’s say, for example, the scientific idea that the sky is not blue. One scientist does their experiments and concludes that “it is not blue.” Then, another scientist conducts their experiment and concludes, “it is not blue” Then, when hundreds of research studies have been conducted, that is when we start saying, “it’s kind of true that the sky is not blue.”
“You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? (Matthew 17:7).
Is it not common sense that there is an intelligence behind the intelligently designed universe?
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day, they pour forth speech; night after night, they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world (Psalms 19:1-4).
For it was GOD who commanded the world into existence. And by His Holy Spirit He made the Heavens beautiful (Job 26:13). And it was God’s will that His Son Jesus Christ should come and serve humanity. That through his teachings, his life, and his sacrifice, all the races and indeed all creation, will be unified unto God.
For Christ came to break the dividing wall of hostility between Jews and Gentiles (Ephesians 2:14). He broke the caste systems, the inequalities, the rules and laws that separated us from GOD. The symbol for this was the tearing of the veil in the Jewish temple. This veil meant that no human being was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies. But thanks to Christ, we can boldly go to God. And GOD will help us to become better people. A better society.
That is why it was and still is the GOOD NEWS.
Jesus is Not a Theoretical Research
In his book, Kelvin Kapic, “A Little Book of New Theologians,” stated that we cannot put God on a microscope. He is too big for that. Psalms 139 says that before he forms a person, he thought about it (Psalms 139:15-16).
I love what Bible archeologists, researchers, experts, have accomplished. I always watch Bible discoveries with my mouth agape.
But for how long? How long are we going to wait for Science and researchers to provide groundbreaking evidence that Jesus did come and that he was spotted after his death?
The bible warns us about popular opinion. During the time of Noah, most people said, “Can water come from the sky?” 40 days later the flood came. The people saw a strange hand lock the door of the Ark shut. It was done! Judgment had come!
How long? What more proof do we need? God opposes the proud but gives favor to the humble (James 4:6). The bible says that knowledge does lead to pride. We are a literate society. But we should be careful that our pride does not make us an unbelieving generation.
For God has already demonstrated his love, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
There was another unbelieving generation. King Belshazzar and his friends took the gold and silver goblets dedicated to God and decided to use them for his banquet. I mean, God doesn’t exist, right? We may as well misuse the objects dedicated to him.
But while he was enjoying himself with his friends, he saw a strange hand write on the wall. “MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN” (Daniel 5:25). The time for God to divide the Kingdom had come.
Like Belshazzar, the anti-God culture removes the fear of God and the purpose for moral ethics. It creates an attitude that all behavior is acceptable. That we are free to do anything. If that is the case, then even our leaders are free to use chemical gas against their people. What is free? What does freedom mean? The anti-God camp turns us to enemies of God.
When Prophet Elijah called people to God. He said it simply, “If the idol Baal is God, follow Him. If Jehovah is God, follow him” (1 Kings 18:21). This action is the shortest route to the truth. Another scripture says, “Taste and see that the LORD is Good; blessed are those who have no doubts about him” (Psalms 34:8).
I was 15 years old when I went to God with my doubts. Everyone around me would tell me to trust in God. But the wind made more sense to me. I could see the wind, but I could not wrap my head around the existence of God.
One day I secretly bowed my head and prayed to the unseen GOD. I told GOD. “I can’t see you. I don’t understand. I can see the wind. But I can’t see you. Please, open my eyes to see you. Deliver my soul.”
Here I am. I am furiously writing a blog about Him.
Our bodies die. Everything we worked for, we leave it on earth. God is jealous for the soul. He wants the soul that He created in us, to dwell with Him in His Kingdom forever. And the King in that Kingdom is Jesus Christ.
That, in summary, is Christianity.
And we don’t have time! You have a personal obligation to yourself, take the bible, study it, and allow God’s Spirit of Truth to lead you into all truths (John 16:13).
Christianity was taught to sensible people. Judge for yourselves! (1 Corinthians 1:15-22).
Jesus is a spiritual experience. We can’t wait for archaeologists to uncover his house in Israel or his actual burial tomb. We don’t have time for this.
But we can pray about it. God is faithful. When we pray, he will send His Spirit to help us understand religion, Christianity, and our purpose.
With God’s help, we will understand much.
When Augustine was troubled, he heard a child play outside saying, “Take it! Read it! Take it! Read it!”
Immediately, he understood that God was telling him to take the bible and read it.
Suppose you are already a Christian. Then make it your aim to study about God so that you can become a fully equipped disciple. You have the responsibility of bringing more and more people into God’s Kingdom.
For there is still room for more.