What does an activist look like? Does he resemble a hippie from the 60's with long hair and retro clothing? Or is she someone who is mad all the time and shows up at every rally that is ever held? Perhaps they look like the "tree people" who have taken up residence in the tops of tall trees at Cal Berkeley to keep them from being cut down.

When I tell you that Jesus was an activist, how does that change your visual image? Jesus was an activist for several groups: the poor, the sick, the outcasts, the spiritually depraved. His words on the Sermon on the Mount resonate with the need for His followers to do all that they could to meet the physical and spiritual needs of those around them. Typically when we hear that one is an activist, we imagine a person who is ultra-liberal and angry, ready to take down the government if necessary to protect precious trees or a few spotted owls. And while there are activists who probably do look and act like that, Jesus introduced a different kind of activism while He was dwelling among us.

Jesus never taught on saving the trees or even protecting the seals (not that He might not have thought that those were important issues), but He did teach about loving your neighbors and taking care of those in need. He called those who lived in abundance to a life of sacrifice and He urged those who were "too religious" to repent. Jesus was an activist for people and for their souls.

Jesus didn't set conditions on whom He would help. If you didn't walk an aisle and pray a prayer, Jesus was still willing to heal you and meet your needs. True, He was most concerned about the condition of a man's soul but He also saw the necessity of meeting physical needs as well.

Isaiah 58:10 paints a beautiful picture of what an activist should look like: "If you offer yourself to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted one, then your light will shine in darkness." Notice that the goal of Jesus' activism wasn't to accomplish some political agenda or to get His name in the paper. Rather, Jesus calls each one of us to an activism that will turn us into selfless servants who want all the glory and honor to go to our heavenly Father.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Faith in action, when our doctrine meets our deeds. Nice Post.

Soli Deo Gloria

The honest hypocrite

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